Planning Your First CoolSculpting® Session? Here’s What to Expect
When it comes to body contouring and getting a “bikini ready” look, few treatments are as popular as CoolSculpting®. As a plastic surgeon, I’ve helped patients from Fort Worth, Abilene, TX, and beyond create the slim bodies they’ve always wanted. CoolSculpting removes unwanted rolls and bulges by literally freezing away fat—without the need for surgery. However, some patients feel a bit nervous before their first session as they don’t know what to expect.
Good news: There’s nothing to fear from your first CoolSculpting treatment. If you’re curious about what exactly happens during a typical appointment, we’re here to walk you through the basics.
How Exactly Does CoolSculpting Work?
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the science behind CoolSculpting evolved in an unusual way. A pair of Harvard scientists discovered the concept after watching small children eat popsicles. They noticed that some kids got dimples in their cheeks after sucking on ice pops. The scientists realized this meant that—when carefully using suction—cold temperatures can target fat without harming other surrounding tissue.
But this doesn’t mean you should try DIY versions of CoolSculpting at home. Strapping an ice pack to your tummy can permanently damage your skin. Real CoolSculpting involves carefully controlled temperatures and a special handheld device that uses suction to prevent your fat cells from receding from the cold.
As the fat is securely held in place and exposed to cold air, the fat cells are “frozen”—your body will naturally and permanently shed those cells over the next couple of months. This process is known as cryolipolysis, and it can be used to treat several areas of the body where stubborn fat often accumulates.
What Areas Can Be Treated With CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting Elite, the newest generation of CoolSculpting devices, effectively reduces fat on the:
- Double-chin area
- Back (bra fat)
- Upper arms
- Outer thighs
- Inner thighs
It also diminishes fat that accumulates under the buttocks, often called banana rolls.
What Happens During a CoolSculpting Elite Treatment Session?
On the day of your appointment at our practice, we’ll lead you into the treatment room, where you’ll relax on a comfortable reclined chair. Here is what will happen once your CoolSculpting procedure begins:
Attaching the Applicator
We use different specialized applicators to treat specific areas of the body. The CoolAdvantage, for example, can treat the flanks, abdomen, and inner thighs, whereas the CoolMini can target smaller spots like fat under the chin. Most applicators use vacuum pressure to pull your tissue between the cooling panels. Multiple applicators can be used at the same time to treat different areas at once.
The Cooling Process
Most treatments take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete, depending on how many areas you’re addressing. When using DualSculpting or TriSculpting (utilizing 2 or 3 machines at once), this time can be cut in half. Throughout your treatment session, you get to relax while scrolling through your phone or watching our selection of Netflix movies. You may even enjoy a complimentary lunch we provide for our midday patients.
Once the cooling is complete, we remove the applicator and warm your treated area with a quick massage. You’re free to return home or go back to work after your session and resume your regular routine.
What Does CoolSculpting Feel Like?
If your applicator uses vacuum pressure, you’ll feel the suction as the tissue in your treatment area is pulled in and placed between CoolSculpting’s cooling panels. This feeling is similar to putting your head over the opening of a vacuum hose when the vacuum is on.
At the start of the session, your skin will feel cold as cool air rushes over the area. The feeling will fade as the area begins to numb. Most people find that they easily tolerate the coolness and numbness.
Does CoolSculpting Hurt?
No, CoolSculpting is not a painful experience. Your skin may tingle as it begins to numb when it is exposed to the cooler air. As the treated area warms back up after the cooling stops, you may experience redness, soreness, and sensitivity. This feeling typically fades within a few hours after your treatment.
What Results Can I Expect From CoolSculpting Elite?
It’s important to be patient when recovering after your CoolSculpting procedure. It takes a bit of time for the body to process frozen cells and flush them out of your system. Your target areas should begin to slim down about 1 month after treatment. Your final results will continue to improve over the course of 3 months as the body sheds more frozen cells.
By knowing what to expect, you can feel confident about your first CoolSculpting session. If you’re in the Abilene area and looking for a Fort Worth body contouring specialist, request a consultation online or call our office at (817) 228-4315.