How does CoolSculpting Fat Freezing Work & is it Right for You?

CoolSculpting is a fat reduction method that removes excess fat from underneath the skin. It is also known as cryolipolysis.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a fat reduction method that works through a biologic process known as cryolipolysis, which gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2010.

Like other forms of cryolipolysis, CoolSculpting functions by cooling excess fat cells to freezing temperatures and breaking them down.

This process works because fat cells are generally more affected by cold temperatures than other cells. Therefore, the cooling temperature will damage only the fat cells.

How does CoolSculpting work?

This procedure can be carried out in a doctor’s office or an outpatient clinic.

To begin, the practitioner will assess the size and shape of your body’s fat deposit alongside its target area. They will then place a gel pad over the skin to protect it.

After, the practitioner will vacuum the part they want to treat into a device, known as an applicator.

This device will freeze the fat cells – or adipocytes – beneath the skin, causing intense cold and a tugging or pulling sensation that will last five to 10 minutes. 

Most CoolSculpting procedures take between 35 minutes and one hour and 15 minutes, depending on the target area.

CoolSculpting are commonly used for:

  • thighs
  • belly
  • back and sides
  • upper arm
  • beneath the chin and jawline
  • along your bra line
  • beneath the butt
  • Additionally, CoolSculpting can be used to limit the presence of cellulite on the arms, buttocks, and legs. Some other ones use it to reduce excess fat beneath the chin.

Is CoolSculpting Effective?

CoolSculpting is an effective fat removal process. According to research, it can destroy up to 25% of fat in the target area, although it may take months before the final results become apparent. However, you may start to notice changes about three months after treatment.

Who can use CoolSculpting?

Even though it is an effective fat-removal method, not everyone can use cryolipolysis.

Avoid using cryolipolysis if you have:

  • Poor skin tone
  • Loose skin
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Cold urticaria
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

Also, avoid CoolSculpting if you:

  • Have obesity
  • Are pregnant, breast-feeding, nursing
  • Can’t properly handle cold
  • Have skin conditions 
  • Inflammatory skin disorders

Lastly, avoid doing cryolipolysis on areas with:

  • Nerve problems
  • Varicose veins, and
  • Lesions or rashes

Whether you have these conditions or not, we advise that you consult your doctor before you undergo this procedure.

Side effects of CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure. That is, it does not involve any form of cuts, anesthesia, or medications. Consequently, it has only a few nonfatal side effects or complications.

Some of these effects are:

  • skin swelling
  • skin sensitivity or numbness
  • localized pain
  • redness
  • skin discoloration or bruising
  • bleeding
  • pain or aches
  • scarring
  • skin pigment changes
  • paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH)


CoolSculpting effectively destroys excess fat cells in your body.

However, it does not prevent the development of new ones. Hence, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle if you want a lasting CoolSculpting effect.

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