CoolSculpting. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t heard of it until a friend mentioned it to me last year and in all honesty, it seemed to good to be true. CoolSculpting literally freezes the stubborn fat on your body in sections on your body and is the only FDA approved non-invasive fat-reductive treatment. Think about those “trouble areas” that everyone has. A lot of women complain about underarm fat, excess fat around their lower abdomen that just won’t budge, or even excess fat around the thighs. For me, my stubborn trouble areas were my lower pooch on my stomach and my side flank area (think in the love handle area but a little lower than that). As an avid exerciser, it really bothered me that there was NOTHING I could do to tone those spots and/or make them disappear with diet. I really thought I would have to live with them forever because I did not want to go under the knife to get rid of them. Plus, I had become pretty good at disguising them, but now that I’m in my 30’s, I have found them to be more prominent and FREAKING ANNOYING. Before I go any further, I want to share something with you. I actually like my body. I work really hard to maintain a healthy weight and overall, I feel lucky to have a body that continues to serve me so well and I will continue my priority to keep it as healthy as I can. However, there are parts of my body that I don’t like and want to fix and that’s 100% okay. I’m all for loving your body but if there is something that can help me achieve the results I want, I am ALL for it.
When Tri Valley Plastic Surgery reached out to me and invited me into their beautiful Dublin office to chat about working together, I was super excited. Tri Valley Plastic Surgery is well known in the Bay Area for their excellent patient care, which is a high priority for me, especially when I’m trusting someone with my body. When I came in for my CoolSculpting consultation, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I had never done anything like this before. You might remember, the only “plastic surgery” I had ever experienced was Botox and this was very different from that. However, I was immediately at ease once I realized that I was in such good hands with the staff at Tri Valley Plastic Surgery. I had a few questions that were answered honestly (something I really appreciate) and the way that I was walked through what to expect from the procedure was comforting. I tend to run a bit on the anxious side, so not knowing what to expect always makes me nervous. However, the doctor that walked me through everything and answered my questions was very detailed and knowledgeable. What really struck me was that CoolSculpting, being a non-invasive procedure, has zero recovery time once you’ve finished. How amazing is that? Another thing that I was unclear on was how long it would take to see results. Let me tell you upfront that the results are not immediate. In fact, results take months to show so technically I am still waiting to see results. Don’t worry, there will be another blog post outlining my results coming soon!
If you are thinking about getting CoolSculpting, let me walk you through a few things you should know:
What To Expect:
Before your procedure, you will have a consultation with a medical professional about the areas that you would like to have CoolSculpted. That medical professional will look at the stubborn areas you want to target and assess your treatment plan from there. Let me tell you a funny tidbit from my consultation. Once we had determined where I wanted to have the CoolSculpting done, the doctor asked me to show me the areas, which is no big deal. When I lifted my top and unbuttoned my jeans, the doctor got right up close to my areas and then said “Tamryn, could you take a deep breath and relax your stomach so I can accurately determine what areas to focus on?” I told her that I was relaxed but then when I took a deep breath, I felt my squishy bits fill up her hands and she started squishing away. Haha! I still think about how funny that situation was because I must’ve been sucking in my tummy even though I didn’t realize I was. I mean, if someone wants to look at my stomach, I’m gonna suck it in. I would say this was the only slightly embarrassing moment but hey, that’s why I went right?! Anyway, your treatment plan will be customized for your body. The doctor assessed that there were four areas that she thought would be perfect for CoolSculpting, two on my tummy (to the right and left of my bellow button) and my flank areas on the right and left. On that note, I really appreciate that the doctor took the time to tell me that because I work out often and live a family healthy lifestyle, CoolSculpting is the perfect procedure for someone like me. I’ll get more into why this is down below.
How It Works
The day of my first procedure came (we will be doing two rounds of CoolSculpting which is customary) and I was really excited to see what this procedure could do for my stubborn areas. Remember, these were areas I thought I would never be able to change so it was amazing to think that a non-invasion procedure could help me tackle those spots! When I got to Tri Valley Plastic Surgery, I was introduced to Olivia, the Nurse Practitioner who was going to CoolSculpt me. Right away, we clicked and I was immediately put at ease by her warm and encouraging presence. I changed into a very sexy hospital gown and mesh underwear to prepare for the procedure and then I laid down on a bed to get ready. The machine was right next to me and was much bigger than I thought it was going to be. I really was not nervous at all. Olivia told me that some people are highly sensitive to CoolSculpting but I wasn’t really that worried because I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and discomfort. Because the CoolSculpting machine freezes your fat by section, we do one section at a time for 35 minutes.Before we started, Olivia outlined the areas we were going to be placing the CoolSculpting machine to help act as a guide and to get my final approval for what areas we would be targeting that day. Olivia told me that it would feel VERY cold for the first 5-7 minutes and then that area would start to feel numb and the discomfort would be gone. Olivia prepped my first area with a very sticky gel to prevent any kind of frostbite that could occur from the freezing. Then, Olivia brought the machine over and secured it with a special belt around the middle of my body and on top of the outlined area. Olivia gave me a count down and once she pushed the button to start the procedure, I could immediately feel the machine suck up the fat. From there, I felt a cold sensation that let me know the CoolSculpting was starting! Remember when I said that the first 5-7 minutes are usually considered uncomfortable? I didn’t think so at all. Sure, it felt really cold, but honestly there was zero pain. Once 35 minutes went by, Olivia removed the machine, which revealed a lovely red frozen section of fat. Olivia said that it reminded her of a very cold red stick of butter and she was totally right. Once the machine was removed, Olivia massaged the area which was probably the most uncomfortable part. It wasn’t painful per say, but it felt like someone was intensely tickling me, which was an odd sensation. Olivia repeated this entire process 3 more times for my three other sections.
CoolSculpting Is Not A Weight Loss Procedure
One of my biggest takeaways from learning about CoolSculpting is that CoolSculpting is NOT a weight loss procedure. In fact, many people get confused and think CoolSculpting will help them lose weight. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. CoolSculpting is meant to target stubborn areas that have excess fat by freezing those areas and reducing the number of fat cells in those treated areas by about 20-25%! Once those fat cells are processed and eliminated by our own bodies, they won’t travel to another part of your body. Obviously, since you are not treating your entire body, there will be no change to the fat cells in untreated areas and those will remain the same. As a result, those stubborn bulges will disappear, which will leave you looking more sculpted. While you won’t be losing weight, those areas will look thinner. YAY!
Post procedure, the area that was CoolSculpted was not painful. I would describe the areas as being sore, like I just did 1,000 crunches. Nothing I couldn’t live with. The tenderness and numbness of the areas can last for a couple of weeks. I’m still feeling the tiniest bit of numbness and no real sensitivity at all. I even went to SoulCycle the day after my procedure and felt fine!
I have my second CoolSculpting appointment in February and will be recapping my before and after comparisons in the coming months! Stay tuned!