in Houston, League City & Clear Lake, TX
No matter what kind of shape you’re in, no matter if you’re at your ideal weight, the odds are you still have pockets of fat here or there that are incredibly difficult to get rid of. Truth is, the human body is good at storing and maintaining pockets of fat in certain areas, such as the abdomen and the flanks, even under our chin. Changes in diet and exercise don’t seem to have any effect on this stubborn fat.
But you can put that fat in a deep freeze with CoolSculpting at Dr. Carpin’s Houston practice. CoolSculpting is a completely non-invasive procedure that uses controlled cooling to destroy up to 20-25 percent of the fat in the treatment areas.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting was the first non-invasive method for removing unwanted pockets of fat. The treatment utilizes controlled cooling to freeze fat cells in the treatment areas. Those fat cells die and are then flushed from the body by the lymphatic system.
The FDA first approved CoolSculpting in 2010 for use on the flanks. Since then numerous other areas have received approval.
How does CoolSculpting work?
CoolSculpting evolved out of an initial study of children eating popsicles and the development of dimples in their cheeks. Two Harvard scientists theorized that the cooling effect of the popsicles somehow affected fat in the children’s cheeks because dimples form where there is a dearth of fat.
That was the origin of CoolSculpting.
The scientists discovered that human fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than the muscle and support tissue cells surrounding the fat. CoolSculpting uses panels that deliver controlled cooling down into the treatment area; this freezes the fat cells but leaves the other tissue undamaged. This process kills around 20-25 percent of the fat in the treated areas, and the body then breaks down and flushes these cells away over the course of the next few weeks. With almost a quarter less fat in the treated areas, the patient’s contour slims.
What are the benefits of CoolSculpting?
The benefits of CoolSculpting are numerous.
- Remove 20-25 percent of the fat in the treatment areas.
- Completely non-invasive.
- No injections. No incisions.
- During your session, you can read, take a nap, watch videos, whatever.
- There is no downtime.
- There is no recovery.
- There are no reactions.
- FDA approval for eight different treatment areas.
- No danger of skin burning or damage.
- Over 6 million procedures have been done worldwide.
- Just about anyone can have CoolSculpting done.
Who is a good candidate for CoolSculpting?
Some people believe CoolSculpting can be used as a weight-loss procedure, but that’s not the case. CoolSculpting is meant to remove unwanted pockets of isolated fat, not to reduce overall fat across the body. Dr. Carpin generally wants her CoolSculpting patients to be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight to have this procedure. Other than that, there really aren’t many restrictions on who can have CoolSculpting done. The only people who absolutely cannot have CoolSculpting are those suffering from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
Where can I have CoolSculpting done?
The FDA has approved CoolSculpting for reducing fat in these areas:
- Back fat
- Bra line fat
- Underneath the buttocks
- Double chin
- Upper arms
Is CoolSculpting treatment painful?
You could call the feeling chilled, but not painful. First, you’ll sense a feeling of light suction as the CoolSculpting panels draw up the skin, underlying tissue, and fat between the two cooling panels. When the CoolSculpting panels deliver the fat freezing cold down into the targeted tissue, you’ll feel a sensation of intense cold for up to 10 minutes, but then the area becomes numb and you don’t feel anything else for the rest of your session. Our patients say the feeling is unusual but not painful.
What is Coolsculpting treatment like?
During your CoolSculpting session, a member of our team will position the CoolSculpting panels over the treatment area. Light suction is applied to the skin and underlying tissue, drawing the skin and underlying fat up between two cooling panels. Controlled cooling is then delivered into the tissue below. The temperature is set to the point where it freezes only the fat cells, leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. Once the fat cells are crystallized they gradually die. As it does with any unneeded byproduct, the body’s lymphatic system then gradually flushes the dead fat cells from the body.
This process is repeated several times across the target area until we have covered the entire area. A CoolSculpting session at Dr. Carpin’s generally runs from one to three hours. During your session, you can read, work on a laptop, watch videos, or even take a nap.
What happens to those frozen fat cells?
The process of freezing the fat cells to the point of cell death is called cryolipolysis. It’s the secret behind CoolSculpting. Fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than muscle tissue, blood vessels, skin, and other tissue. Once the fat cells are frozen, they die and the body gets about the business of removing them from the system, as it does with any waste products. The lymphatic system is responsible for this cleanup job, and it breaks down and flushes these dead cells from the body over the course of the next few weeks and months.
How does CoolSculpting work on smaller areas like the bra line or for a double chin?
CoolSculpting developed a smaller handpiece known as CoolMini. For smaller areas, we use this handpiece to freeze the fat cells. Otherwise, the procedure is the same.
Is there recovery after my CoolSculpting session?
Immediately after your session, we’ll massage the treatment areas to help get the blood flowing and to alleviate the numbness. From there, you can get right back to your normal activities; there isn’t any recovery. That’s just another amazing thing about CoolSculpting.
How many CoolSculpting sessions do I need?
Many patients have a single session, others more. Each area treated with CoolSculpting requires about one hour. During the first treatment in an individual area, the freezing kills 20-25 percent of the fat in the area. Subsequent sessions on the same area don’t freeze and remove the same amount of fat.
Once our patients treat an area such as the abdomen, however, they often come back to treat a second or third area in subsequent months.
How long before I see results after my CoolSculpting session?
You won’t see immediate results with CoolSculpting. This is because, while the fat cells have been frozen and are dying, it takes time for the body to remove them. Some patients say they begin to see changes in around three weeks, but the most dramatic results will show themselves after two months or so. And these results keep improving for up to six months.
How long will my CoolSculpting results last?
The process of freezing and killing fat cells is known as cryolipolysis. The fat cells frozen and killed do not regenerate: they are gone for good. The fat reduction is permanent. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, your results will last forever. If you do gain weight, it usually tends to build elsewhere first.
Is CoolSculpting safe? What are the side effects?
CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive. The FDA has approved CoolSculpting for the eight body areas listed above. There are no incisions of any sort. After treatment, patients usually have some degree of redness, slight swelling, bruising, and skin sensitivity on the areas where the CoolSculpting applicators drew the skin onto the cooling panels. These after-effects are due to the outer skin reacting to the intense cold delivered in a CoolSculpting session. They usually pass within a couple of days to a week at most. At Dr. Carpin’s, we’ve found that these feelings and sensations don’t keep our patients from returning to work or their normal activities immediately.
Although very rare, more serious side effects such as extreme pain, severe numbing, and bloating along the area of contact with the cooling panels are possible.
Dr. Carpin is a big fan of this non-invasive fat reduction treatment. CoolSculpting is the most popular non-invasive fat reduction treatment in the world — to date over 4,000,000 CoolSculpting treatments have been performed around the world. This innovative treatment has proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce fat.
Are there risks involved with CoolSculpting?
This is a very low-risk procedure. When the treatment area skin is drawn up onto the CoolSculpting paddles, you’ll feel a sensation of pulling and mild pinching. This is followed by intense cold. Then the area becomes numb. After your session, the skin on the treated areas will be red, somewhat tender, and may swell slightly and bruise. These are not widespread issues, and they resolve themselves quickly.
How much does CoolSculpting cost?
The cost of your CoolSculpting session is variable depending on the area you’re having treated. Larger areas require various applications of the CoolSculpting panels and cooling. Smaller areas may be able to be completed in a single positioning. You can call our offices and give us more information about the areas you’re thinking of having treated and we can give you a good idea of the cost.
Does insurance cover CoolSculpting?
Some patients think CoolSculpting is a weight-loss procedure, but it is not. CoolSculpting is a body-contouring procedure, meaning the goal is to slim the contour by removing up to 25 percent of the fat in the area. But the goal is not to remove large amounts of fat. That is done with bariatric surgery, and bariatric surgery is usually deemed a medical necessity for the patient’s health. As a body-contouring treatment, insurance companies view CoolSculpting as an elective procedure, and they do not provide coverage.