At least twice a day someone asks me this question, and since I’m a surgeon, I used to just blow it off with the answer: “Oh, that doesn’t really work. To get the stubborn fat pockets off that won’t go away with diet and exercise, you need to have a lipo.”
I am not retracting my answer, but I would like to clarify.
For the wish lists of nearly all of my patients, this is true. This non-invasive/no-downtime fat reduction procedure cannot take the place of a lipo. Usually. It does not work like a lipo, and will never replace what a liposuction surgeon can do it. But it does do something.
I would put it this way: Compared to doing nothing, it works. Compared to doing lipo, it works a little.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of deceptive advertising of the “fat freezing” procedure—I don’t know about other cities, but here in Los Angeles the billboards make it look like if you sign up, you will be one fat freeze away from having the body of a supermodel. This is NOT the case. Unless you are one of those absurd people who already have that body.
I have yet to come across an objective guide to “fat freezing” by an expert for the consumer, so I decided to create one myself, with the help of my friends at Ava MD who always have the latest and greatest lasers, and are honest about all of them.
“Five things to know about Cool Sculpt”
1) “Cool Sculpt” is the brand-name for the fat freezing machine made by the company Zeltique. It works by killing fat cells by freezing them, and then over time your body eliminates the fat, meaning you pee it out. The traditional machine has a “clamp” that is really good only for the love handles and abdomen. If it is used anywhere else on the body, it can make a dent. It can still make a dent regardless if not done properly. There is a new machine that has a flat plate and that can be used for other problem areas like saddlebags, knees, and inner thighs, or other areas that are not “pinchable.”
2) It is a painless procedure that takes an hour per area. (ie) ONE love handle (flank) is ONE area. So YES–to do BOTH sides, that’s TWO HOURS sitting there, if the place you go to only has one machine. There can be some bruising and soreness, and a “pulling” sensation, but it doesn’t require taking pain medication and you can go on about your regular routine afterwards.
3) Each area usually has to be done at least twice, and should not be done closer than three months apart. It takes several months to see a result, so you will not see an automatic body sculpting like you do with liposuction. So results might not be visible for six to nine months. This system cannot give you liposculpture results. The system is supposed to kill up to 30% of the fat cells in an area, but the result is never guaranteed. I know some people that have had a great result with it, and some that saw no difference. The ones that saw no difference probably needed more treatments.
4) Okay, so this is the kicker: COST. At a reputable place, it will usually cost approximately $800/area. That’s EACH SIDE.
So to do both love handles, that’s $1600, and most likely it has to be done more than once to be effective, so that’s $3200 over a period of six months to see the difference. The average cost for a lipo of that area—that is going to GUARANTEE a result immediately– is usually not much more than that. So It’s not as inexpensive as it first sounds.
5) If you ARE going to do it, and you are in the L.A. area, go see my girls at AVA MD. They have been doing it for a long time and will be honest with you about your expectations. They also do give discounts when you buy packages.
- ***Note: Remember–with a fat freezing procedure, your fat cannot be used for cosmetic enhancement of your face, breasts or buttocks—a procedure that starts to sound like a really good idea when you get older.
Hope that was helpful! I’m warning you—if anyone starts asking me about “that fat freezing thing,” I’m going to direct you to here. J