The complete cool sculpting guide

The Complete Cool Sculpting Guide – Read Before you Buy

Are you interested in Cool Sculpting?

Are you wondering if it will work for your body?

Did you know that there are other non invasive weight loss therapies out there that may work as well?

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Cool Sculpting including how it works, how effective it is at helping you with fat loss, common side effects and other alternatives to consider before you get this procedure

Let's jump in: 

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What is Cool Sculpting?

I'm sure at this point you've at least heard of Cool Sculpting. 

It's marketed as a non surgical weight loss device which helps to cut down on fat. 

But how does it work and does it actually work?

Let's start with the basics first:

Cool Sculpting is a non-invasive procedure which is designed to reduce fat cells and therefore is known as a "fat-reduction treatment"

Notice that the name states that it is NOT a weight loss therapy. 

It is a fat-reduction treatment. 

patient satisfaction survey after cool sculpting procedure

So what is the difference there?

Well, when we talk about having extra fat on our bodies we often think of people being overweight. 

So it makes sense that if we target fat cells and reduce them shouldn't we lose weight?

In reality it doesn't work that way. 

Cool sculpting does NOT help with weight loss but it may alter the cosmetic appearance and shrink the size of existing fat cells. 

So what it does is change how you look in the mirror but it does NOT change your weight. 

Another good thing that Cool Sculpting has going for it is the fact that it is FDA cleared. 

But what does that mean?

Being FDA cleared means that the FDA has allowed it to be used for certain purposes and it can claim that it can be used for that purpose. 

In the Medical World people can't just make claims about products unless they actually do what they say they do. 

You can compare this to the cosmetic industry and the supplement industry. 

These industries can make claims that are not true and not supported by medical science, which makes it difficult to tell what works and what doesn't. 

The rules are different for medical devices (which Cool Sculpting falls into) which means that Cool Sculpting needs to be proven to work through clinical studies. 

So this is a good thing if you are interested in Cool Sculpting but it doesn't mean that other non-invasive therapies don't work. 

The problem with getting FDA Cleared is that it costs a lot of money and time. 

So many products don't go through the hassle of getting approved because it's simply cheaper to sell their products and not go through the testing. 

We will discuss other options below, but for now let's stay focused on Cool Sculpting...

Does Cool Sculpting Work?

And if it works, how does it work?

Cool Sculpting works by reducing the temperature of fat cells which causes direct damage to the cells and results in breakdown of your fat cells and therefore shrinkage. 

The official "mechanism of action" is apoptosis which means cell death (in this case it's referring to fat cells). 

The idea is that your fat cells become damaged at a higher temperature than the surrounding skin. 

So scientists developed a machine which drops the temperature of the skin, dermis and epidermis but does not damage these structures in the process. 

But because fat cells are damaged at a different temperature they are damaged in the procedure and then shrink in size. 

So Cool Sculpting allows a way to reduce fat cells WITHOUT damaging other skin tissues and structures. 

Because this is different than other procedures (such as ultrasonic cavitation) results are not immediately apparent right after treatment. 

In order for your fat cells to actually shrink there must be an inflammatory component which comes in and cleans up the fat cells. 

This takes anywhere from 14-30 days and is the reason that results are often considered "delayed". 

So right when you walk out of the treatment room you will NOT notice any difference. 

It can take up to 2-3 months for final results to be seen. 

Make sense? 

But the real question is this:

Does damaging fat cells actually work to reduce the size and appearance of fat tissues?

The answer is Yes, sort of, maybe. 

In order for cool sculpting to work you must be an "ideal candidate" which means that you fit certain criteria. 

In fact, Cool sculpting does not work on all areas of your body:

FDA approved locations for cool sculpting

In order for Cool Sculpting to work there must be sufficient amount of skin and fat, if there isn't enough in the area then the procedure simply won't work. 

If there is sufficient fat for the procedure to work clinical studies have shown that humans may expect up to a 20 to 25% reduction in the subcutaneous fat layer. 

This doesn't mean you will see a 20-25% reduction in your measurements, but it does mean that most people do respond with changes to their appearance. 

You can't take these percentages at face value because they don't take into account extra skin, fat cells that are deeper in the body or around the organs. 

These studies also report that up to 73% of people who underwent the procedure were considered "satisfied" with the results

Another point worth mentioning is that 

How Much Does Cool Sculpting Cost & Is it Worth it? 

If you decide to get Cool Sculpting done how much can you expect to pay?

Unfortunately the procedure is quite expensive, especially when compared to the other body contouring options available. 

In order to get optimal results you will often need to purchase a "package program" which means that you will need to come back for several sessions. 

Results from 1 session are often not that great, so several sessions are often necessary to lose a significant amount of fat. 

The amount of sessions that you need will depend on the amount of fat that you have and the area you are looking to treat. 

For instance:

The abdomen will need more sessions than your upper arm area and so on. 

But on average you can expect to pay around $2,000 to $4,000 dollars or around $1,000 to $ $1,500 per area. 

The more areas you need treated (such as the abdomen, arms and butt area) may run up to $4,000 or more. 

A lot of the price varies and is based on the location where you live. 

Larger cities tend to charge more than smaller cities. 

Why the difference in the price?

The price is usually based on the provider offering the service, but you can sometimes find groupons and other ways to help reduce the total cost. 

The real expense to the medical spa offering the procedure is the consumable portions of the machine which they need to purchase after every use, and the prices of these consumables is controlled by the company that creates the Cool Sculpting machine. 

So until these consumables decrease in cost the total cost of Cool Sculpting is likely to remain where it is for a while. 

Determining if Cool Sculpting is worth it will largely depend on your individual circumstance. 

If you've exhausted all of your other options and you haven't had any luck losing weight then Cool Sculpting may be the best option for you. 

In many cases, however, it may be smarter to spend less money on other therapies first and then use Cool Sculpting or other body contouring options as a last resort. 

Before & After Photos

I'm not going to include any before or after photos here, but I want to say one important thing when you look at these photos:

Before and after photos offered by Cool Sculpting (and other providers) often show the BEST CASE SCENARIO. 

If you notice they will always say something like "these results are not typical". 

So even though the before and after pictures are real (probably), it doesn't mean that your results will look the same. 

It's often best to look for businesses that show you the "great" results as well as the "average" results, so be on the look out for both. 

It's also worth pointing out that your results depend on the skill of the person using the device. 

So make sure that you find a location that has someone who is properly trained to use the device! 

Coolsculpting vs other Non-Invasive Fat Loss Procedures

It's also important to know that Cool Sculpting isn't the only option in town!

There are actually MANY other body contouring services that may work better than Cool Sculpting (depending on the individual). 

These other procedures are often cheaper than Cool Sculpting as well and may be a better option to at least explore. 

Other body contouring options include: 

  • Ultrasonic Cavitation - Ultrasonic cavitation is a therapy which uses ultrasound waves to damage fat cells (similar to cool sculpting) which results in fat shrinkage. Ultrasonic cavitation may be more painful than Cool Sculpting but it is quite effective as well. 
  • Radiofrequency - Radiofrequency is another tool that can reach the superficial layers of the fat and help shrink the skin. It's often great when paired with other therapies such as Ultrasonic cavitation which, when put together, can help shrink the skin AND help reduce fat cells. 
  • Low level laser therapy - LLLT may help shrink fat cells but is probably not as effective as the other therapies listed here. The benefit to LLLT is that it is quite cheap when compared to other therapies. 
  • LED Therapy - LED lasers have mixed results when it comes to shrinking fat cells but this procedure is often quite cheap making it worth considering for some people. 
  •  Weight loss wraps - Weight loss wraps work by simply dehydrating the body (they don't shrink or damage fat cells like other therapies) but they may be worthwhile if you are in a pinch and need to drop a few pounds for a vacation or something like that. 

Risks and Side Effects of doing Cool Sculpting

Is Cool Sculpting safe?

The long answer is that we don't really know. 

The short answer is that it is generally well tolerated. 

The reason we don't really know if it is safe long term is because it hasn't been around that long. 

So even though the results may be good over the course of 5-10 years we have no idea what those results will look like 20 years down the road. 

It's also worth pointing out that Cool Sculpting does indeed damage your fat cells and there is currently no evidence that they can grow back or regenerate. 

This is important to consider because what it means is that once fat cells are destroyed they will never grow back in the same spot. 

There is some concern that if you re-gain fat mass they may start to aggregate or form in other strange areas of your body - such as your upper arms or lower legs. 

So long term we aren't really sure, but what about short term?

In turns out that short term treatment is usually well tolerated

There is very little to zero risk of developing scarring, ulceration or disfigurement to the skin itself. 

In addition only minor bruising is occasionally seem along with some pain during the procedure. 

There is a small risk of causing inflammation to the fat cells in your body, known as panniculitis, but this isn't seen very often. 

So the short term side effects are minimal but we don't have a lot of data about the long term consequences. 

The biggest thing to worry about is the potential for long term regrowth of fat cells and an abnormal distribution of fat cells in your body if you gain weight at a later time. 

Other Weight Loss Therapies

When considering Cool Sculpting the real question is this:

Should you take the risk and spend the money to get this procedure done instead of going another more safe route?

Perhaps another, and better, alternative to Cool Sculpting is using weight loss (and fat loss) medications and therapies which have been shown to work and do not cause serious side effects. 

What kind of therapies am I talking about?

  • MIC/B12 Injections - Fat burner injections can be used in combination with exercise routines and other therapies to help with weight loss. 
  • HCG - HCG is a hormone that can help improve your thyroid and help balance sex hormones. 
  • Thyroid hormones - Thyroid hormones such as Liothyronine and Cytomel can help increase metabolism and may help with weight loss. 
  • Weight loss Medications - Weight loss medications such as Saxenda and newer medications such as Contrave may help treat obesity. 
  • Diets & Nutrition programs - You never want to go on a diet, but nutritional programs such as ketosis and whole 30 can help reduce inflammation and may help with weight loss. 
  • Exercise programs - It may be time to kick the old way of exercising (run of the mill cardio) and start high intensity interval training programs which help with weight loss more than other exercise modalities. 

The point is don't think that you are out of options

But what if you've tried all of these and they haven't worked?

In that case it may be worth sitting down and considering if Cool Sculpting (or other therapies) are right for you. 

It absolutely may be the case that getting Cool Sculpting is worth the peace of mind and the increase in self confidence that it may produce!

Just make sure that you exhaust and look at ALL options before you jump in. 

Final Thoughts

Cool Sculpting is a non invasive procedure that may help you to contour your body and reduce the shape and appearance of your fat. 

Before you get this procedure done make sure that you look at all non invasive alternatives and make sure that you have exhausted other, more safe, weight loss therapies!

For those who do decide to undergo Cool Sculpting you can take comfort in the fact that most people are very happy with their results and there are usually no immediate side effects. 

Before you get it done just realize we don't know how people will respond to this therapy long term (the studies aren't there yet) because it is a relatively new procedure. 

But now I want to hear from you:

Have you tried cool sculpting?

Did it work for you?

Are you considering getting it done?

What other procedures have you tried?

Leave your comments below! 

Kat Rich

Hi! I'm Kat and I write these posts. I'm obsessed with eyebrows, hair and anything related to fitness. Right now I do microblading, 3d brows and semi-permanent eyebrows in Mesa, Arizona as a certified microblading artist. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and have been for over 10 years as well. I love experimenting with new products and love to share my experiences. Have questions? Leave them below!

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