There's never been an easy way to lose unwanted fat, until now. People who wanted a slimmer physique have historically (and rightly) turned to diet and exercise, which is great for shedding pounds and improving health, but can nevertheless allow stubborn pockets of fat to remain. Removing those deposits frequently involves surgical liposuction as an aesthetic fat reduction method, but that carries the typical post-surgery recovery requirements. Now, there's a new treatment that eliminates fat from the body with no need for downtime, incisions, or painful injections: CoolSculpting® at Houston's Nuveau Medical Aesthetics.
CoolSculpting® is a nonsurgical procedure ideal for cosmetic fat reduction. Not a weight-loss treatment, it addresses problem areas such as love handles, "muffin-tops," and bra fat, as well as a bulging abdomen, to give patients a sleeker silhouette. It's also FDA approved for sculpting the inner/outer thighs and the chin area. With the recent and exciting innovation of CoolSculpting® treating the double chin (submental fat), Nuveau Medical Aesthetics now offers a full spectrum of tools to sculpt our patients from head to toe. Come in for a comprehensive full body evaluation and see a slimmer, better you!
The technology driving CoolSculpting® works off of the fact that fat freezes at a higher temperature than do other cells in the human body. When the CoolSculpting® device drops the temperature in a targeted area, the fat cells freeze and rupture. Damaged beyond repair, the targeted fat cells are then processed and removed from the body as waste via natural processes. This cell die-off and removal is known as apoptosis, and it can happen on its own for a variety of reasons.
In terms of fat, by the time we hit puberty, the total number of fat cells in our body has been fully developed and won't change over time. When we gain weight, individual fat cells grow in size to create bulges, but the number of fat cells stays constant. With diet and exercise, the fat cells shrink without affecting the total number of fat cells in our body.
In reality, fat cells in certain areas might not shrink at all, even with a change to eating habits or activity levels. Pockets of so-called stubborn fat resist even intense physical efforts at slimming down, historically prompting many men and women to seek a more invasive strategy.
Liposuction physically removes unwanted fat cells, leaving no chance for those cells to fluctuate in size, as they're no longer in the body. Surgical removal, however, requires the use of general anesthesia, as well as recovery time, since incisions are made, fat is suctioned out, and the incisions sutured closed.
CoolSculpting® is noninvasive and nonsurgical and requires no down time on your part. No incisions means no medications to prevent infection and no scars. Patients report feeling suction/pressure and intense cold at the treatment area during the first five to 10 minutes, which fades as the tissue becomes numb from the cold.
Many patients choose to occupy themselves with an activity throughout their CoolSculpting® treatment. Depending on the length of the session and the area being treated, they may read, watch a program or movie on a phone or tablet, or catch up on work via a laptop. Some patients choose to nap.
In the days immediately following a CoolSculpting® session, redness, slight bruising, and sensations of tingling or numbness might develop. All of these are normal side effects of the treatment and its ongoing work, and they should resolve quickly and permanently.
CoolSculpting® can be applied to most of the areas on the body where excess fat gathers. The main regions are:
The CoolSculpting® system can treat so many areas because of its versatility and the number of applicators available to customize treatments.
Most of the applicators work on the same principle: A cup pulls tissue to be treated between two cooling panels, using vacuum energy to draw the pinchable fat in. When the panels activate, they pull heat out of the targeted tissue, using sophisticated sensors and monitoring, thermal coupling gel pads, and other technology to ensure that the area cools down evenly and no more than is necessary to damage the fat cells and only the fat cells.
This is the applicator of choice for patients who want fat removed from their abdomen. Not intended for large-scale reduction or small-area finessing, CoolCore™ is a reliable option that delivers consistent, significant, and visible results to a wide range of men and women. It can be applied elsewhere, too.
Designed for a procedure known as "debulking," this is the applicator for patients who want more than just a tweak to their silhouette. CoolMax™ is not a substitute for weight loss, but its large-volume reduction capacity makes it an effective tool in cases where a more dramatic aesthetic change is desired. It can handle fat that "hangs over" on the abdomen, as well as other areas where a large amount of fat cells congregate.
Perfect for a small, localized pocket of fat, the CoolMini™ excels at reducing or eliminating patients’ double chins. It can also be used on the arms or knees.
While the other applicators have cups with a curve to their edges, the CoolFit™ design features a cup with straight lines, created with long stretches of fatty tissue in mind. This can be the inner thighs or arms— wherever a vertical expanse of skin is available.
Unique among the various CoolSculpting® applicators, CoolSmoothPRO™ does not vacuum-pull tissue to be treated into a cup. This is because not all fat is technically pinchable, so it can’t be drawn into a space between two panels. CoolSmoothPRO™ instead has a flat surface that pulls heat from the treatment area, such as the outer thighs.
The Nuveau Medical Aesthetics team can help each patient to decide which CoolSculpting® applicator will best deliver satisfying, slimmed-down results, especially at the midsection, where a bulge at the belly or love handles might require a focused approach, while overall circumferential fat would call for a broader strategy.
While the fat-freezing is immediate, it takes some time for the cells to die off and begin leaving the treated area. Some patients start to see changes just three weeks after their treatment session, but while a reduction in fat deposits may be noticeable that soon, the most dramatic changes will be visible in about two to three months, and the elimination process can continue for half a year.
A very common concern we hear at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics is when to start your CoolSculpting® treatments. Some patients believe they should lose more weight before undergoing CoolSculpting®. Because CoolSculpting® kills and thus reduces the number of fat cells in the targeted areas, losing weight is not necessary before starting your treatments. In fact, the effects from a CoolSculpting® treatment are permanent and often inspire people to make lifestyle changes that include a better diet, more exercise, and healthier living in general. If you gain weight after this fat-reduction procedure, you may notice that it distributes more evenly throughout your body, since there are fewer fat cells to enlarge in the targeted areas.
Depending on your individual goals, you may need to schedule multiple appointments with Dr. Cheng for ideal results. The number of treatments and where CoolSculpting® is applied will determine how long your sessions will take, as well as the cost.
Zeltiq, maker of CoolSculpting® devices, reports that one treatment is enough to generate noticeable results in a vast majority of patients, citing a 92 percent success rate in a 2015 study. Subsequent treatments can further improve on results.
Evidence from scientific studies into CoolSculpting™ has been published dozens of times, appearing in more than 55 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts.
Check out these frequently asked questions about CoolSculpting®.
While CoolSculpting® eliminates fat, it does not address loose skin that can also contribute to bulges or a look of flabbiness on the body, especially below the chin. Ultherapy® is an ultrasound-based treatment that stimulates collagen growth within the skin, prompting the outermost layers to tighten and smooth away wrinkles, as well as lift from a sagging position. Ultherapy® is particularly suited for addressing lax skin on the face and neck, making it an ideal complement to CoolSculpting®. One treatment can flush the unwanted fat cells creating a double chin from the body, while the other can pull up the resulting loose skin as necessary.
The excess fat eliminated by CoolSculpting® can put increased pressure on veins and hinder proper circulation, leading to spider veins. Nuveau Medical Aesthetics offers laser vein removal, which safely destroys the colorful, visible lines.
Patients enjoying a new, slimmer figure may want to show off more skin than usual, which can also prompt a desire to get rid of unwanted hair. Laser hair removal is available.
During your CoolSculpting® consultation at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics, be sure to bring up the full scope of cosmetic changes you would like to see for your body and skin. Together, you can create a comprehensive plan to generate satisfying, natural-looking results.