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The Real Skinny on CoolSculpting

[fa icon="calendar"] September 30, 2018 / by Dr.J

CoolSculpting, a less invasive alternative to liposuction, has captured a lot of attention recently.  Here's a look at the pros and cons of the "hottest" fat reduction treatment out there.



The Good.

The Science is Legit.

The science behind CoolSculpting was developed by Harvard scientists after they noticed children that liked popsicles seemed to more often have dimples.  They postulated that the cold popsicle was melting the fat in their cheeks.  Turns out they were right and the CoolSculpting device was born.

It Can Be Done in the Office.

CoolSculpting can be done in the office and does not require any anesthesia.

There is No Downtime or Recovery Period.

Although patients will experience swelling and sometimes pain, patients can return to their usual routines immediately.

The Bad.

The results are underwhelming.

Studies have shown that CoolSculpting produces only 20% of the results patients get from traditional liposuction.  Keep in mind that number comes from a study conducted by the CoolSculpting company, so the results may be biased. 

What's more, unlike liposuction, there are no long term studies to support how long the improvement after CoolSculpting may last.

It may not be painless.

The initial procedure is followed by massaging the treated areas which can be uncomfortable.  It's been reported for patients to experience significant pain, especially in the abdomen, for 1-2 weeks after the procedure.

The recovery is not dissimilar to liposuction.

In our practice, patients can return to regular activities in just two weeks.  

There is no ability to "Sculpt" with "CoolSculpting".

The CoolSculpting procedure involves the placement of an applicator to the desired area.  The unit is then switched on.  There is no ability for the operator to shape the contours of the body like there is with the liposuction wand in the hands of a skilled Plastic Surgeon.

It's not as affordable as you may think.

Typically, Coolsculpting costs $750 per area.  Bilateral flanks, for example, would be considered two areas.  Patients need to keep in mind that many separate areas may need to be treated to obtain the desired results.  

Also, it is very common to have to repeat the treatments two or three times in order to get the desired results.

When you add it all up, according to RealSelf.com, the average cost for a CoolSculpting treatment is $2,275. This is actually more expensive than what our practice charges for one hour of real liposuction ($2,214)!


The Verdict.

There are many drawbacks to the procedure but, unlike many of the liposuction 'alternatives' out there, the science is real and many patients are satisifed with their results.

We offer CoolSculpting in our practice.  The ideal candidate would be someone with relatively little fat in one or two areas of the body, good skin tone, and a strong desire to avoid the operating room.  

Patients with significant amounts of fat or in multiple areas of the body would be much better candidates for operative liposuction.


Topics: coolsculpting


Written by Dr.J

Dr.Jeffrey Horowitz is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon committed to his patients' health and beauty.