What is CoolSculpting and How Does It Work?

What is CoolSculpting and How Does It Work?

It can be frustrating to eat right, exercise regularly, and still wind up with stubborn areas of fat you just can’t seem to shake. While diet and activity can help you stay healthy and get into shape, genetics and age can also play a role in how your body best burns fat. Many women especially have areas of stubborn fat they struggle with. 

While there are many options for how to finally get rid of body fat, there is a fairly new option on the market today that you may not have heard of. The trendy CoolSculpting method may sound too good to be true: freeze away the fat? Rest assured that CoolScuplting is easy and an effective way to lose fat and some inches. 

Is your interest piqued? Here are four of the things you need to know about CoolSculpting and how it works so you can decide if this awesome new method is right for you. 

1. Simple Science

CoolSculpting has been approved by the FDA since 2010, so it has actually been around longer than you think. Where before the only way to remove excess fat from your body was to go under anesthesia for a surgical procedure such as liposuction. Surgery with a long recovery time just isn’t practical for most people today. 

Luckily the scientists at Harvard Medical school discovered that fat cells could be targeted with cold temperatures to induce lipolysis, the term to describe when fat cells break down. This proprietary technology is called Cryolipolysis and is what occurs during a CoolScultping treatment. 

There are many ways to help fat cells break down, including the more traditional diet and exercise you’ve likely already been utilizing. For example, exercise also induces lipolysis by stimulating a hormonal enzyme that breaks down the fat. But when these options don’t seem to be working as well on stubborn areas. 

What these Harvard scientists determined was that by quickly cooling an area of fat, they could see a reduction of up to 25% of fat cells in a very short period of time. And thus CoolSculpting came to be. This exciting and fairly new science is amazing because it doesn’t take very long, in fact, CoolSculpting has earned the nickname of “The Lunchtime Lipo.”

CoolSculpting works because fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than the other cell in your body, so once the fat cells have crystallized they are eaten and expelled by your body. After your treatment, it can take several weeks for your body to finish this process, and for the fat to go through your lymphatic system completely. 

2. Skin is Protected

During this outpatient procedure,  the fat cells are frozen under specific conditions so that the surrounding tissue, especially the skin is protected. In fact, a gel pad and other protective layers are used during the treatment so that the skin only gets down to about 39 degrees Farenheight. This temperature is much higher than the cold that can damage skin cells. 

The only long term side effects of CoolSculpting is that your fat cells may die! Since that is the goal of the procedure in the first place this is a safe option to help destroy some stubborn fat cells! CoolSculpting is incredibly safe because you are awake during the procedure and it doesn’t take very long to complete, you are free to leave after it is over. 

CoolSculpting will also not hurt your muscles, so you can target your love handles without wrecking your hard-earned six-pack. How you react to a CoolScuplting treatment can vary. Some report feeling uncomfortable while others don’t feel anything. If you begin to experience pain however, your technician can help you determine the cause. 

The machine will be strapped to your body and it obviously gets cold but there is also a bit of suction that occurs while the machine is turned on. During the time the cool sculpting machine is strapped to your body, many spas offer you a warm blanket to help the rest of your body regulate its temperature. 

It doesn’t hurt to think warm thoughts during your treatment but the entire process isn’t very long! Many who have had CoolScultping say the first few minutes are the most uncomfortable until you get used to it. During the treatment time, you can read, watch television, or even scroll through your phone. 

3. Targeted Procedure

Unfortunately, the CoolSculpting procedure is extremely targeted. Because of the way the device works, during your consultation, the area that will be treated is traced out with a marker. This gives the technician and you a clear idea of on which area of your body the device will be placed and there is no confusion during the treatment. 

It is possible to get multiple areas CoolSculpted on one day, but you would need to discuss that with your location during your consultation so you can be sure to schedule enough time. While CoolSculpting acts fast as compared to basic dieting, if you have many areas you would like to CoolSculpt it will probably take multiple treatments. 

CoolScultping is primarily for smaller areas of your body and is not a weight-loss procedure. (You will lose inches, not pounds.) If you are looking for drastic results, it is likely that CoolScultping is not the treatment for you. During your consultation, you can ask the professionals your questions so you can make the correct personal choice. 

4. Patience is Required

Unless you find a magic lamp with a genie there is no immediate way to get rid of body fat. No matter which option you decide is right for you it will take some time to see results. Even with liposuction surgery, where the fat is removed from your body with a vacuum, there is immediate swelling and it takes time for your body to heal after the surgery. 

CoolSculpting doesn’t have the same recovery time as surgery but many people do report feeling sore for a while afterward, comparing it to the feeling they get after a hard workout. It takes time for the Cryolipolysis to set in, have your fat cells break down, and then be completely eliminated. This means it could be 1-3 months before your final results are in. 

Because each CoolSculpting treatment can see a reduction of about 25% of fat cells in a treatment area, it may take more than one treatment and many months before you get the results you’re hoping for. 

Taking before and after pictures is a great way to notice the difference in your body’s fat since the change is very gradual and you may not realize from day to day if you’re looking any different. That may seem disappointing considering your investment in the procedure but putting the pictures side by side will show you the results in a pleasing visual way. 


Choosing any cosmetic procedure is a completely personal choice. All bodies are beautiful in their own way and if someone you know is pressuring you into choosing CoolSculpting you should think long and hard about whether you want to make that investment. 

That said, if you are hoping for a way to help a stubborn area of your body look and feel improved, CoolScultping is a safe option and one that actually works! You can get great results easily when you try CoolSculpting. 

Rohit Raina
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