It seems too good to be true right? Sit comfortably, reading a book or checking your emails and killing fat cells at the same time, no way! This isn’t some crazy contraption you find in the back of a gossip magazine, it is the result of years of scientific research that began when scientists at Harvard University discovered that some children who ate popsicles, got dimples in their cheeks. The popsicles were actually freezing the tissue from inside the mouth and eliminating small pockets of fat. They realized that cold could destroy fat cells without damaging the tissue that surrounds it or the skin.
This process is called Cripolysis and is the basis of the CoolSculpting system. Although CoolSculpting can be done almost on any area of the body, we’ll focus for now on the popular area, the abdomen.
By now, you’ve probably seen the CoolSculpting ads where you can tell that the model in the ‘after ‘ picture did not start out very overweight. So what’s the deal? Is CoolSculpting only for thinner people with small pockets of unwanted fat?
CoolSculpting works as long as there is enough pinch-able, soft, squishy fat present. The question is, what are your expectations and what are you willing to spend to have non-invasive, non-surgical fat reduction instead of it’s the more invasive counterpart, liposuction?
It would be unrealistic to think that you can get from a size 24 to 12 in 1-3 months but what if your tummy area was out of proportion to the rest of your body in fat distribution and you would be happy if you could reduce it by a few inches?
(Photos courtesy of Dr Thomas Young- Results are not guaranteed and vary with each individual)
The cost for Liposuction in Canada ranges from about $5,000 to $10,000. Depending on skin elasticity, muscle tone, excess skin, the costs would rise with the addition of a tummy tuck etc. Anytime you move into the area of an invasive procedure, you also increase your risks (see list below).
How much tummy fat is too much for CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is advertised as being best for people who are active, healthy, with just a pocket of stubborn fat. However, as long as none of the *contraindications exist, someone falling into the category of being obese, (level l: BMI of 30-34.9 or Obesity level ll: BMI of 35-39.9) can still do CoolSculpting. It will take more treatments to achieve significant fat reduction and therefore it will also be more expensive. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just do Liposuction? Sometimes, but not always, and not everyone wants to deal with the process of liposuction, its risks, downtime and the wearing of an elastic garment for weeks afterward.
Plus, although CoolSculpting is not indicated to tighten the skin post treatment, many patients have experienced just that.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Kim (no results are guaranteed and they vary for each client.)
What would CoolSculpting cost for someone with more fat to reduce?
We refer to the 45-minute treatment of one section as a cycle and each cycle costs $750 except for the large, de-bulking applicator called the CoolAdvantage Plus, which is $1500 and covers about 2 1/2 times the area of the smaller applicators. Assuming you might need the CoolAdvantage Plus and 2 smaller applicators (as seen below) for each full treatment, then you would probably need to repeat that treatment a second and possibly a 3rd time.
You would be looking at $5400-$8100 plus tax to hopefully achieve a result similar to this. (Remember that no results are guaranteed and they vary for each client.)
Keep in mind when purchasing your package that there is usually a larger percentage discount off the cost the more cycles you purchase. So, have a consultation and purchase the estimated amount of treatments up front if you can.
CoolSculpting may leave you with some soreness and bruising for a week but you can carry on with your regular activities immediately after the treatment. The option for CoolSculpting is there for you. Start with an assessment so you can make choices based on your own customized treatment plan.
There are two contradictions for Coolsculpting. These are Cryoglobulinemia, this is where an abnormal level of proteins thickens the blood in cold temperatures and the second condition is paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, this is a blood disorder in which cold temperatures lead to red blood cell death. If a patient is very hypersensitive to the cold it is advised not to have Coolsculpting.
- Known sensitivity to cold such as cold urticaria or Raynaud’s disease
- Impaired peripheral circulation in the area to be treated
- Neuropathic disorders such as post-herpetic neuralgia or diabetic neuropathy
- Impaired skin sensation
- Open or infected wounds
- Bleeding disorders or concomitant use of blood thinners
- Recent surgery or scar tissue in the area to be treated
- A hernia or history of a hernia in the area to be treated or adjacent to the treatment site
- Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or rashes
- Pregnancy or lactation
- Any active implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators
(Results are not guaranteed and vary with each individual)
Liposuction risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Change in skin sensation that may persist
- Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs and abdominal organs
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Fluid accumulation
- Irregular contours or asymmetries
- Irregular pigmentation
- Need for revision surgery
- Persistent swelling
- Poor wound healing
- Rippling or loose skin, worsening of cellulite
By M. Wally
Age is a state of mind. Aging is a treatable condition.