Being a beauty and wellness writer, I’ve been invited to try CoolSculpting® at dermatology and plastic surgery offices on multiple occasions. I was always skeptical to try body contouring devices, however, because I felt I could achieve the results myself. My answers for toning up have always been barre classes, eating clean, and minimizing bloating foods. While I never had my ideal body, I always worked hard to keep it in shape.
Recently, I was invited to the Skin Cancer & Cosmetic Surgery Center of New Jersey to try CoolSculpting®, and — drum roll, please — I finally accepted. Read on to learn more about my experience and see my before and after.
The Benefits of CoolSculpting®
Finally succumbing to the allure of CoolSculpting® was a big move for me because I have always had too much pride. But, after having a baby almost three years ago, my abs never looked the same, and it’s made me very self-conscious.
CoolSculpting® (a.k.a. cryolipolysis) is a controlled cooling technique that works by freezing fat cells at negative 11 degrees Celsius to permanently destroy them. Most patients experience a 20 to 25 percent reduction of fat in the treated area, and it’s approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address visible fat bulges under the chin and jawline and on the back, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, flanks, and, yes, abdomen.
Not only is it safe, but I can now attest to its effectiveness and the fact that, while there are side effects, there’s no downtime.
Ideal Candidates for CoolSculpting®
Generally speaking, CoolSculpting® (like so many non-surgical body contouring procedures) is best for people with relatively healthy lifestyles but are looking to get rid of stubborn fat that seems to be immune to diet and exercise.
To determine if I was a candidate, I first went in for a consultation with lead aesthetician, Christina Lombardi. “If there’s an inch to pinch, you’re a good candidate for CoolSculpting®,” she said. Sure enough, I had just about an inch on my lower abs.
It should be noted that, when treating the stomach, it’s typically recommended to treat both the upper and lower abs, so they look uniform. I wasn’t a candidate for the upper abs, but I proceeded with scheduling an appointment for my low abdomen.
Once my treatment day rolled around, Christina measured out the target area (as seen in the photo above) and placed a gel pad made of glycerin and honey over it to protect my skin from the cold. As soon as she put the device on the first side of my lower abs, it sucked in my fat like a vacuum stuck to a rug. She warned me that I may feel burning, pinching, pulling, or tugging. I felt some pulling, but, overall, it was a comfortable experience.
Each side of my abdomen took 35 minutes. I sat in a comfortable oversized chair under a blanket working on my laptop as I froze away stubborn areas of fat – permanently. It was the most peaceful and productive hour and a half I had all that week.
After the time was up, Christina did a gentle manual massage on the area to help break up the fat cells, which my body would absorb and excrete through sweat and urination. The treatment area looked like a hard stick of butter and was completely numb.
CoolSculpting® Recovery & Results
For the next two weeks, my low abs were swollen. Sensorially, some areas felt numb, while others were tender. I opted for athleisure-wear instead of jeans to be as comfortable as possible. Christina mentioned that swelling is actually a good sign of fat cells dying off, so I welcomed it with open arms. I was instructed to drink lots of water to help the process of elimination and am expecting to see full results three months after treatment. To date, I’m a little over one month out.
The number of CoolSculpting® treatments needed to achieve desired results in a given area varies from person to person, but the average is two. As I mentioned, the fat reduction is permanent, but continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle is the key to maximizing results. I like to look at CoolSculpting® as the icing on the cake. It’s a great treatment for people who have an active fitness routine and eat well — but are having trouble with stubborn areas of fat.
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