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CoolSculpting: What is it and is it right for you?

Day in and day out, media outlets are filled with commercials advertising products and services promising to melt inches from your body. You wouldn’t be alone in wondering how to tell the difference between what’s out there and what might be the best option for you. We all want to look and feel our best, and CoolSculpting — a newer method on the market — has been making its rounds in television and web ads a lot lately.

What’s the hype?

If you’ve seen a CoolSculpting commercial (and chances are, you have) you’re probably asking yourself exactly how something could fulfill the promise to “freeze” away fat. CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared office procedure for patients with areas of unwanted fat that works by using a technique called cryolipolysis. Under the brand name, CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis is a specialized body contouring treatment used to reduce fat cell volume by targeting and freezing pockets of fat under the skin. This non-invasive procedure permanently eliminates fat cells in the body!

The method involves controlled application of cooling within the temperature range of +5 to -11 degrees Celsius for the localized reduction of fat deposits, intending to reshape the contours of the body. The fat cells effectively die off and the body is able to eliminate the dead cells through natural processing. Results can be seen as early as three weeks following the procedure, and will continue to improve over the first three months.

What about me?

While the concept behind CoolSculpting may sound intriguing, you may still be wondering, “Is this the best option for me?” The ideal candidate for the procedure is within 10 pounds of their goal weight with areas of stubborn fat. CoolSculpting can be used on many areas of the body including the abdomen, “love handles,” bra fat, sub-mental fat (double chin), and both outer and inner thighs.

If you’re curious about the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to the procedure and whether there’ll be any downtime, the good news is that patients usually need just one or two treatments to achieve their desired results. There are no restrictions following the procedure and patients may resume all normal activity immediately afterward. Specific treatment plans, potential risks, though minimal, as well as cost of the procedure can be discussed during a consultation appointment.

Eileen Maney, PA-C, is a physician assistant with Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery.
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