CoolSculpting: Not as Cool as It Seems

Some days, you probably wish you could just melt your fat away. You’re not alone! Thousands of patients have flocked to CoolSculpting since its release in the United States in 2011, tempted by a promise almost too good to believe: freeze away your fat, in just over half an hour! The procedure appeals to patients with its promise of non-surgical fat reduction treatment and zero downtime..

Unfortunately, CoolSculpting does not necessarily provide the results or the pleasant experience that it promises. The results, when they do finally appear, may not be as drastic as patients had hoped: some patients find themselves asking if the money they spent on the treatment was even worth it.

If you are interested in eliminating unwanted fat from your body and are considering CoolSculpting as a body sculpting option, read on. You may be surprised to learn that the advertised convenience of CoolSculpting, unfortunately, does always not translate to results that are worth your time and hard-earned money. You are probably better off, in fact, learning more about your fat elimination options with tumescent liposuction!

Curious to learn more about why CoolSculpting may not be your best body contouring option? Call Younai Plastic Surgery to schedule your private consultation today, and to learn more about how you can achieve safe, slimming results.

CoolSculpting: What it Promises

CoolSculpting is the targeted exposure of an area of the body to freezing temperatures, with the intent of killing unwanted fat cells. The body disposes of the destroyed fat cells naturally during the following weeks. The procedure is non-invasive: the applicator sits on patients’ skin. The CoolSculpting treatment can usually be completed in 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the area or areas which the patient wants to treat. It takes roughly two to three months before the results of the treatment become noticeable. The procedure advertises a 10 to 25% decrease in the fat in the treated area. Many patients require more than one treatment to see something close to their desired results.

While CoolSculpting offers applicators in a variety of sizes, enabling patients to treat larger areas of their body at once, the procedure is limited in the amount of fat it can eliminate. The science behind the treatment is valid: when fat cells are exposed to almost 0° Celsius, the fat cells die, in a process called cryolipolysis. Whether CoolSculpting achieves the best fat elimination and body contouring results, however, is up for debate.

Risks of CoolSculpting

Common side effects from a CoolSculpting treatment include redness, tingling, tenderness, bruising, or numbness in the treated area. Most of these will abate within the first two weeks following your treatment. Numbness can last for over a month. However, it is important to know that this period is not necessarily as pain-free as promised: some patients can experience tingling and pain so intense in their treatment site that it keeps them awake at night.

This painful recovery can especially occur in patients who receive CoolSculpting on their abdomen requiring pain relief medication. The CoolSculpting applicator sucks up the area it is treating to improve accuracy: some theories suggest that this suction action can distress the nerve endings in the stomach region.

More long-lasting side effects from a CoolSculpting treatment include scarring, skin ulcerations, a “step off” in the skin at the applicator edges, and, the most severe outcome; the development of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, or PAH, is a rare but real and frustrating result of CoolSculpting. It causes the fat and tissue in the treated area to do the opposite of what the treatment intends: instead of eliminating the cells, the temperature causes the fat to thicken. The cells enlarge, which can add to the prominence of the fat in the area. This is far from the results you want!

While this fat can be removed with liposuction, the thickened fat is particularly stubborn to remove. It will be several months before the hardened fat is soft enough for removal. While PAH occurs more often in men than women, it is, unfortunately, impossible to predict who will have this response to CoolSculpting.

Likewise, any scar tissue that forms as a result of multiple CoolSculpting sessions will also be more difficult to extract. For example, a patient may undergo five CoolSculpting treatments for gynecomastia, a recommended treatment site for CoolSculpting. He may not see the results he wants (which is why he’s receiving multiple CoolSculpting treatments), even if there is only a small amount of fat he wants to be addressed. This patient’s unique body may continue to not respond to the CoolSculpting. The patient can scar his or her tissue in the process of receiving these CoolSculpt treatments.

Original studies suggested that paradoxical adipose hyperplasia occurs in roughly one in every 4,000 patients. Newer studies suggest that this figure may be closer to roughly 1 in 138 patients. There are few independent studies available concerning the outcome and successes of CoolSculpting at this time; it is often up to doctor discretion to determine the value of CoolSculpting to their patients. At this time, Younai Plastic Surgery is hesitant to recommend this procedure as an ideal body sculpting option.

Your CoolSculpting Results

It can take up to two to three months if not longer, to see the results of a CoolSculpting session. It is important to remember that CoolSculpting advertises itself as a way to expel a moderate amount of fat from an area, with the capability of eliminating up to 25% of targeted fat. A patient may only experience a 10% decrease in fat after one treatment, a change which may not be apparent for months. Even after this point, the outcomes may or may not be noticeable. The patient may decide to receive another CoolSculpting, in hopes of losing another 10 to 15% of their fat in that area.

From the time of their first CoolSculpting, it can take four months, or likely more, to see the slimming and contouring you desire. Even after multiple sessions, it is not guaranteed that patients will ever approach the 25% loss ratio. At most, patients tend to see a loss of a half inch in their treated area.

While CoolSculpting is capable of freezing and eliminating fat from patients’ bodies, it is not a reliable procedure. It is true that some patients will feel satisfied with the loss of fat they see after their CoolSculpting regimen. Unfortunately, there is no easy predictor that these results will in fact occur: some patients may wait hopefully for weeks, and even after multiple treatments, still not see much change in their “treated” fat. Results from CoolSculpting will vary, and often take many uncertain months of waiting to achieve.

Due to the long wait for the slimming results of CoolSculpting, if they are in fact achieved, the procedure is not a recommended option for patients who would like to complete their body contouring before a certain event or time of year.

CoolSculpting: Convenient, But Worth the Cost?

It’s non-invasive! It’s quick! Why wouldn’t it be the best way to finally eliminate the last of your pesky fat?

Unfortunately, just because a CoolSculpting session requires no incisions, can be completed on your lunch break, and is based on true science, does not mean the slimming results are guaranteed or impressive. Convenience does not correlate to quality.

Patients may want to lose the fat that hides their abdomen, or that creates their double chin. CoolSculpting can, for some patients, have a mild slimming effect in these areas, and the patient may be satisfied by any improvement, period. However, these results are not guaranteed. They may take multiple sessions to achieve if they are achieved at all. This can add up to time out of your schedule, as well as money out of your pocket. A patient may spend money on three, five, or more CoolSculpting sessions, and possibly still not see much change in the treated area. In fact, the repeated attempts may even scar the area, or require the patient to live through extended periods of pain or numbness.

If you are looking for the most time and cost effective way to eliminate the last of your pesky fat, instead of wandering hopefully into a CoolSculpting appointment, walk confidently into your body contouring session with tumescent liposuction at Younai Plastic Surgery.

Want Results? Consider Liposuction

If, when you think of liposuction, you imagine an involved, traumatic surgery, you have an impression from the past: while early liposuction procedures often left patients with weeks of painful bruising and recovery, modern techniques of tumescent liposuction are far more effective and safe than most other fat elimination options.

Why choose tumescent liposuction over CoolSculpting:

Save Time: Patients need to wait weeks if not months before they see the results of their CoolSculpting. There is no mysterious, long waiting period after tumescent liposuction. Swelling in the treated area will begin to heal the very next day after the procedure, and from this point on patients will be able to observe major and continuing improvement in the treatment area. Patients rarely need to undergo a second treatment in the same area. It takes just one session to achieve the desired results!

Cost Effective: Due to the fact that it usually takes only one tumescent liposuction session to successfully eliminate fat and contour the treated area, patients do not need to pay for more than one treatment. They can see their results, and feel assured that their money is well spent.

Safe Procedure: While patients may feel hesitant about any type of invasive procedure, tumescent liposuction is minimally invasive and minimally traumatic. Most patients can receive their treatment under local anesthesia. During a tumescent liposuction procedure, Dr. Younai makes a small incision in the treatment area. All work is done with a miniscule cannula, inserted into the incision. Tumescent fluid will be introduced into the area. This fluid contains a mixture of lidocaine and epinephrine: the lidocaine is an anesthetic which keeps the patient comfortable, while the epinephrine helps prevent blood loss from the site.

In fact, Dr. Younai is so careful during a tumescent liposuction procedure that most patients only lose the equivalent of two tablespoons of blood! The tumescent fluid will help dislodge the stubborn fat so that Dr. Younai can gently extract the fat. This method enables him to remove a small amount of fat, or a larger degree of fat, safely. Due to the care that Dr. Younai takes, patients often need to take only one to two days off work after their procedure. Bruising, swelling, and redness in the area will be minimal. Redness and bruising will subside within two weeks, while the swelling usually abates over a two month period.

Guaranteed Results: When fat is removed with tumescent liposuction, if the patient maintains their healthy lifestyle, the fat is very likely to stay away. Liposuction not only enables Dr. Younai to remove unwanted fat, but it also gives him the ability to contour the treated area in order to achieve the healthiest, most attractive appearance possible. While CoolSculpting has a catchy-sounding name, any “sculpting” occurs randomly when the body dispels the fat. Tumescent liposuction permits controlled, artful contouring of the treatment area. The results will not only be more guaranteed than from a CoolSculpting session, but they will also be more pronounced and in-line with what the patient wants to see.


Patients who are interested in eliminating more than a small amount of fat are not good candidates for CoolSculpting. Additionally, those who have thick tissue in the areas where they want to freeze their fat will not see their best results from CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting tries to draw in patients who are afraid of an invasive procedure and who want to finally lose the last of their stubborn fat. However, these results are not guaranteed. Candidates for a body slimming procedure should consider instead, the remarkable, long-lasting results of tumescent liposuction.

Candidates for tumescent liposuction are those who:

  • Are within 30 pounds of their goal weight
  • Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle
  • Do not have a pre-existing health condition which could interfere with their healing
  • Are non-smokers
  • Have an open mindset toward the results of a body contouring procedure.

If you would like to achieve slimming results by a specific date, instead of crossing your fingers with CoolSculpting, schedule a consultation with Dr. Younai for a tumescent liposuction procedure.

Neither CoolSculpting nor tumescent liposuction are intended to be used as a weight loss alternative.

Your Consultation at Younai Plastic Surgery

Dr. Younai is about results: he focuses on giving every patient the safe, effective body transformation they desire. When you come to Younai Plastic Surgery, Dr. Younai and his staff will listen to your concerns and goals for your appearance. During your private consultation, Dr. Younai will examine the area or areas where you would like to see less fat. After discussing your medical history, medication use, current lifestyle, and goals for your procedure, Dr. Younai will suggest a body contouring treatment that is right for you.

Dr. Younai understands that your time is valuable. As both a liposuction and tummy tuck expert, he will be able to answer any questions you have about your fat elimination options. Whether you are looking for subtle, artful contouring, or a larger degree of fat removal, Dr. Younai can deliver.

While the general convenience of a CoolSculpting treatment may seem alluring, if you want to achieve definitive results, with minimal discomfort and downtime, Dr. Younai will provide the skilled body slimming and contouring outcomes you’ve been looking for.

If you feel unsure if CoolSculpting or liposuction is right for you, call today to schedule your free consultation at Younai Plastic Surgery.

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