CoolSculpting FAQs

Am I a good candidate for CoolSculpting®?
What is the difference between CoolSculpting® and liposuction?
What is the procedure like? What happens during the CoolSculpting® procedure?
How long are the CoolSculpting® sessions?
Is the CoolSculpting® procedure safe?
What are the typical results?
What does the CoolSculpting® procedure feel like?
What is the recovery time? How soon can I go about my normal routine?
Are there any side effects?
Can the same areas be-retreated if necessary?
What happens to the fat? Where does it go?
Are the results permanent?
How much will the CoolSculpting® process cost?
Do I need to adjust my diet or exercise routine afterwards?
What happens if I gain the weight back?


Am I a good candidate for CoolSculpting®?

Though they tend to show fat in different areas, the CoolSculpting® procedure works for both women and men.

Good candidates for body sculpting have noticeable bulges in certain areas they’d like to get rid of (such as love handles or a muffin top). The CoolSculpting® fat reduction procedure is specifically designed for those who have unwanted stubborn fat that has resisted diet and exercise. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the CoolSculpting® procedure is not a weight loss solution for people who are extremely overweight.

If you can “pinch an inch” of unwanted body fat, you may be a good candidate for CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical, non-invasive alternative to liposuction. Request a one-on-one consultation with us to determine if the CoolSculpting® procedure is right for you.

What is the difference between CoolSculpting® and liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure developed in the 1980s, and can be performed under local anesthesia, under sedation, or with full general anesthesia. There are different methods of liposuction, including suction, ultrasound, vibratory, laser, or water jet. The incisions for liposuction are about a quarter-inch or less, so scarring is minimal. However, the recovery time with liposuction is a few weeks, where bruising and swelling are common.

Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive procedure that does not require any anesthesia. Liposuction is a surgical procedure for fat removal, and many areas can be treated at once. CoolSculpting® is entirely non-surgical procedure, and can be done over several sessions.

For patients that want to avoid surgery, or want to treat smaller fat deposits, CoolSculpting® is a good option.

What is the procedure like? What happens during the CoolSculpting® procedure?

During your treatment, a gel pad is placed over the treatment area. A cooling applicator is then applied to the targeted area. The CoolSculpting® applicator delivers controlled cooling and suction to the targeted area of excess fat. Cooled liquid flows through the applicator and freezes the targeted fat.

The most common type of applicator are the vacuum assisted applicators. These use suction to pull the treated area into the head of the machine. This is where the fat cells are frozen.

The other type of applicator is a flat applicator, or “Coolsmooth”.

There may be some slight discomfort when the treated area is first being cooled. This area become numb once the cooling process begins. During the procedure, many people read, watch a DVD, check email, or even take a nap.

Afterwards, the CoolSculpting® applicator is removed, and the frozen area is briefly massaged. This helps move the treated fat cells through your body, so they can be processed and eliminated.

The final result takes a few weeks to show up, as the fat is eliminated from the body. There really isn’t much pain, though the treated area may feel a bit tender for a time.

How long are the CoolSculpting® sessions?

Our staff will help you create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific goals. The length of your CoolSculpting® session will vary, depending on the number of areas being treated during each visit. We may schedule additional sessions in order to meet your goals.

The session length with the vacuum assisted applicators is an hour. The session length with the flat applicator is two hours.

Is the CoolSculpting® procedure safe?

The CoolSculpting® procedure is cleared by the FDA for the flank (love handles), abdomen, and thigh. Over one million CoolSculpting® treatments have been performed worldwide. CoolSculpting® has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for non-surgical fat reduction.

What are the typical results?

Typically, you may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks after your treatment. The most dramatic changes usually occur after eight weeks. But, your body will still flush out fat cells for up to four to six months after treatment.

Most people lose between 25-40% percent of fat from the treated area.

What does the CoolSculpting® procedure feel like?

During the first few minutes of the procedure, as the cooling begins you will feel pressure and intense cold in the treated area. This feeling quickly dissipates. Most people read, watch videos, work on their laptop, or even take a nap during their treatment.

What is the recovery time? How soon can I go about my normal routine?

Because the Coolsculpting® procedure is non-invasive and non-surgical, the recovery time is very quick. Typically, you can return to your normal routine right away. Most patients return to their normal work and other activities with no downtime.

Are there any side effects?

During the CoolSculpting® procedure, it is normal to feel some slight discomfort, numbness, intense feeling of cold, or tugging of the skin. These effects are temporary, and subside as the area becomes numb. After the procedure, some patients experience temporary numbness, swelling, redness, bruising, tingling, firmness, slight pain, tenderness, aching, itching, or stinging sensation. If you are treating the submental (throat) area, you may feel a sensation of fullness at the back of the throat.

Patients who experience these side effects usually see them disappear between a few days and a couple of weeks.

The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You should not undergo the CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (these are not common). CoolSculpting® is not a remedy for morbid obesity, and is not meant to be used for rapid weight loss.

Before undergoing the CoolSculpting® treatment, consult with your doctor, or our staff physician.

Can the same areas be-retreated if necessary?

Yes, the same areas can be treated after the initial treatment. This can produce a more substantial change over time. We will re-evaluate your specific progress after 6-8 weeks to assess whether you will benefit from additional CoolSculpting® treatments to the same area.

What happens to the fat? Where does it go?

During the CoolSculpting® process, the treated fat cells are frozen and crystallized. Your body processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells.

CoolSculpting® differs from other methods that eliminate stubborn body fat, in that the procedure targets the fat cells precisely through a process called apoptosis.

Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death that occurs naturally in multicellular organisms. In apoptosis, the affected cell collapses and dies neatly without damaging the neighboring cells. The body uses it’s natural mechanisms to eliminate the dead cells.

In the CoolSculpting® procedure, an applicator is used to administer freezing temperatures to your excess fat cells, causing them to undergo apoptosis, and die off. The body processes the dead fat cells through the liver and they are eliminated.

Are the results permanent?

Once the treated fat cells are gone, they are eliminated forever. Your body flushes them out naturally.

How much will the CoolSculpting® process cost?

The amount you will need to invest will depend on number of CoolSculpting® cycles you will need to achieve your desired goals. This will vary, depending on the target areas you want to treat, how many sessions it takes to eliminate the unwanted fat cells from those areas, and your long-term goals for your physique.

We can help you create a personalized treatment plan that takes these factors, and your own body and budget, into account.

Do I need to adjust my diet or exercise routine afterwards?

You do not need to adapt new diet or exercise routines, or take special supplements, after your CoolSculpting® treatments. However, many patients feel motivated to make those changes to their routines afterwards. It is common for patients to adopt new, healthier habits after getting rid of their stubborn fat, and start fresh with a new physique.

What happens if I gain the weight back?

As with any weight loss procedure, it is possible to gain weight back. However, most patients, after seeing the results from their own CoolSculpting® procedure, make changes to their diet and exercise routines, and take better care of themselves afterwards.

If you do gain weight back, you may gain it back evenly — all over your body, not just in the problem areas that were treated.