There are plenty of treatment areas that CoolSculpting can target to get rid of stubborn fat. This noninvasive treatment is a safe and effective way to get results for areas of fat that have not responded to a regular diet and exercise routine. 

This guide will help determine if CoolSculpting is right for you, review CoolSculpting treatment areas, and whether or not it can help you get the results you want. 

What Is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved non-surgical procedure that helps eliminate stubborn fat. It is not a weight-loss treatment. CoolSculpting uses fat-freezing technology to reduce fat and can treat nine different areas of the body: chin and jawline, thighs, abdomen, flanks, bra fat, back fat, buttocks, and upper arms. 

CoolSculpting is also referred to as cryolipolysis. This is otherwise known as the process of freezing fat. This procedure usually provides patients with long-lasting results. 

Coolsculpting is a noninvasive procedure similar to liposuction, as it targets difficult-to-remove areas of fat. The procedure is less risky than liposuction, however, because it is noninvasive. 

For a more drastic change you may consider having a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck as an alternative to this procedure.

What Causes Stubborn Fat?

Stubborn fat can occur anywhere on the body. These pockets of fat are difficult to get rid of, even if you have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. 

The number of stubborn fat cells do not vary drastically during adulthood. Rather, the number you have is set during childhood and adolescence. As you gain or lose weight, the number of fat cells do not increase or decrease. Instead, they increase in size and expand in width when weight is gained. 

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

There are many different CoolSculpting areas of treatment but the procedure targets all body areas in a similar way. The CoolSculpting device uses freezing temperatures to target stubborn fat cells in the body. Cool temperatures break down fat cells without causing damage to surrounding cells and tissue.

After fat cells freeze, the body naturally rids itself of the dead cells. This removal process usually takes between one to three months, but may take longer. The CoolSculpting areas of treatment typically show 20-25% fat-reduction. 

What Are the Most Popular CoolSculpting Treatment Areas?

CoolSculpting can remove stubborn fat in most areas of the body. The procedure is continually rising in popularity, with some patients seeking to treat multiple areas of their bodies. There are currently nine CoolSculpting areas of treatment: chin, jawline, thighs, abdomen, flanks, bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks, and the upper arms. 

The most popular CoolSculpting treatment areas are the flanks, abdomen, thighs, and chin. Many patients want to treat these areas to help boost their self-confidence. 

  • Abdomen – This is the most common area where people carry fat. It is one of the hardest areas to tone, regardless of diet and exercise. This is the most common CoolSculpting area of treatment.
  • Flanks – Otherwise known as love handles, flanks are a popular CoolSculpting area of treatment. This area of the body responds extremely well to CoolSculpting, even if exercise and healthy eating have not worked. 
  • Thighs – Stubborn fat in this area is particularly common for women. CoolSculpting can treat both the inner and outer thighs. The inner thigh is easier to treat than the outer thigh, however, since the device can more easily pinch and feel surface fat. 
  • ChinCoolSculpting can be used to reduce the appearance of a double chin. Some doctors use a miniature CoolSculpting device with a special applicator that can specifically target the pad of fat underneath the chin. 
  • Back Fat – CoolSculpting can treat various parts of the back. Many patients choose to treat the lower back and bra fat. “Bra fat” refers to stubborn fat that occurs around the areas of where a bra would sit. 
  • Underneath the Buttocks – Some patients experience stubborn fat underneath their buttocks. The fat in this area may have a lumpy appearance due to cellulite. The CoolSculpting procedure can help treat this area and contribute to a smoother and more contoured look. 
  • Upper Arms – Excess fat may be visible beneath or around the upper arms. This is commonly called “chicken wings” and is a popular area of treatment for CoolSculpting. 

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for CoolSculpting?

The ideal candidate for CoolSculpting is someone who is physically fit, keeps an active lifestyle, and is healthy overall. The client should use this treatment for the right reasons and understand that CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss treatment. CoolSculpting is suitable for men and women alike. 

The ideal candidate wishes to get rid of stubborn fat because they have not seen results through a healthy diet and regular exercise. CoolSculpting is recommended for patients who are at or near their ideal body weight. This quiz can help determine if you are an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting.

What to Expect Before the Procedure

The patient should do research and make sure that they are a good fit for CoolSculpting. Patients should be aware that this procedure is not a treatment to lose weight. Prior to the procedure, the patient should schedule a consultation with their doctor. During this consultation, it is important to share your medical history and desired look with the physician. The doctor will create a personalized plan to meet the patient’s needs. They will also determine the number of sessions needed to achieve optimal results. Be sure to ask the doctor about any questions you may have prior to the procedure. 

What Is the Procedure Like?

The CoolSculpting device uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze fat cells. During the procedure, patients may experience intense cold, as well as tugging, pulling, pinching, tingling, aching, stinging, and cramping at the treatment site. The procedure is typically not painful and most sensations subside and diminish as the treatment area numbs. 

After the procedure, patients may experience redness, swelling, bruising, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, and itching. These effects are temporary and are common in most patients. 

Pros and Cons of Coolsculpting

Pros:

  • Non-invasive cosmetic procedure
  • No injections
  • Gets rid of stubborn fat
  • Tighter, toned look
  • Short procedure time
  • Minimal downtime
  • Little to no pain
  • Temporary side effects
  • Does not harm surrounding cells or tissue
  • Can help hyperhidrosis

Cons:

  • Not a procedure for weight loss or for the severely overweight
  • Results take time and are not immediate
  • The procedure is not for everyone: those who suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria should not have the CoolSculpting procedure

Risks and Side Effects

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Numbing of the skin
  • Intense cold
  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Pain around the targeted area
  • Reduced sensation in the targeted area
  • The sensation of fullness at the back of the throat
  • Visible enlargement in the treated area

Side effects of this treatment do not last long and typically dissipate within a few hours. It is possible for side effects to last a couple of weeks. These side effects are not permanent. 

Rare side effects, such as a visible enlargement in the treated area, can develop two to five months after the treatment. This may require surgical intervention to correct. Speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have.

Is CoolSculpting Safe?

CoolSculpting is considered a safe and effective cosmetic treatment to get rid of stubborn fat cells in a targeted area. This procedure is FDA-approved and clinical trials show that this procedure can reduce fat cells. 

What to Expect After the Procedure

There is little to no downtime required after the procedure. Minor side effects such as redness and swelling may occur, but many patients are cleared to resume daily activities shortly post-procedure. All side effects should subside after a couple of weeks.

Results are not immediate but are noticeable within three weeks after the procedure. Full results appear six months after treatment. Most results are seen two to three months after treatment. Depending on patient concerns and areas of target, the doctor may recommend more than one session to ensure optimal results. The doctor will explain what to expect after the procedure and will personalize each patient’s plan.

CoolSculpting Treatment Areas: Before and After

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does the Procedure Cost?

The price for CoolSculpting differs from place to place. It is important to do research and set up consultations with multiple places to find the best price and fit for you. The price of a CoolSculpting treatment also depends on the desired CoolSculpting areas of treatment and the size of the target area. 

CoolSculpting typically costs anywhere from $2,000 to $4000. Many CoolSculpting providers offer flexible payment plans, so patients are able to get the results they want but do not have to worry about paying the full cost upfront.

Is CoolSculpting Available for All Areas of the Body?

The CoolSculpting treatment is currently FDA-approved for nine areas of the body. This treatment is currently not available for all areas of the body. The patient should consult with the treatment provider to build a personalized plan to ensure they get the results that they want. 

What Happens to Frozen Fat Cells?

The CoolSculpting procedure freezes fat cells to remove stubborn fat. Fat cells do not respond well to the cold. When fat cells freeze, they die and are gradually removed from the body. This process happens naturally. 

How Long Does Each Treatment Take?

The length of time a CoolSculpting treatment takes may differ. This depends both on the desired area of treatment and the size of that area. Treatments can be completed in as little as 35 minutes but may take up to three hours.

How Many Sessions Does It Take for Optimal Results?

The number of sessions recommended will be different for each patient. This figure is dependent on the patient’s needs and desired look. A single treatment can reduce stubborn fat by up to 25%. The provider will be able to help estimate the number of sessions the patient will need during the initial consultation. 

When Will Results Be Seen?

Results are not immediate and may take at least three weeks to be seen. Changes are typically visible one to three months after treatment. Full results may take six months or more. Each individual will see results differently. Some patients will be able to see results faster than others. 

Can Weight Be Gained After Getting a CoolSculpting Treatment?

Yes, it is possible to gain weight after a CoolSculpting treatment. This procedure is not a weight-loss treatment. Instead, it is used to eliminate stubborn fat that has not responded to a healthy diet and exercise. 

If patients do not keep up healthy habits, it is possible for them to gain weight. Weight gain will be even and will not occur only in the areas of treatment. 

Is the CoolSculpting Procedure Covered by Insurance?

CoolSculpting is a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by insurance typically. Patients must check directly with their insurance providers to assess if the procedure is covered under their plan’s benefits.

Many provider offices offer payment plans to help patients gradually pay off the cost of the procedure over time, instead of making them pay in full at the time of the procedure. Discuss payment options with your provider during your consultation to find the treatment method that is best for you.

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive procedure that is proven to be safe and effective. There are plenty of areas of treatment that CoolSculpting can target to ensure patients get the results that they want. It is important for each patient to find a provider and set up a consultation in order to discuss their medical history and desired look.