CoolSculpting vs Cryolipolysis: Fat Freezing Treatments Explained
If you’ve heard about the benefits of fat freezing treatments, you’ve probably wondered what the difference between CoolSculpting vs cryolipolysis is. Cryolipolysis is the scientific term for fat freezing techniques that have been popularised under the brand names such as CoolSculpting and CoolLipo. Fat freezing procedures are ideal for ‘stubborn’ areas of fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Because of this, the treatment has a high success and satisfaction rate.
What is CoolSculpting vs Cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis is a fat freezing procedure performed to eliminate subcutaneous fat cells (adipocytes). Your body stores different types of fat that perform different functions. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that sits below your skin. Cryolipolysis is a gradual process of eliminating this layer of fat that takes place over two to four months after your treatment.
The word ‘lipolysis’ refers to breaking down fats and other lipids, through a process of hydrolysis. ‘Cryo’ is the use of cold temperatures to achieve this breakdown. While there are a number of non-invasive fat reduction treatments available commercially, cryolipolysis has been in use for the longest period of time and is supported by a well-documented body of research, including a number of clinical trials
What Happens When You ‘lose Weight’?
Typically when you lose or gain weight through diet and exercise, your fat cells shrink or enlarge – and contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually lose the fat. When you ‘lose weight’, you are simply burning through the fat inside the fat cell, which makes it smaller.
What makes cryolipolysis treatments like CoolSculpting and CoolLipo different is that they eliminate fat cells by killing them off. Some sources call this dissolving or crystallising the fat. It’s a selective and controlled procedure for fat loss, that enables you to target those areas that are typically considered unresponsive to other fat-loss efforts. Currently, the only alternative for fat removal is liposuction, which is a surgical procedure, and which carries a number of risks, complications, and potential side effects.
How Does CoolSculpting and Cryolipolysis Work?
Fat cells are more vulnerable to cold temperatures than other body cells. Cold temperatures cause injuries to the fat cells, which causes an inflammatory response, killing the fat cells. Macrophages (which are types of white blood cells that are part of your immune system), work to eliminate the dead cells from your body. This makes treatments like CoolLipo and Coolsculpting effective and permanent methods to lose fat.
Even if you exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet, if you can’t reduce the layer of fat that covers your muscles, you may never see them – and you may not feel satisfied with your body sculpting efforts. Believe it or not, a fat cell is an endocrine organ, which means it secretes hormones as well as other molecules that impact your other tissues.
Essentially, as endocrine organs, fat cells synthesise biologically active compounds to maintain weight loss homeostasis. That means, it can become increasingly difficult to reduce fat through diet and exercise routines, leading to what is commonly referred to as a ‘plateau’ and you may not feel (or look) as though you are making progress. The longer you have had a certain percentage of adipose fat, the more your body considers this to be ‘normal’ and wants to maintain it.
What Areas Of The Body Can Coolsculpting vs Cryolipolysis Target?
Treatments like CoolLipo and CoolSculpting are approved for fat reduction in
- The abdomen
- Love handles
- Upper arms
- Upper and lower back
- The area below the buttocks
Who Is CoolSculpting vs Cryolipolysis Best Suited To?
Cryolipolysis treatments like CoolSculpting and CoolLipo are ideal for clients who are close to their ideal weight or a few kilograms overweight. Not to be confused with weight loss, the fat reduction results you can expect from a CoolSculpting or CoolLipo treatment may not translate into a difference in kilos on your bathroom scale. What you can expect is a visible reduction of fat deposits and, if you’ve continued to exercise, a more sculpted and defined physique.
What Kind Of Fat Loss Results Can You Expect?
On average, studies show clients experience a fat reduction of between 15 and 28% four months post-treatment but you may notice results as early as three weeks post-treatment. On average, our clients enjoy a fat loss of around 20%. Of course, it’s worth remembering that everyone is different and individual results vary. This is one of the reasons we recommend a pre-treatment consultation, to help you manage your expectations.
What To Expect During A Fat Freezing Procedure
Each session is approximately 60 minutes long. The procedure is performed while you are awake and it doesn’t require any anaesthesia or sedation. We find that our clients tolerate the procedure surprisingly well.
- First, the area you want to treat will be marked and a protective pad is placed over your skin. The treatment area is suctioned into an opening in the device.
- You may feel light pressure as the device applies suction. It takes approximately five to 10 minutes for the cold to gradually numb the treatment area. During this time you might feel sensations like aching, tingling, or contractions but once your skin goes numb, you should not feel any sensation.
- At the end of your session, your specialist physician may massage your skin for two to three minutes, which helps to accelerate the break-down of the fat cells.
What To Expect After A CoolSculpting or CoolLipo Treatment
Everyone reacts differently to the inflammatory response that fat-freezing procedures causes. Some clients report temporary after-effects following a cryolipolysis treatment:
- Redness (this may occur immediately after your treatment but should resolve within a few minutes)
- Mild swelling or bruising
- Tingly sensations
These side effects are generally mild and will resolve as you return to your day-to-day routine.
What Are The Benefits Of CoolSculpting vs Crolipolysis For Fat Loss?
- There is no surgery so there is no infection risk
- There’s no downtime and no recovery period so you can continue to exercise afterwards
- No serious side effects have been reported
- No anaesthesia is required
- You can target more than one area in a single treatment session
- Fat freezing has a very high client satisfaction rate
- It is suitable for all ages
- The procedure doesn’t damage your skin, muscles, or blood vessels
- The results are long-lasting
- When compared to liposuction, CoolLipo doesn’t cause any textural irregularities like lumps and bumps under your skin.
Preparing For Your Cryolipolysis Treatment
Book a complimentary pre-treatment consultation so you can make sure you are an ideal candidate for fat freezing, and that your expectations will be met.
We recommend taking some photos of the body areas you would like to target, so you can compare your fat loss results post-treatment.
FAQs About CoolSculpting vs Cryolipolysis
Will it work for me?
If you lead a relatively healthy lifestyle and follow a wholesome diet with regular exercise, and would like to reduce localised fat deposits in ‘stubborn’ areas, fat-freezing treatments like CoolLipo and CoolSculpting are likely to help you achieve your fat loss goals.
How do I know if it is safe?
Fat-freezing procedures like CoolLipo do not cause any damage to your skin, blood vessels, or tissues. CoolSculpting was FDA-approved in 2009 and has been used safely with high client satisfaction rates ever since.
How long will the results last?
Unless you gain a substantial amount of weight and drastically change your lifestyle, the results of cryolipolysis are pretty permanent. According to clinical studies, six to nine years is a good estimate.
How many treatments will I need?
This is highly dependent on your starting point and the number of body areas you want to target. When you consult with one of our specialist physicians, you will be given a customised treatment plan so you know exactly what to expect.
Are you ready to find out more about the benefits of Cryolipolysis Fat Freezing for fat loss? Please contact us so we can schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our friendly clinicians at one of our 4 locations: Sydney City, Bondi Junction, Brisbane or the Gold Coast.