Fat Freezing CalgaryIt’s best to be cautious of any medical aesthetic treatment that permanently destroy fat cells, such as Coolsculpting. Why? Coolsculpting has been advertised and promoted extensively over the past several years.  While it sounds appealing—who wouldn’t want to say goodbye to their fat?—you can trade one problem for another, or worse.

Coolsculpting applicators vacuum the skin and fat into an applicator, and keep it in place for 25 – 35 minutes while it literally freezes some of the fat inside.  Several applicators can be applied at the same time or same appointment.  Fat freezes faster than skin, which is why it shouldn’t cause frostbite when performed by a properly trained practitioner.  When the applicator is first released it tends to look like a block of butter!  Patients are then given a massage to start the healing process.  This is reported to be quite painful and may leave bruising, swelling, or numbness for a period of time.  Some of the fat from the treated area should gradually be eliminated over the next several months, meaning full results will take 3-4 months.

Results – Look closely at before and after pictures from Coolsculpting procedures, and note the number of sessions for those results.  For a client of average or slightly above-average size wanting an overall reduction in the abdomen and/or love handles, results are often minimal a few months after the first treatment.  Most clients are advised a second, or even third, round of treatments will be needed for a significant difference.

Negative results – Former supermodel Linda Evangelista was in the news several years ago talking about the permanent lumps she was left with after having Coolsculpting treatments, called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia.  While rare, it’s a possible outcome to consider.

Cost – The machines are very expensive, as are the treatments.  For a potential client of average weight wanting to reduce inches in his/her abdomen and love handles, expect to be quoted between $3,000-$8,000+ to treat these areas twice.  Again, most clients are advised a second round of treatments will be needed for a noticeable improvement.

Skin – While the fat is removed under the skin, the laxicity or firmness of the skin may not mold to the new shape and now become loose, or looser.  One client of mine in her 60’s had Coolsculpting done on her arms and was extremely disappointed with the results, as her skin was now much looser.  She wished the clinic had told her this would be the result, and said she wouldn’t have had it done.  The only remedy was an arm lift from a plastic surgeon, at great expense and discomfort, which she was reluctantly considering.  Coolsculpting is also not recommended to treat cellulite.

Long-term effects – Our bodies can change as we get older, with many women gaining some weight after they reach menopause.  Men often increasing weight–and inches–in the abdomen as they age.  If we lose weight, we can’t control where the fat – or rather the fat cell contents—will be released.  Similarly, we don’t get to choose where we’ll store extra fat (or increase our fat cells).

Now imagine no longer having the same number of fat cells, for example in your abdomen and love handle areas.  You might now increase fat cells, and therefore inches, in other areas of your body such as chin, arms, back and thighs.  Another possibility is having a lumpy appearance in the treated area, especially with any weight gain, as it may not provide even coverage or fat cell destruction.  And, finally, visceral fat may increase around internal organs, which can lead to more serious health concerns.  Coolsculpting hasn’t been available long enough to really know the long-term results 15 or more years later.

Caution – Be especially wary of any clinic offering “fat freezing” or “cryolipolysis” treatments similar to Coolsculpting that aren’t Health Canada or FDA approved, often found on deal sites.  Real Coolsculpting treatments are not allowed to be advertised on sites like these.  Cheaper, imitation machines can sometimes be illegally brought into Canada.  These are of inferior quality and staff are unlikely to be properly trained.  Coolsculpting treatments in a qualified clinic must be overseen by a physician for safety reasons.

In Calgary, Lipo Laser and Radiofrequency offered at NuCurves Body Contouring can help clients achieve faster body contouring results at a reasonable cost when compared to Plastic Surgery or Coolsculpting. For more information or to book a consultation, contact us or call Rhonda at 403-969-4371.

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