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CoolSculpting suction applicator during procedure for stomach fat removal

Is CoolSculpting® right for you? Here are 7 things to consider

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  1. The type of fat you want to get rid of can determine whether CoolSculpting® will work on you
  2. The amount of fat you want to get rid of, and your expectations of fat removal results
  3. Your patience and persistence with treatments
  4. Your commitment to keeping the weight off after CoolSculpting® sessions
  5. Your tolerance to cold and temporary tingling, numbing and swelling from cryolipolysis
  6. Your prior health conditions and emotional resilience in dealing with rare side effects
  7. Your budget for fat removal procedures

When it comes to non-invasive, non-surgical fat removal, cryolipolysis with CoolSculpting® is a popular choice. CoolSculpting® is the leading provider of this fat removal method, though there are others out there.

We offer advanced CoolSculpting® technology and techniques at our Vancouver-area clinic (in Surrey). Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of use-cases, and heard many client stories – both before and after their CoolSculpting® treatments. 

With experience in tow, we can say that CoolSculpting® is a decision to be made with forethought. It can be hard for some to take the ‘plunge’ and go for it, even if they are perfect candidates for the procedure. In other cases, people can be over-excited, with unrealistic expectations.

So, in this article, we’ll answer the following question: Is Vancouver CoolSculpting® right for you? 

There are 7 main factors to consider when deciding to undergo CoolSculpting® fat removal.

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1) The type of fat you want to get rid of can determine whether CoolSculpting® will work on you

CoolSculpting male fat removal consultation assessment

As you can read on this page of our website, body fat comes in many forms. Humans also gain weight in two ways: through the enlargement of fat cells, and by the addition of fat cells.

When it comes to CoolSculpting®, not all types of fat can be killed off with this procedure. For example, it can not work on:

  • Visceral fat, marrow fat or ectopic fat. These fat cells are generally located too deeply in your body to be affected by non-invasive fat removal technologies. While they can grow in excess and affect health (such as with belly fat), they are also meant to keep you healthy. CoolSculpting® works on subcutaneous fat (a.k.a. submental fat), which is located just beneath the skin. But, this is not the only factor contributing to body shape.
  • ‘Hard’ fat. Fat that is not pinchable can not be treated with CoolSculpting®. We’ll explain more on this below.
  • Cellulite fat deposits. Cellulite is treated a bit differently. It actually doesn’t have a lot to do with weight gain or loss. You can learn more about cellulite treatments, here.

Not only that, but CoolSculpting® can’t change body shape that has to do with muscle mass, bone structure or sagging skin. If these are contributing to your ‘problem areas,’ CoolSculpting® may not give you the results you’re hoping for.

CoolSculpting® has documented success on the following types of ‘pinchable’ fat, and on a considerable number of people*:

  • Thigh fat
  • Butt fat
  • Back fat
  • Knee fat
  • Love handles and waistline bulges (flanks)
  • Upper arm fat
  • Chin fat
  • Breast fat (i.e. bra bulges and man breasts)
  • Abdomen fat

Regarding ‘hard’ fat, there is hope! If your fat is not ‘pinchable,’ which CoolSculpting® requires, we can use heat-based technology to ‘melt’ fat instead of ‘freezing’ it off. At our clinic, we do this with the truSculpt® iD machine. It’s great because it also works to tighten skin while killing off fat cells.

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2) The amount of fat you want to get rid of, and your expectations of fat removal results

Love handles bulging from waistline depicting stubborn fat that can be removed with body contouring

The other consideration when deciding whether or not to get CoolSculpting®, is the amount of fat you want to have removed.

It is important to understand that CoolSculpting® is not a weight loss solution. It is also not going to provide results that extensive, surgical liposuction can provide.

CoolSculpting® is more about body shaping and contouring where you have ‘problem areas’ of ‘stubborn fat.’ If you are currently overweight, CoolSculpting® won’t be of much use. You will need to lose the majority of your fat through diet and exercise, first.

Generally, CoolSculpting® can help get rid of 20 to 25% of existing fat cells. Patients are most happy with results when they’re aiming to get rid of specific fat ‘rolls’ or bulges (i.e. not large areas).

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3) Your patience and persistence with treatments

CoolSculpting® is not an immediate solution to excess fat. It can take a minimum of 6 weeks to begin seeing the signs of fat reduction after each session. This is because after your fat cells are destroyed by the procedure, your body will need to do its job to remove those dead cells. This takes time.

Not only that, CoolSculpting® can require 1 or 2 treatments for initial ‘fat debulking’ (especially on larger areas). After that, it’s possible you’ll need reshaping sessions to smooth out your curves.

So, while some people do get CoolSculpting® results after 1 session, no one should go into this thinking they will be ‘in and out’ in one ‘go.’ It takes persistence and patience to see those great before-and-after photos happening on your body.

Scheduling is also important. You may need to wait about 4 to 6 weeks before coming back for a second fat removal session. If you wait too long in between appointments, it’s possible you may continue to gain weight in that time, which may make it seem like you didn’t get results (see more on this below).

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4) Your commitment to keeping the weight off after CoolSculpting® sessions

Aging woman on treadmill in gym exercising after CoolSculpting image concept

While CoolSculpting® can destroy the number of current fat cells (the ones you are born with), it can not stop the enlargement of your leftover fat cells, which is another way humans gain weight.

In short, this means that, if you are not committed to living a healthy lifestyle after your CoolSculpting® treatments, you may not see long-term results. But, your treated areas will have fewer fat cells overall, which can make you look proportionately thinner in those areas, even if you do gain overall weight later.

Diet and exercise routines are a critical part of weight loss. CoolSculpting® can never replace these aspects of achieving your ideal body shape. It can only help you get through the ‘last mile’ of your weight loss journey. It does this by removing the fat that seems to stick around no matter how much you work out or eat healthily.

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5) Your tolerance to cold and temporary tingling, numbing and swelling from cryolipolysis

CoolSculpting handpiece applied to stomach close up

CoolSculpting® presents very few complications in most people. However, the procedure is not sensation-less. It is not painful (so that’s good!). But, it is cold. It has to be, so that the fat cells die off.

Imagine the effects of pinching and holding ice on your body for a long period of time. With that picture in mind, it’s easy to see how CoolSculpting® can make you feel swollen, numb, tingly or even give you a ‘cold itch.’

Generally, these sensations go away on their own, within one to two weeks. Some people report having these feelings for about four weeks after their treatments (especially with older applicators – so make sure your chosen clinic has the new ones!). But, this is not always the case (every person is different).

Immediately after CoolSculpting® suction cups are removed from the treatment area, a massage helps return the frozen fat back into the shape of your body. Patients testify this as being the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. The difference in temperature, as well as the pressure on the area, can create a stinging feeling (but only for a short time afterwards).

You will also be instructed on how to massage treated areas at home, to help ease these sensations, and to speed up your body’s removal of dead fat cells.

With all that said, know that there is no downtime associated with CoolSculpting®. People can go to work and live their normal, daily lives after treatments.

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6) Your prior health conditions and emotional resilience in dealing with rare side effects

Woman in kitchen with tea after CoolSculpting concept scene

CoolSculpting® can’t be used on anyone with cryoglobulinaemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria. You should know if you have these conditions. If you don’t notify your practitioner of them, you can certainly experience side effects from CoolSculpting®. That said, all of your health history should be revealed to your provider.

However, as you can probably guess, these conditions, and their associated complications, are rare. Most people do fine with CoolSculpting® fat removal.

Regarding side effects not related to pre-existing conditions, it’s possible that the treatment area can feel painful for about a week or two after the treatment. Sometimes, the pain can come weeks after a session (it’s called late onset pain syndrome). However, this is treatable with medication. It is a normal part of the process your body undergoes to get rid of the dead cells, which have died all at once. The pain is, essentially, an inflammatory response.

There has also been some recent news that paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) may be more common than originally thought, when it comes to cryolipolysis procedures.

In layman’s terms, PAH is the hardening of body fat into a ‘bulge.’ It is not painful, but it can grow, or show up months after treatments. It can then require several months of waiting for the fat to soften, before it can be treated. In these cases, liposuction is required.

Nonetheless, the chances of this side effect happening are still slim. Estimates have gone from .025 to 0.72 percent. But this rise was based on just one study of 6 patients undergoing 15 PAH events.

Moreover, CoolSculpting® has been done millions of times, after being cleared by the FDA in 2010. It has been clinically studied or described in scientific publications over 100 times.

But… if you happen to fall into the less-than-1-percent of people who develop PAH, you’ll need to be patient when it comes time to treat it. It can be distressing, no doubt. But, it is solvable.

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7) Your budget for fat removal procedures

Applying coolsculpting applicator on stomach during fat removal procedure - women

Finally, for some people, this procedure can come down to the moolah. While many would say it is money well spent, especially for the self-confidence it can give, there is no doubt it can be costly for some. That said, its price point is not as high as traditional liposuction. In that way, it is a great, affordable alternative.

The cost of CoolSculpting® can depend on the size and number of areas you want treated. It’s very hard to give an absolute price that will apply to everyone. Generally, it starts in the $600 to $1200 range. Though, it is not uncommon for CoolSculpting® to cost thousands per session, especially when someone wants multiple areas treated. If you need more than one session, pricing can also be affected.

There are some ways to offset the impact of a CoolSculpting® bill, however. For example:

  • Financing plans allow you to space out your payments into easier, monthly installments. These are not always dependent on the clinic you choose. But, the admin work will go a lot easier if your chosen clinic has an arrangement with a financing company already. Learn more about our financing options, here.
  • Joining a points program can offer discounts on fat removal procedures, depending on how much you spend. Clinics may have their own loyalty programs which you can take advantage of.
  • A really good provider with a CoolSculpting® Master on staff can help you avoid costly, time-consuming mistakes. Fat removal is just as much an art as it is a science. It requires good form and technique to keep the body smoothly shaped. Otherwise, you could end up with unnecessary lumps that need even more sessions to be fixed. Lumps are sometimes expected; but there is no need to undergo more treatments than necessary, due to a lack of training.

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CoolSculpting® is a great option for unwanted fat, but it’s not the only one out there!

coolsculpting mini model machine next to medical fat model

If you’re looking for a fat removal option, CoolSculpting® is certainly a good choice for most people. Compared to traditional liposuction, it is cost-effective and safe. 

However, you should still opt for this procedure with ‘eyes wide open.’ It’s not going to take anyone from being a size 20, to a size 2, overnight. It is a body sculpting technique, not a weight loss replacement.

That said, CoolSculpting® is not the only fat reduction technology out there. Heat-based technologies can also get rid of fat. When it comes to large areas of fat, severe obesity or excess skin sagginess, surgery may be a better option.

If you’d like to learn more about how CoolSculpting® can help you achieve your desired body shape, we encourage you to get in touch! Book a consultation at our Vancouver-area clinic (in Surrey). A trained technician can make recommendations for a customized treatment path that’s just right for your needs and goals.

Notes:

*Despite documented proof that it works on many people, there is no guarantee that CoolSculpting® will provide drastic results for everyone. Each person’s bodily response to this procedure will be different. Pricing is subject to change at any time.

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