18 Oct Contrary to Discover Magazine’s Headline, CoolSculpting is NOT the “New Liposuction,” But Here’s What It is
Recently, Discover Magazine asked in a headline if CoolSculpting is the new liposuction. Similar questions are also routinely asked at RefinedMD. The truth is that the two procedures are worlds apart in many ways, including the results. First, let’s take a look at liposuction, which is a surgery that comes with all the inherent risks of cosmetic surgery. With liposuction, fat is vacuumed out (sometimes it’s liquified first) through a thin cannula. There is a recovery period, incisions (albeit small), and general anesthesia required. Liposuction can remove relatively large amounts of fat, but it isn’t a “weight loss” surgery like bariatric surgery (the latter of which is intended for obese patients).
CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive with no needles required. Patients are awake, comfortable, and usually read a book, work, or check out social media during the 30-minute treatment. The science behind CoolSculpting was discovered by accident 40 years ago when researchers noticed that kids who ate a lot of frozen treats had less fat in their face. Even when exact freezing temperatures are external (pressed against the skin), it turns out that fat cells can “freeze to death.”
CoolSculpting does not remove large amounts of fat. You might notice a 1 – 2 pound weight loss after the end of your sessions, but CoolSculpting is about contouring and sculpting rather than weight loss—the goal is even in the name! Some overweight patients might benefit from liposuction, but those suited for CoolSculpting are already at or near their goal weight. Their primary concern is small, stubborn areas of fat.
Do CoolSculpting and Liposuction Have Anything in Common?
There are two things these two treatments have in common. First, the fat cells that are removed with liposuction or frozen away with CoolSculpting are gone for good. These cells aren’t simply shrunk, which is what happens with diet and exercise. This means they will never return or grow back. However, nearby fat cells can increase in size if weight gain occurs and spill into a previously treated area. This can give the appearance of regaining weight in these areas.
The other thing these two treatments have in common is the ability to target sites. With diet and exercise, not only can fat cells just be reduced, you have no control over where this occurs. Your natural body shape and tendency to hold onto fat in certain areas means that diet and exercise alone probably won’t get you the results you want. If you’ve used a healthy lifestyle to get to a weight you’re happy with, what’s next? What if you still have saddlebags, love handles, or even a double chin? That’s where both liposuction and CoolSculpting can help—but only CoolSculpting requires no downtime and has no surgical risks.
What to Expect with CoolSculpting
The results of liposuction are immediate, but CoolSculpting takes time—patience is a virtue, after all. This is because it takes a few weeks for the targeted cells to die and be absorbed and expelled by the body after getting frozen. Most clients need 3 – 5 CoolSculpting sessions per site to reach their goal, with appointments spaced a few weeks apart. Full results can be seen six months after the final treatment, but some results can be seen just one month after your first appointment.
More and more people are realizing the benefits of CoolSculpting, making it a more sought-after choice. It is estimated that over 8 million people have opted for CoolSculpting since it became available in 2010. Compare that to an average of 265,000 liposuction surgeries each year, and it’s clear that CoolSculpting might quickly become the preferred treatment.
Are you ready to learn more about body sculpting procedures like CoolSculpting and Emsculpt? Get in touch today for a consultation! You can connect with RefinedMD by calling the office, or for the quickest response simply complete the online form right now.