Coolsculpting® – The Nonsurgical Way to Remove Fat: How Does It Work?

coolsculpt atlantaWith the holidays coming to end, we can start to think about the arrival of warmer weather. It’s almost time to shed those winter layers, and trade in scarves and hats for shorts and bandeaus. But when losing layers, we may notice some unwelcome bulges we’ve gained along the way.

Coolsculpting®, a noninvasive procedure to “freeze the fat”, may be just the solution to address muffin tops, love handles and saddlebags on the thighs. A nonsurgical way to remove fat? Too good to be true, right? Let’s explore how Coolscupting® works and some frequently asked questions about the procedure.

What is Coolsculpting® and how does it work?

Coolsculpting® is an FDA approved procedure that safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to an area of the body. It targets the fat cells underneath the skin being treated. The fat cells are more vulnerable to cold and crystallize (freeze) leaving the other tissues in the area unharmed. Over the next several weeks to months, your body eliminates these dead cells, leaving a more sculpted you.

Will the fat come back?

To answer that question, we need to distinguish weight loss from fat reduction. When you lose weight, your fat cells get smaller, although they remain the same in number. With weight gain, the cells get larger. Coolsculpting actually reduces the number of fat cells in the treated area. If the cells are gone, they cannot get bigger.

Are there side effects that I should be aware of?

During the procedure, you may experience deep pulling, tugging, numbness and discomfort. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary numbness, redness, swelling, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging and pain. You should not have the procedure if you suffer from cryoglobinemia or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The treatment is not for obesity.

What is the downtime like?

Because CoolSculpting® is completely nonsurgical, you can typically return to normal activities immediately. Some patients experience redness, minor bruising, tingling, numbness or discomfort in the treated area, but this is temporary and will resolve completely. Often patients return to work after the CoolSculpting® session is over.

If you are ready for swim suit season but have trouble areas that have not responded to diet and exercise, CoolSculpting® may be for you. Come meet with one of our cosmetic physicians and aestheticians at the Emory Aesthetic Center for a complimentary consultation and say goodbye to stubborn fat.

CoolSculpting Special

For those who have made the resolution to lose weight or tone your body this new year, the Emory Aesthetic Center is offering a promotion discount of 20% off a package of 3 or more CoolSculpting® treatments. Learn more.


About Dr. Anderson

Erica Anderson, MDErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.

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