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Summary: Does Coolsculpting work? You’ve probably seen the commercials by now–and they can be pretty convincing. But how does Coolsculpting stack up against other body contouring procedures? And how do non invasive body contouring procedures compare to their surgical alternatives? Those are the questions we’re going to try to answer today.

How About That Cold: Does Coolsculpting Work?

You’ve probably been seeing the commercials lately (I know I have), so you’re not the only one wondering: does Coolsculpting work? For those of you who, somehow, have avoided the commercials (maybe you’re watching Netflix), I can explain Coolsculpting like this: it’s a device that uses extreme cold to eliminate fat cells.

The use of extreme cold has a couple of benefits. First, the cold in Coolsculpting is able to work so well because skin cells have a higher threshold for cold than fat cells. This means that the skin is left unharmed even as the same amount of cold effectively destroys fat cells.

The other benefit is that the cold is effectively a numbing agent. This means that no other anesthetic or numbing agent is usually required when conducting a Coolsculpting session. Patient comfort (and ease of treatment) is one of the most popular aspects of Coolsculpting, so it’s no wonder that patients will often be paying attention to that. But does Coolsculpting work the way it’s advertised?

Does CoolSculpting Work?

But here’s where we get to the real question: does Coolsculpting actually work? The answer to that question is relatively simple: yes, Coolsculpting works, but only to a point. That is, Coolsculpting is not designed to make significant and substantial changes to the body. Instead, Coolsculpting is designed to be subtle.

During a Coolsculpting session:

  • A highly qualified medical professional will hold a handpiece up against your skin in the specified area
  • The handpiece will use extreme cold to both numb the area and start to break down the fat cells
  • Results should begin to show after several weeks. Most patients are able to return to most normal activities right after their session, but you should always check with your surgeon beforehand.

It can take several weeks to see the results from a Coolsculpting session. So patients should be prepared for that. It’s also worth noting that Coolsculpting is only as effective as the cold can reach. This means your Coolsculpting treatment will only be able to eliminate fat cells that are relatively close to the surface of your skin. That’s why results for most patients tend to be quite subtle.

What Other Options Do You Have?

One of the reasons that Coolsculpting is so popular is that options for non surgical, non invasive fat mitigation are quite limited. Kybella, the injectable, has shown promise. And there are plenty of other directed energy treatments that claim to be able to do what Coolsculpting does. But there’s nothing that surpasses Coolsculpting when it comes to non surgical and non invasive options.

Which means that if you have a significant amount of fat to remove, liposuction may be your best bet. During a liposuction procedure:

  • A highly qualified plastic surgeon will make a small incision in the target area
  • The surgeon will run a small tube called a cannula around the treated area
  • The cannula will remove fat via suction (sometimes assisted by heat, radio waves, or water, depending on the preferred method of the surgeon).
  • Recovery from a liposuction procedure can take several weeks
  • However, results from liposuction can be dramatic

According to the website of the Minneapolis liposuction experts at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, this body contouring surgery is capable of producing substantial transformations. Some patients–those who want to get rid of a substantial amount of fat–will be better served by liposuction than they would be by something less invasive, such as Coolsculpting.

How Do You Know if You Should Choose Coolsculpting?

The basic rule of thumb for choosing Coolsculpting is pretty simple: if you want a subtle transformation you should go with Coolsculpting. The same is true if you are averse to surgery for any reason, or if you need to be back on your feed in a very quick amount of time.

However, if you’re looking for a substantial and permanent transformation–and you have a couple of weeks to get yourself through recovery–liposuction is probably going to be the method of choice.

Before making any decisions, you should sit down and discuss all of your options with your plastic surgeon. Being upfront and transparent about what you want from your procedure can help ensure that you’re making the best possible decision for your desired overall results. Does Coolsculpting work? Yes, to a degree.

But that shouldn’t be the only factor when it comes to making your body contouring decisions. Because there are other procedures that work too. And you’ve got to figure out which one is going to work best for you.

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