freezing belly fat: what you should know about coolsculpting

Freezing Belly Fat 101: What You Should Know About CoolSculpting®

Fat freezing is all over the internet as an option for fat loss, but does freezing belly fat work? The short answer is yes. But why and what does the fat freezing process entail? Read on to find out.

What is Fat Freezing?

Fat freezing, also known as cryolipolysis, is exactly what it sounds like – using a freezing temperature to destroy fat cells. This process is more commonly known as CoolSculpting, which is the only FDA-approved, non-surgical fat reduction treatment available.

CoolSculpting is used to target stubborn pockets of fat that diet and exercise just can’t seem to get rid of. Fat cells are frozen using the CoolSculpting system. Then, in the weeks and months following the procedure, your body breaks down and disposes of destroyed fat cells, leaving you with fewer fat cells. This might have you wondering, does fat freezing work for your belly? If you’re looking to lose that last bit of stubborn belly fat, then yes, it does.

What Can I Expect From a CoolSculpting Session?

Before your CoolSculpting session, you’ll meet with a dermatologist trained in CoolSculpting and a CoolSculpting coordinator for an initial consultation. During this consultation you’ll discuss your expectations, concerns, and more. A 360 degree body exam will help you and your dermatologist decide areas to target during the procedure, as well as how many sessions are needed to reach your goals.

During the actual CoolSculpting session, you’ll be awake the whole time, but don’t worry, it’s a noninvasive procedure and most people mention a slight tugging sensation as the most uncomfortable aspect of the procedure. Your dermatologist will mark the areas being targeted at the beginning of the session with a skin-marking pencil.

Now it’s time for the procedure to begin. A gel pad, which is used to protect the skin, is applied to the areas that are going to be targeted during this session. Once the gel pad is in the proper place, your dermatologist will use attach the applicator to the area.  This is held in place by a stabilization straps and a mild vacuum. At first you may feel tugging, tingling, or intense cold, but within five to ten minutes, these lessen as the area becomes numb due to the cooling process. The applicator stays in place for typically 35 to 45 minutes.

Once the treatment is completed and the applicator has been removed, the area is massaged for two minutes to help the process of breaking down fat cells. The applicator is then attached to the next area to treat and the process is repeated. And that’s all there is to a CoolSculpting treatment!

How Long Does a CoolSculpting Session Take?

The length of a treatment depends on the area to be treated.  For a small area, such as the chin, the treatment may last only an hour.  For a larger area, such as the abdomen, the treatment may last several hours. There is little to no downtime, meaning you can return to work or other responsibilities immediately following your appointment.

How Many Fat Freezing Sessions Do I Need?

Most people need two CoolSculpting sessions per targeted area. These sessions are completed 6-8 weeks apart. With two CoolSculpting sessions, many people see a 25% reduction of stubborn fat. You and your CoolSculpting team will determine the number of sessions needed to reach your goals during your free consultation.

How Long Does Fat Freezing Last?

Because fat cells are destroyed during a CoolSculpting treatment, results are long-term. However, people who maintain a healthy lifestyle see the best and most long term results from a CoolSculpting treatment, as it is used to reduce stubborn pockets of fat rather than as a weight loss treatment.

Is CoolSculpting Worth it for Belly Fat?

If you’re looking to specifically target belly fat, you may be considering CoolSculpting vs liposuction. While both CoolSculpting and liposuction are fat reduction procedures, there are many differences to consider. The main difference is that liposuction is an invasive procedure (meaning liposuction is a surgical procedure and anesthesia may be required), while CoolSculpting is not.

With liposuction, you’ll likely spend a few hours in recovery. You can return to work after a few days, but it can take a few weeks before you can resume normal activities such as exercising. With CoolSculpting, you can return to work and normal activities almost immediately.

There are also fewer risks involved with CoolSculpting since it is a noninvasive procedure. The most common side effects following a CoolSculpting session include slight bruising or tenderness, while risks associated with liposuction include numbness, infection, fat embolism, and fluid accumulation.

Whether CoolSculpting is worth it for belly fat is ultimately up to you. However, it’s most suitable for people in good health that are looking to reduce fat in the abdomen, back, thighs, jawline, under the buttocks, and the upper arms. Our highly trained CoolSculpting providers and staff will provide all the information you need to make the decision whether CoolSculpting is worth it for you.

How Quickly Will I See Results From CoolSculpting?

How quickly you see results following your CoolSculpting session will vary based on how quickly your body breaks down the targeted fat cells. However, most people see results as early as three weeks but see the best results three months out from the treatment.

Is CoolSculpting Safe?

Now that you know more about CoolSculpting and how well freezing belly fat works, one of the main things you may be wondering is, “Is CoolSculpting safe?” Yes, it is! It has been FDA approved as a fat reduction technique since 2010. The machine used for this procedure increases the safety of this procedure as it delivers precisely controlled cooling to targeted areas. If the skin becomes too cold, the system is set to shut down immediately. Additionally, this is a non-invasive procedure and no anesthesia is used.

It’s not just the machine that increases the safety of this cosmetic dermatology procedure, but our board-certified dermatologists and staff here at Vujevich Dermatology Associates are experts trained in CoolSculpting. All of our CoolSculpting procedures are conducted in our state-of-the-art Ambulatory Surgery Center. We ensure the highest standard of care and patient safety at our CoolSculpting® Pittsburgh location. To ensure you’re comfortable with the procedure, we offer a free consultation to discuss your goals, expectations, and more.

If you have other questions, including regarding the cost of CoolSculpting®, we’re happy to answer all of your questions during your free consultation. You can contact us today to schedule your free consultation or fill out our form below, and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all things dermatology.

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