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CoolSculpting – Risks, Benefits And Does It Work?

- Written By

DR Maheen Sohail , BDS

Updated on

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.


In a modernized world where image and self-confidence play a remarkable role, the change of a sculpted body has become a common urge. One way to achieve a desired body shape that has captured the limelight is CoolSculpting. It is a compressive method that freezes your body fat cells without needling, injecting, or incising. Getting in shape has become more accessible and intrusive with the help of advanced medical procedures.

This significant fat-removing procedure has attracted interest and attention as a leading alternative to surgical methods. This article will explore how CoolSculpting has been a tipping point for intrusive fat reduction.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a non-invasive cosmetic method to decrease localized fat cells in particular human body areas. It is based on the fact that fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than surrounding tissues. The procedure targets and eliminates these fat cells through controlled cooling methods.

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How does it work?

CoolSculpting’s process is surprisingly simple yet remarkably effective. Here’s how it works:

Consultation and Assessment: The journey begins with a consultation with a qualified CoolSculpting practitioner. During this consultation, CoolSculpting before and after will be discussed, and the practitioner will assess whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. They will identify the areas to be treated and design a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Preparation: On the day of the procedure, you’ll be comfortably seated or lying down in a treatment room. The targeted area will be identified and marked by the practitioner. The skin in the treatment area is usually cleaned, and a gel pad is applied to protect the skin’s surface.

Cooling Applicator Placement: the CoolSculpting applicator is placed on the marked area. There are different types of applicators designed for various body contours and regions. The applicator delivers controlled cooling to the fat cells beneath the skin while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed.

Cooling and Treatment Duration: As the cooling begins, you may feel an initial sensation of cold, which quickly fades as the area becomes numb. The applicator suctions the skin and fat tissue into a cup-like device, creating a vacuum effect. The cooling process begins, targeting and crystallizing the fat cells. Each treatment cycle typically lasts 35 to 60 minutes, depending on the applicator and the treated area.

Relaxation and Activities: During the treatment, you can relax, read, use your phone, or even nap. Many people find the procedure quite comfortable and even use the time as a chance to unwind.

Massaging the Treated Area: After the cooling cycle, the applicator is removed, and the treated area is massaged for a few minutes. This massage helps to break down any crystallized fat cells and improve the efficacy of the treatment.

Resume Normal Activities: There’s no downtime associated with CoolSculpting so you can return to your normal activities immediately after the procedure. Some individuals may experience temporary redness, swelling, bruising, numbness, or tingling in the treated area. Still, these effects typically subside within a few days to weeks.

Results and Follow-Up: Over the weeks following the procedure, your body will naturally process and eliminate the damaged fat cells. Results become gradually visible, with most individuals experiencing noticeable improvement within two to three months. Multiple sessions may be recommended for optimal results depending on your goals and the targeted areas

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Costing of CoolSculpting

On average, the cost and pricing of CoolSculpting can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per treatment. Well CoolSculpting is customizable to individual needs, the total price can add up based on procedure, and the total cost is influenced by factors such as:

Treatment Areas: The more areas you want to treat, the more the cost will be. Common treatment areas include the upper or lower abdomen, thighs, arms, and chin.

Sessions: Some patient may achieve their required goal in one session, while others may require many sessions to reach ideal results. Each session can add to the additional cost.

Professional Experience: The expertise and reputation of the CoolSculpting professional can affect the cost. More experienced and reputable professionals may charge high fees.

Location: The cost of the treatment can be based on the standards and demand for cosmetic methods in a defined region.

Facilities: The clinic’s facility, the advanced equipment used, the ambiance, and the patient care facility can influence the cost.

Promotions and Special Offers: Some clinics may offer promotions or package deals that can reduce the overall cost.

Targeted Areas for CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting offers targeted treatment for specific areas of the body where stubborn pockets of fat tend to accumulate. This innovative technique allows individuals to address localized fat deposits without surgery. Following are the various areas that can be targeted with CoolSculpting.

  • Abdomen and Flanks 
  • Double Chin 
  • Upper Arms
  • Bra Fat and Back Rolls
  • Male Chest 
  • Knees
  • Flanks 
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Benefits of CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting aims to reduce stubborn fat in specific areas of the body. This procedure has gained popularity due to its potential benefits and advantages. Here are some of the advantages of CoolSculpting:

Non-Invasive and Non-Surgical: CoolSculpting is a non-surgical alternative to procedures like liposuction. It doesn’t involve any incisions, needles, or anesthesia, which means there’s no need for downtime or recovery.

Minimal Discomfort: Most patients experience only minimal discomfort during CoolSculpting. You might feel a cold sensation initially, followed by a mild pulling or tugging feeling as the targeted area is cooled. This discomfort is usually well-tolerated and temporary.

No Scarring: Since no incisions are involved, CoolSculpting doesn’t result in scars or visible marks on the treated area.

Customizable Treatment Areas: CoolSculpting can target specific areas of the body where stubborn fat is resistant to diet and exercise. Common treatment areas include the abdomen, thighs, love handles, double chin, and upper arms.

Gradual and Natural-Looking Results: The body’s natural processes gradually eliminate the fat cells targeted during CoolSculpting. This leads to a natural-looking reduction in fat over several weeks to months.

No Downtime: Unlike surgical procedures that may require significant downtime, CoolSculpting allows you to return to your normal activities immediately after the treatment.

FDA-Approved: CoolSculpting is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective method for fat reduction.

Long-Lasting Results: Once the treated fat cells are eliminated, they do not return. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise is essential to prevent the remaining fat cells from expanding.

Non-Disruptive to Daily Life: Since there’s no need for anesthesia, incisions, or recovery time, CoolSculpting sessions can often be scheduled conveniently without major disruptions to your daily routine.

Safety: CoolSculpting is generally considered safe when performed by trained professionals in a reputable medical setting. However, consulting with a qualified practitioner is essential to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure.

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Drawbacks of CoolSculpting

While CoolSculpting offers several advantages as a non-invasive fat reduction procedure, it’s essential to be aware of its potential disadvantages and limitations. Here are some of the disadvantages associated with CoolSculpting:

Limited to Fat Reduction: CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution. It is designed for localized fat reduction in specific areas of the body. It is most effective for individuals close to their ideal weight and have stubborn fat deposits resistant to diet and exercise.

Results Take Time: The effects of CoolSculpting take time. It takes several weeks to months for the treated fat cells to be naturally eliminated from the body. Patience is required to see the full effects.

Uneven Results: The effectiveness of CoolSculpting can vary from person to person and from one treated area to another. Some individuals might experience erratic or inconsistent fat reduction.

Multiple Sessions: Achieving desired results often requires multiple CoolSculpting sessions, especially for larger areas or more significant fat reduction. This can increase the overall cost and time commitment.

Other Side Effects: While most people experience minimal discomfort during the procedure, some may have temporary side effects like redness, swelling, bruising, numbness, or tingling at the treatment site. These side effects typically resolve independently within a few days or weeks.

Hyperplasia: In rare cases, some individuals may experience an unusual side effect known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. This occurs when the treated area develops an unexpected increase in fat cells instead of a reduction. It requires corrective treatment.

Not Suitable for Everyone: CoolSculpting is not suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. It’s essential to have a thorough medical assessment before undergoing the procedure.

Minimal Skin Tightening: CoolSculpting targets fat cells and does not significantly tighten loose skin. Additional procedures like skin tightening treatments might be needed in cases with significant skin laxity.

Cost Consideration: The cost of CoolSculpting can add up, especially if multiple sessions are required to achieve desired results. While it can be less expensive than surgical options like liposuction, it’s essential to consider the financial aspect.

Permanent Fat Cell Loss: While the treated fat cells are permanently eliminated, it’s still possible for the remaining fat cells in the treated area to expand if weight is gained. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to prevent this.


CoolSculpting may cause some discomfort during the initial minutes as the treated area becomes numb due to cold temperatures. However, most people find the procedure relatively tolerable. Afterward, as the area thaws, there might be mild sensations of tingling or numbness, which typically resolve shortly.

CoolSculpting typically results in a noticeable fat reduction of about 20-25% in the treated area after a single session. This reduction becomes visible over several weeks to months as the body naturally eliminates the targeted fat cells.

Treated fat cells are permanently eliminated by CoolSculpting, making it unlikely for those specific cells to return. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential as the remaining fat cells in the area can still expand if you gain weight, potentially affecting the overall appearance of the treated area.

The number of CoolSculpting sessions varies based on individual goals and the targeted areas. Many individuals achieve desired results with one to three sessions per treated area. A qualified practitioner can assess your needs and recommend a personalized treatment plan during a consultation.

Both CoolSculpting and liposuction have their advantages and are suited for different needs. CoolSculpting is non-invasive, with minimal downtime and gradual results. Liposuction offers immediate and extensive fat removal but involves surgery, anesthesia, and recovery. The choice depends on individual preferences, goals, and medical considerations.

the bottom line

It’s important to note that CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution but rather a fat reduction treatment for specific areas. Individuals considering CoolSculpting should have realistic expectations about the results and understand that multiple sessions may be needed to achieve the desired outcome.

Before undergoing CoolSculpting, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified medical professional who can assess your individual goals, recommend the appropriate treatment plan, and ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. The practitioner’s expertise and understanding of the treatment’s capabilities play a crucial role in achieving safe and effective results.

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