How Does CoolSculpting Work?
Harvard researchers discovered that fat below the skin’s surface freezes at a higher temperature than surrounding tissues. Scientists used this information to develop CoolSculpting, first cleared in 2010 by the FDA. Fat cells exposed to sustained, controlled cooling during CoolSculpting treatments freeze and die without damage to the skin or other tissues. The body naturally and harmlessly removes the dead fat cells over time.
What Areas Can CoolSculpting Treat?
Specialized CoolSculpting applicators that deliver controlled cooling can target unwanted fat in almost every area of the body. Specialized CoolSculpting applicators can treat:
- A belly bulge
- Love handles or a muffin top at the flanks or sides of the torso
- Saddlebags on the hips and outer thighs
- Excess fat that becomes more visible when wearing a bra (bra fat)
- Fat that rubs together at the inner thighs
- Upper arms
- Fat causing the appearance of a double chin
It often takes more than one CoolSculpting treatment session to produce the best results.
Does CoolSculpting Hurt?
A CoolSculpting treatment involves applying cooling panels to the treatment area or areas. Depending on the treatment area, the panels may lie flat on the skin or use suction to draw the skin between the panels. For example, flat panels are used for areas with no pinchable fat.
Once the treatment begins, patients typically experience some tingling and minor discomfort as applicators deliver cooling energy below the skin. This lasts for only about 5 minutes until the area feels numb. Patients then relax and scroll their smartphones, read, or nap. The treatment sessions can last from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the areas patients want to target.