Popular culture bombards us with images of idealized bodies and marketing messages for weight loss programs, supplements, and exercise regimens. And with increased public awareness of the dangers of obesity, the motivation to shed fat is greater than ever. "But even people who are generally fit have stubborn bulges and pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise," says Jayme Bashian, director and lead medical aesthetician of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa. "Body contouring can smooth, shape and improve definition of specific areas—thighs, love handles, buttocks, upper arm and back—by reducing and removing fat from the body."
Historically, the primary technique for body contouring has been liposuction, a surgical procedure that breaks up and removes fat from under the skin. While liposuction is still one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedures in the U.S., the expense, time and risk of complications of surgery have spurred interest in non-invasive procedures that achieve similar results. "There have been important advances in non-invasive fat removal," says John Troccoli, M.D., dermatology specialist for Advanced Dermatology P.C. "These procedures take advantage of the physical properties of fat cells that differentiate them from other cells and remove them selectively without affecting surrounding tissue. Fat cells can be selectively targeted by techniques that include cold, ultrasound and laser therapies."
One popular procedure is Cryolipolysis. "We've seen a great deal of interest in Cryolipolysis, which uses controlled cooling to target fat cells," says Bashian. "We use an FDA-cleared procedure called CoolSculpting to safely and effectively target fat under the skin and permanently remove it from the body." The science behind CoolSculpting is based on the observation that exposure to low temperatures injures fat under the skin—effectively freezing it—while leaving the skin intact. After exposure, the fat cells atrophy and, over time, are naturally processed by the body and the dead cells are eliminated.
Tips about the CoolScupting procedure
- Schedule consultations with potential clients to develop an individualized treatment plan that is based on the number of areas they want to treat and their goals.
- Explain the calm atmosphere during the treatment—many people relax, read, or watch videos.
- Prepare them for the initial cold shock. As the device is applied to the targeted area, they will initially feel intense cold and may experience the sensations of pulling, tugging, or pinching.
- Post-procedure side effects may include temporary numbness, redness, swelling, or stinging in the treated area. Most people return to normal activities immediately.
When will results show?
Improvement may be apparent several weeks after treatment but the fat cells are eliminated over time and the effect will be most noticeable about three months after treatment. The body will continue to slough off fat cells for four to six months after a single treatment and clients may continue to see a smoother contour as the thickness of the fat layer at the treated site is gradually reduced.
CoolSculpting has been cleared by the FDA and is safe for most people who have noticeable bulges that resist diet and exercise. It is not a solution for obesity and is not appropriate for people with disorders that make them highly sensitive to cold. "Removing unsightly bulges without invasive surgery is an ideal solution for many people," says Bashian. "Our customers are pleased with the results and are often motivated to make further lifestyle changes to improve their health and appearance."