Nowadays, there are many procedures used to treat fat reduction such as liposuction, sculpture, and CoolSculpting. Because these treatment procedures eliminate body fat using different approaches, we also need to understand that these come with risks alongside them.

In this article, we will be discussing what can be the possible risks and side effects brought about by Coolsculpting.

Coolsculpting in a nutshell

Coolsculpting is a non-surgical fat reduction procedure that removes fat in specific areas of our body by freezing fat cells thus triggering cell death. The body then naturally removes these dead cells by expelling them from the body through natural means.

Coolsculpting can only be done onto the following areas of the body:

  • Double Chin & Under the Jawline
  • Bra Fat
  • Back Fat
  • Upper Arm
  • Flank/Side
  • Abdomen
  • Thigh
  • Banana Roll

When can I undergo this treatment?

Coolsculpting is a prescription use only treatment and may only be done under the advice of an attending physician. However, if you perchance happen to have the following medical conditions then you will not be prescribed this treatment which is why it is advised to inform your physician your entire medical history:

  • Cryoglobulinemia, which is having too many proteins in the blood that thicken in lower temperatures (known as cryoglobulins)
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, which is a blood disorder wherein change in blood temperatures from cold to warm leads to red blood cell death
  • Cold agglutinin disease, which is an autoimmune disease wherein exposure of blood to cold temperatures would lead to red blood cell death

What should I be wary of this treatment?

As this procedure hasn’t been that studied yet due to the lacking application demographic particularly in children, pregnant women, or patients with multiple specific illnesses or disabilities, there are only a limited number of side effects observed from previous treatments although these cases were extremely rare.

What are the common side effects to this treatment?

Although severe side effects happen rarely in this treatment, patients generally share common experiences during and after their treatments, some of which are listed below:

  1. Slabs of the patient’s fat are subjected to cold surfaces, usually between two cooling panels, for at least an hour or two, to which the patient must put up with. This evokes a pulling sensation on the portion of your body that is being exposed to the cold.
  2. Pain, stinging, or aching may occur on the treatment site, which typically begins two weeks after the treatment that usually lasts 3 to 11 days and goes away on its own. The cause of the stinging pain is found out to be due to the tissues and skin exposed to the intense cold temperatures.
  3. Side effects similar to frostbite may occur, such as temporary redness, swelling, bruising, and highly sensitive skin. Like the stinging sensation after treatment, these usually occur at least two weeks after treatment and would go away on its own.

Is Coolsculpting safe?

Despite all these scary terms and unwanted side effects, this treatment is safe and has been approved by the FDA. While the treatment is usually reliant on the attending doctor’s experience, with proper planning it is possible to reduce the risk of side effects and has many benefits over other traditional fat reduction treatments such as being non-surgical, noninvasive, and requires no recovery time. It is even possible to drive straight home or resume regular activities after the treatment. Consult your doctor and see if this is the right treatment for you.