Fat is such a complicated thing to get rid of. Of course, there is liposuction, tummy tucks and lifts for everywhere. Most of these procedures require surgical intervention in the operating room by a plastic surgeon (unless, of course, you want to end up on the latest reality tv show that specializes in botched outcomes). These procedures unfortunately require time to perform, down time from work and are rather expensive. Who has time for that? Recently we have seen the advent of non-invasive fat reducing procedures such as CoolSculpting and Sculpsure. The purpose of these procedures is to get rid of those trouble spots that the crunches aren’t touching.
First- what is CoolSculpting? Coolsculpting is an FDA-approved treatment that involves freezing fat cells. There is an applicator that applies suction to the area that you want to target and the applicator brings the temperature of the fat cells down to the point where they are irreversibly damaged. These cells eventually die and are then eliminated by the body, which is why it takes a few weeks to see the final effects of the procedure. This technology is really for specific trouble spots that are large enough to adhere to the applicator- tummy fat, love handles, thighs, bra fat, banana roll (fat underneath your butt).
Instead of freezing fat cells, Sculpsure uses heat to kill fat cells and then the body eliminates those cells within a couple of weeks. Because it is using heat to kill fat cells, this can be a more painful procedure especially for people with sensitive skin.
The biggest advantage of these minimally invasive fat reducing procedures is that there is very little down time and the risks are minimal compared to more comprehensive surgical procedures like liposuction and tummy tucks. The biggest disadvantage is that they only target specific areas, the results take weeks to appreciate, and can be very variable: up to 15% of participants did not see any improvement after treatments. At $1500 per trouble spot, that can be pretty frustrating.
If you are considering a fat reducing procedure, of course we always recommend that you give that cheap, old-fashioned option a try first- diet and exercise. If that doesn’t work, we recommend that you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options before making a decision. While Coolsculpting may be the perfect remedy to eliminating fat in certain areas, there may be certain instances in which a more traditional surgical approach would help you achieve your desired goals. While this is not a service we offer, we hope this information is helpful!