With laser hair removal a mainstay, it was only a matter of time before machines moved on to our other body beef – fat. We know you’re smashing it at the gym but if you’re curious about a leg up, this could be it. And much like our hair removal MVP there’s no surgery and no needles.
Here’s the scoop: The process, also known as cryolipolysis, is a noninvasive skin-tightening and fat-reducing procedure. A specialist applies a vacuum-like cooling panel over an area of your body—your stomach, thighs, wherever—which freezes and kills fat cells at temps of almost -10 degrees, according to a study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. (In case you were wondering, those fat cells make their exit through normal bowel movements.)
Think of it as a less intense version of liposuction. “There is no anaesthetic, no needles and no downtime. Patients can have the procedure in their lunchtime and be back at work the same day,” says Dr Rohit Kumar from Sydney Cosmetic Sanctuary.
Depending on the area and lifestyle, most people start seeing a result by 4 weeks and it reaches its maximum by approximately 12 weeks. “In some situations the area needs to be re-treated for maximal effect but the majority of patients will notice a difference in one treatment alone,” says Kumar.
Although it’s an expensive way to spend your lunch hour: Prices for each session are around $1,000.
It Won't Help You Lose A Tonne Of Weight
Just like liposuction is more about spot treating than delivering a full-body slim down, cryolipolysis won’t help you drop 10 kilograms. CoolSculpting should not be seen as a weight loss treatment but rather an adjunct to the hard work most people put in to get to their goal weight says Kumar.
“The perfect candidate is someone who is exercising and has got themselves to a reasonable goal weight but just can’t seem to remove fat from stubborn areas where no amount of exercise is helping.”
If you’re within 5kgs of your goal weigh, have a good diet and lifestyle and can’t move stubborn fat no matter how hard you try then CoolSculpting could be worth a shot.
And, just like liposuction, once fat cells in one area are depleted, your body will store fat (if you gain weight) in other areas of your body. For example, if you have cryolipolysis done on your hips, you may see future kilograms creep onto other parts of your body that you never had an issue with before.
It's Safer Than Lipo
That said, most cryolipolysis patients are usually satisfied. A study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology found 86 per cent of subjects saw improvements post-treatment and 73 per cent of patients were satisfied with the results. The researchers also note that it’s a safer and less painful body-contouring option than liposuction, since it doesn't involve poking holes in your body or risk puncturing organs.
The Bottom Line
Consult with a cosmetic medical practitioner to see if your skin has what it takes to tighten up with cryolipolysis. But be realistic about potential changes, and know it’s more about tightening than weight loss.
Note: Always consult a medical practitioner prior to any serious treatment if you have any concerns about the side effects or if you have specific questions about how you may react to a procedure like CoolSculpting.
This article was originally published by Women's Health.