CoolSculpting for a Hot Body

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Posted by Staci Lehman on May 3, 2018, 6 a.m.

Love handles and belly rolls are the bane of pretty much everyone’s existence, even those in good shape. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work out or diet, you just can’t get rid of those last bulges.

If that sounds familiar, CoolSculpting might appeal to you.

“It’s the No. 1, non-invasive fat removal procedure on the market today,” said Dr. Susan Ashley, Medical Director at Healthy Living Liberty Lake. Ashley says about one-third of her practice is CoolSculpting clients.

Woman relaxing in pool

The procedure works by literally freezing fat.

“It is a cooling technique that targets fat cells and fat cells only to actually kill them,” said Kolbie Fletcher CPL, a certified medical assistant with Plastic Surgery Northwest, near downtown Spokane.

CoolSculpting works by gently pinching fat between applicators and cooling the area so much that fat cells crystallize and die. Each treatment kills 20 to 25 percent of fat cells in the area applied, although it takes six to eight weeks to see the effects. Most people go for a second or third round of treatment to lose even more fat. The best part – CoolSculpting is a long-term fi x.

“It’s permanent,” said Fletcher. “Our body is set with a certain amount of fat cells. After we go through adolescence we have as many fat cells as we’re going to get. … If you gain weight, your surviving fat cells can get bigger but there are still only a limited number that can grow.”

It sounds almost too good to be true. But CoolSculpting isn’t for everyone.

“If you have lots of weight to lose, it’s not for you,” Ashley said.

The procedure should not be performed if you have poor circulation in the area to be treated, neuropathy, open wounds, bleeding disorders, recent surgery or scar tissue in the treatment area, a hernia, eczema or dermatitis, are pregnant, or have a pacemaker or defi brillators, according to the American Med Spa Association (AMSA).

Other than that, the AMSA says CoolSculpting is safe and it’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The procedure has only been around since the 1990s, though, so long-term effects aren’t known. As for immediate side effects, both Fletcher and Ashley say, because it is a non-invasive procedure and there are no injections or incisions, the most they have seen is redness or bruising in areas treated.

Ashley hasn’t received any major complaints in five years of administering CoolSculpting.

“Other than having to buy new clothes,” she added.

Some people do report experiencing pain following the treatment. The AMSA reports that pain sometimes develops in patients who treat the abdomen three to five days after the procedure and it can last up to 10 days.

Who is getting CoolSculpting? The average clients are women in their late 40s or 50s.

“They’re women going through menopause or are post–menopausal … they’re healthy. They’re pretty consistent as far as their lifestyle and diet, but they just can’t get rid of that fat they didn’t used to have,” said Fletcher.

She also has male patients and some who don’t have time to eat right or work out due to busy schedules. The price for CoolSculpting depends on how many areas are treated and how many times. Two cycles on the abdomen costs about $2,000, according to Fletcher – a price many are willing to pay.

“I meet a lot of men and women who have a guilty conscious about vanity. But they run around taking their kids to soccer and ballet and doing things for everyone else and don’t have the time to take care of themselves,” she said