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Does Freezing Fat Really Work?

Posted by Dan Narsete on



As technology improves, so does our desire to harness its power for aesthetic reasons. Let’s face it. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise routine is hard work, and occasionally, we want more than those habits can provide. If you have stubborn belly fat or haven’t seen desirable results from your exercise routine, you may be considering a different approach: CoolSculpting.

What It Is

Cryolipolysis, also known as CoolSculpting, received FDA approval for use on the sides of the body in 2010. Today, various applicators are used to treat different areas of the body, including the stomach, thighs, and arms. Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting has no downtime and requires no anesthesia … but that doesn’t mean that the results will be the same.


How It Works

The short answer is that a small vacuum device is placed over a gel pack on the target area, and the area is treated for approximately 30-45 minutes. The suction holds the device in place while the machine freezes the underlying fat cells, which causes them to die and ultimately pass from the body over a course of 4-6 weeks. Sounds good so far. No pain, no injury to the skin, and no need to take time off. But like any procedure, it has a downside.

The Cost

Hold onto your wallet, folks, because the cost varies depending on the area being treated as well as the number of sessions required. Some areas respond with just one treatment, but others may require follow-ups to get the results. The costs range from $650 per session for arms to $1,500 per session for the stomach. While arms and thighs are often treated in a single session, many patients require at least two sessions to treat the tummy area.

How Effective Is It?

After interviewing board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Martin, we learned that most people experience a 20-25% reduction in fat, but “approximately 10% of patients see no results.” Still, it does appeal to individuals looking for a non-invasive solution, especially for those who are unable or unwilling to undergo a liposuction procedure. Comparatively speaking, when taking cost into consideration, liposuction generally costs around $3,200 per the American Society of Plastic Surgery in 2016. You should keep that in mind if you plan to treat the stomach area because the cost may be similar or even more expensive if you require more than two CoolSculpting treatments.

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Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better able to make an informed decision about whether or not this procedure suits your needs and your budget. Keep in mind that neither procedure is intended as a form of weight loss, and CoolSculpting practitioners recommend that patients be “within 30 pounds of their recommended body weight.” Still, it’s exciting to know that a solution exists for those looking to rid themselves of that one stubborn bulge that just won’t go away despite their best efforts.


To your skin health,

Team Reflect 


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