My CoolSculpting Review With Pre and Post Treatment Experience, Photos, Cost and Video.
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
My name is Annie, I'm 27 years old and live in Los Angeles, CA. This is my experience
I had Coolsculpting done on my lower stomach in August of 2016. The reasoning for this was because I had gained 20lbs over a 2-year span and had never really dealt with too much excess fat on my stomach, so it really bothered me that it was there and I was having a hard time getting rid of it on my own...And yes, I know there’s no better solution than proper diet and exercise, but I was going to take any help I could get!
Anyway, I heard about the Coolsculpting procedure and how it's supposed to use fat freezing technology to completely cause cell death of your fat cells, resulting in fat loss. The technical term for fat cell death caused by freezing is cryolipolysis. It sounded very cool and I wanted to try it out for myself! It was also a non-invasive fat removal device that was FDA approved, so I figured it was relatively safe as compared to other surgical treatments.
First, I'll tell you about my Coolsculpting treatment before I get to my results. I had my Coolsculpting done at Newport Coast Dermatology by Dr. Grace Liu. They took me in to the room and explained the procedure to me. It was a little uncomfortable for me because the excess weight I had gained is something I was insecure about and in the room, there was the doctor and 2 nurses helping set up and take "before" photos of me... So basically, I just had to stand/sit there around 3 strangers with my belly hanging out, which was embarrassing for me, personally.
After the pictures were taken, they did the procedure in 2 separate, back-to-back, 30 minute sessions. They strap a large applicator to you on one side of your stomach (or whatever problem area of stubborn fat you’re getting treatment on) and it tightly suctions your fat in to it and it's FREEZING cold. You must sit there with it on the treatment area for 30 minutes. The first five minutes are so painfully cold, up until you lose feeling from becoming numb from the coldness. I would say it’s a solid 7 on the pain scale... maybe an 8.
After the 5 minutes of freezing pain, when the numbness hits, it's not bad at all! They left me alone in the room with an iPad on a stand and I got to relax and watch Netflix, so that was nice. They even gave me healthy snacks. It really was quite relaxing! Then, after the 30 minutes was up, the doctor and nurse came back in, took the machine off and massaged my frozen fat for several minutes. Not only was that part painful, but it was SO uncomfortable having a stranger literally massaging my stomach fat for 3 minutes.
After that, they had to repeat the exact same process on the other side of my stomach. They suctioned my fat into the Coolsculpting machine and again, I had terrible freezing pain for 5 minutes, numbness, relaxing with Netflix, 30 mins later a nurse painfully massaged my fat. The entire procedure itself took an hour, but I was probably there for a solid 1 and half or so from start to finish.
As far as aftercare, you're supposed to massage area for 3-5 mins everyday for several weeks to help break down the fat cells and get rid of the unwanted fat. One thing that I noticed after the procedure, was the slight bruising and swelling of my stomach. It was swollen for several days and the area that was treated felt sore... like the combination of a painful bruise and an intense workout.
After about a week, it started feeling weird and tingly. Almost like an odd nerve pain. The best way I can describe it would be that it felt like when you have a dead arm, but instead of your arm, it's the fat on your stomach (if that makes sense). Another side effect was that I had to use the bathroom, A LOT. I think that was normal because from what I understand, the fat cells leave your body through your urine. The extra bathroom visits lasted for several weeks. In total, my recovery time wasn't that long, a few weeks at most.
I did notice the amount of fat on the lower abs of my stomach started shrinking after about 2 weeks, if I'm remembering correctly. Overall, I did lose inches, but I didn't lose it all. After the initial loss of inches, I started eating well and exercising and lost the 20lbs I gained, yet I still have a little extra fat on certain areas of my stomach. CoolSculpting did help improve things to some degree, but I hear it works better if you're already relatively thin and have just a little trouble area to lose, otherwise you may need multiple sessions. It a non-invasive procedure, so I was not expecting very dramatic results.
My treatment was free in exchange for making a video of my experience and putting it on my Youtube channel. Otherwise, it would have cost $2,000 for a single treatment. Most patients require multiple treatments to get to their ideal weight.