CoolSculpting is a non-invasive modality that uses freezing of fat, called cryotherapy, address fatty regions. There is no surgery involved and most patients return to their normal lifestyle immediately after the 1 hour treatment.
The advantage of CoolSculpting over liposuction is the non-invasive nature of this treatment. There is no down time, no compression garments to wear, and no restriction on physical activity or exercise. CoolSculpting has been proven to be very safe and very effective. It is FDA cleared for reduction of fat in the abdomen, thighs, and the flanks or love handles.
And now…. the new CoolMINI applicator is also available. With this addition, we are now able to additionally treat the double chin area, the knees, and the fat in the upper breast near the armpit which so many women complain about when wearing tank tops! We are so excited to bring this new CoolSculpting modality to Santa Barbara.
As part of our comprehensive CoolSculpting Center, Dr. Lowenstein is the only plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to offer CoolSculpting in Santa Barbara. This means that your consultation with Dr. Lowenstein will allow for a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan based on all of the options available for body contouring. Our extensive experience with CoolSculpting has made our Body Contouring Center one of the premier CoolSculpting Centers in the country. We have performed thousands of treatments over the past 3 years of utilizing this amazing technology, and our patient satisfaction is outstanding.
The ideal CoolSculpting patient is generally fit and within 10-20 pounds of his or her ideal body weight. Similarly to liposuction, the best situation for CoolSculpting involves healthy overlying skin with good elasticity. CoolSculpting is not a means of weight loss. CoolSculpting treats discrete pockets of fat that often are resistant to diet and exercise. CoolSculpting is commonly performed in the following areas:
- Upper abdomen
- Lower abdomen
- Medial thighs
- Flanks or love handles
- Back in the area of the bra region
- The double chin
- The knees
- Deposits of fat in front of the armpit
Extensive research has gone into the development of CoolSculpting, and it has been found to be very safe. Studies into cryolypolysis, or fat freezing, have shown no significant changes in the amount of lipids or liver enzymes in the blood after CoolSculpting treatment. The body digests the treated fat similarly to digesting a french fry each day. There is no excessive stress on the body, and this is why the FDA has cleared CoolSculpting for safe use in the United States.
The fat cells that has been killed with CoolSculpting get dissolved and digested very similarly to fat in your diet. It is excreted in the bile and eliminated in the stool.
Because CoolSculpting is a noninvasive and office based procedure, no operating room is required, and no anesthesia is involved. Before you arrive at the office, you will be asked to wear loose, comfortable clothing. When you do arrive at Montecito Plastic Surgery, you will be escorted to the CoolSculpting room where you will be marked for CoolSculpting treatment.
After marking, a cool gel pad will be placed over the area to be treated with CoolSculpting. This gel provides two functions: it protects the skin from damage and also aids in transmission of the cold temperature to the tissue. Following the gel pad, the CoolSculpting applicator will be applied. As the CoolSculpting machine has several applicators to treat different areas of the body, an individualized choice of CoolSculpting applicator will be utilized.
When the CoolSculpting applicator is applied, you should expect a pulling sensation that Dr. Lowenstein likens to “being grabbed a little harder that you would like to be grabbed.” It is very infrequent that this sensation is felt to be strong enough to be problematic. Following applicator placement, you will be asked to lie back on a comfortable exam chair where pillows and blankets will be arranged to make sure that you are comfortable for the hour long treatment. The freezing mechanism of the CoolSculpting machine will then be engaged, and the area that is being treated will become numb. Interestingly, patients never complain of general coldness during CoolSculpting treatment- the freezing is localized to the area of therapy.
You may bring your work or a book or iPod with you, or you may use our iPad to read magazines, surf the web, or watch a movie. We do suggest you bring your own headphones for your treatment.
Following an hour treatment, the freezing will be halted and applicator will be removed. At this time you will notice what feels like a frozen area of fat, similar in consistency to a frozen stick of butter, in the area that has been treated. Vigorous massage of the area will follow, performed by our experienced staff, which re-establishes warmth and blood flow to the area of CoolSculpting treatment.
As many of our patients will have more than one area treated in a single day, a short bathroom break may be taken before the next area is marked and the process is repeated in a subsequent area of CoolSculpting treatment. Up to 6 areas of CoolSculpting can easily be accommodated in a single visit to the office should you wish to treat several areas, or multiple areas can be treated over several different visits if this is more accommodating for your schedule.
Z Wave is a device made by the Zimmer company which some spas and doctors have adopted instead of using manual massage after CoolSculpting treatment. The Z Wave treatment is often added as an extra charge. Zeltiq, the company that makes the CoolSculpting machine, does not endorse Z Wave for many reasons. Extensive research by Zeltiq has shown that manual massage after CoolSculpting treatment improves the CoolSculpting results and does not require the additional charges often associated with Z Wave. Because of our interest in maximizing the effectiveness of our CoolSculpting treatments, we do not use Z Wave. Our extensive experience follows CoolSculpting protocols without trying to sell our patients additional Z Wave treatments that may provide less optimal outcomes.
There is little in the way of postoperative instructions following CoolSculpting in Santa Barbara because of the non-invasive nature of the treatment. There is no surgical garment necessary and most patients return to any physical activity or exercise immediately. There is likely to be some bruising in the area treated as well as some numbness and tingling which can last a week or two.
Few patients complain of significant pain, and when this does happen it is most often following treatment of the abdominal area. This rare discomfort has been described as a feeling of bloating or of cramping or as if the patient had done 100 sit-ups. The discomfort is significantly diminished as compared to discomfort following surgery and has always gone away in the course of a few short days.
The results from CoolSculpting are usually seen best after a period of six to eight weeks. You will return after approximately 8 weeks for your postoperative photos, and an assessment of your progress. As with any procedure performed by Dr. Lowenstein, he and his staff remain available to you for questions at any time following your CoolSculpting procedure.
Results may vary from patient to patient.