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Freeze Fat in All the Right Places: A Guide to CoolSculpting Treatment Areas

In today’s image-focused world, it’s no surprise that non-invasive techniques to improve body shape are more popular than ever. In fact, CoolSculpting was labeled the number one nonsurgical fat reduction procedure in the US in 2021, with over 1.5 million treatments performed. 

CoolSculpting works through a process called cryolipolysis, which freezes and destroys fat cells without harming the surrounding tissue. Over time, up to 25% of the crystallized fat cells die off and are naturally flushed out of the system. This non-invasive alternative to liposuction provides gradual, yet lasting fat reduction.

So which parts of the body respond best to CoolSculpting? What can you expect during and after treatment? Does it take long to see concrete results? Let’s explore the ins and outs of CoolSculpting and the most popular areas for treatment.

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!

Common Cool Sculpting Areas 

For your easy reference, here's a summary of the viable treatment areas and the typical applicator used.

Treatment AreaApplicator Used
AbdomenStandard or CoolAdvantage applicator
WaistStandard or CoolAdvantage applicator
Flanks/"Love Handles"Flank applicator
Upper Back/"Bra Fat"Back applicator
Outer ThighsOuter thigh applicator
Inner ThighsInner thigh applicator
HipsFlank or thigh applicators
Buttocks/"Banana Roll"Buttock applicator
Upper ArmsArm applicator
Neck/"Double Chin"CoolMini applicator

Tackling Stubborn Fat Bulges on the Abdomen and Waist

One of the most common complaints among CoolSculpting patients is excess fat around their midsection. Areas like the abdomen and waist tend to accumulate stubborn fat deposits.

For both men and women, these midsection bulges can really detract from an otherwise toned appearance.

During a typical session:

  • A gel pad and applicator are placed over the treatment area—often the abdomen or waist.
  • Through suction, this area is pulled into the handpiece, and cooling panels are set to work crystallizing fat cells.
  • Patients may experience sensations of intense cold and pressure as the area numbs. While not exactly comfortable, the treatment is totally bearable with no need for anesthesia.
  • Within 35 minutes, the applicator is removed and treatment concludes.
  • Some residual numbness, stinging, or mild bruising can persist temporarily but you can resume normal activities right after.

Slimming Down “Love Handles” and Upper Back Rolls

In addition to complaints about belly pooch and muffin tops, those “love handles” and back rolls are another source of frustration. Even people at a healthy, stable weight tend to accumulate pockets of fat in these areas.

The flanks or “love handles” on the sides of your waistline can be corrected through CoolSculpting. Specialized applicators clamp down over each flank bulge. Controlled cooling targets, crystallizes, and eliminates fat cells in these trouble spots.

For people who accumulate rolls on their bra line and upper back, CoolSculpting offers a solution. The back and bra fat applicator is designed to treat this specific problem area. Patients recline face down as the contoured cup targets and freezes away back fat.

Through several treatments spaced a few weeks or several months apart, CoolSculpting can reduce the appearance of back and flank bulges. 

As a non-invasive alternative to liposuction, CoolSculpting is generally safer, more affordable, and requires absolutely no downtime.

Are there any risks? 

  • Common temporary typical side effects include redness, bruising, swelling, and numbness at the treatment site. These typically resolve within a week.
  • Rare adverse events like paradoxical hyperplasia are possible but reported in less than 1% of patients.

Shaping the Hips and Thighs with Fat-Freezing

If your main trouble spots are below the belt, CoolSculpting can address those concerns as well. The hips, outer thighs, inner thighs, and banana roll (area under the buttocks) tend to accumulate excess fat and cellulite. Even thin or average-weight patients often struggle with smooth, toned-looking thighs.

  • The CoolSculpting hip and thigh applicators are specially contoured to treat these regions.
  • Using suction and cooling, the devices target fat bulges along the outer and inner thighs.
  • Patients may undergo a few sessions to achieve optimal smoothing and shaping of the hips and thighs.

While the fat-freezing treatment will not diminish overall body weight, it will visibly reduce bumpy fat deposits along the thighs and hips. As a result, clothes fit better and unwanted cellulite is less noticeable. This treatment delivers visible enhancements to your lower body contours.

Can CoolSculpting Slim Down Flabby Upper Arms?

It’s a common lament—no amount of arm workouts and tricep dips seem to reduce excess fat on the upper arms. For both women and men, even a moderate amount of arm fat can make tank tops and t-shirts unflattering.

  • The CoolSculpting arm applicator can specifically target jiggly upper arm fat. The contoured cup applies controlled cooling to freeze stubborn fat cells under the arm.
  • Patients may undergo 1-3 arm slimming sessions to achieve a noticeable reduction in arm circumference.

While CoolSculpting will not replace the need for muscle-building exercises, it certainly can visibly reduce pesky pockets of fat. As a non-invasive procedure, arm sculpting treatments require no downtime.

Some minor side effects may arise like numbness, bruising, swelling, and sensitivity. Just avoid strenuous activity involving the arms for a few days post-treatment.

Take Your Neck Contouring to the Next Level with CoolMini

These days, there’s more focus on sculpting and tightening that delicate area under the chin and jawline. If small pockets of fat under the chin detract from your profile, CoolMini treatments offer a solution.

  • This specially designed applicator delivers CoolSculpting’s fat-freezing effects to the underside of the chin and neck.
  • Within 35 minutes, the procedure targets fat cells and crystallizes them.
  • Over the next couple of months, you’ll notice gradual improvements in the neck area as frozen fat cells empty out of the body. Jowls and double chins visibly diminish.

When combined with skin tightening treatments like Ultherapy or laser skin resurfacing, CoolMini takes neck sculpting to the next level. Additionally, avoiding excessive weight fluctuations helps prolong a smooth, tight neckline.

But when needed, CoolMini effectively spot reduces small fat deposits. Always consult an experienced provider and manage expectations, though.

What Makes Someone a Good or Bad “CoolSculpting Candidate?”

a woman getting coolscupting on tummy

While CoolSculpting satisfies the vast majority of patients (close to 90%, to be exact), ideal candidates do share some common traits.

  • This procedure works best for women and men who are relatively fit, but can’t banish specific areas of pinchable fat with diet and exercise alone.
  • Patients should be close to their ideal body weight with just a few stubborn fat pockets they want frozen away.
  • For those who need more extensive fat reduction, other options like liposuction and tummy tucks may work better.
  • Patients who have recently experienced major fluctuations in weight make better candidates after their weight stabilizes.

CoolSculpting is not intended for overall weight loss, but rather for targeting certain unwanted fat bulges. During an initial consultation, a provider will assess your problem areas and candidacy.

The procedure may not be suitable for those needing extensive fat reduction. Other options like liposuction or abdominoplasty may be better.

Patients with recent major weight fluctuations should wait until their weight stabilizes before considering treatment. It is also not recommended for those planning future pregnancies due to lack of safety data.

Specific conditions that preclude CoolSculpting are:

  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

Additional factors that may disqualify candidates include:

  • Hernias
  • Poor circulation
  • Diabetes
  • Skin disorders

For most people, though, CoolSculpting is perfectly safe.

What Does the CoolSculpting Experience Feel Like?

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect during a CoolSculpting session:

  • The treatment area is gently pinched and measured to guide optimal applicator placement. A gel pad is smoothed over the skin for comfort.
  • The contoured applicator cup is secured over the treatment site with suction. Vacuum pressure draws tissue into the cooling panels.
  • Controlled cooling is gradually initiated. You may feel intense cold, tugging, stinging, aching, or cramping as the area freezes and numbness sets in.
  • Your technician will check on your comfort periodically. You may be able to read, work on your laptop, or just relax during the 35-60 minutes.
  • Once the fat cells are frozen, the applicator is removed. Technicians may massage the area to help break up crystallized fat cells.
  • Temporary numbness, redness, bruising, and stiffness can linger for several weeks. You can resume normal activities as directed by your provider.

Results may appear gradually over 2-4 months as frozen fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body. Most patients rate the procedure as tolerable overall.

Making the Most Out of Your CoolSculpting Results

To get the most out of your CoolSculpting investment, keep these tips in mind:

  • The number of treatments needed varies per individual. Typically, 1-3 sessions may show some improvement, while 4-6 sessions spaced a month apart lead to more significant fat reduction in a stubborn bulge. Consult with your provider to determine the optimal number of treatments for your goals.
  • Maintaining a stable body weight supports the best outcome. Major weight fluctuations before or after treatment can impact results. A balanced diet and exercise helps sustain a healthy weight.
  • Building muscle tone through strength training enhances body contours. Cardiovascular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight. A balanced fitness program of resistance training and cardio activity complements your aesthetic objectives.
  • Allow 2-4 months to see final results as frozen fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body. For an important event, schedule consultations early and plan treatments accordingly.
  • Combination treatments like muscle-building Emsculpt, cellulite-smoothing Cellfina, or facial injectables may complement CoolSculpting. Discuss integrated options with your provider for comprehensive improvements.

Complementary Procedures for Enhancing Your CoolSculpting Results

Emsculpt for Muscle Building

While CoolSculpting is effective for reducing localized fat, some patients may want to pair it with other treatments like Emsculpt for additional benefits. Combination therapies can help maximize overall aesthetic improvements.

Emsculpt uses high-intensity electromagnetic energy to induce powerful muscle contractions. Patients undergo a series of brief Emsculpt sessions over several weeks to strengthen and build muscle mass.

Whereas CoolSculpting eliminates fat non-invasively, Emsculpt works by stimulating an effect similar to intensive strength training. Combining these modalities can help slim and sculpt areas of the body in ways that diet and exercise alone may not.

Body Contouring Treatments

Some patients opt to pair CoolSculpting with dermal fillers or body contouring treatments like Cellfina. Fillers add volume, while Cellfina is a minimally invasive procedure that releases fibrous bands under the skin to improve the appearance of cellulite.

Facial Rejuvenation

Injectables like Botox or Dysport are commonly used with CoolSculpting for facial rejuvenation. These can relax facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Strategic Combination Treatments

Consult with your provider to determine the optimal combination approach tailored to your specific goals. While CoolSculpting satisfies many patients, integrated therapies often maximize improvements for stubborn trouble spots from head to toe.

Caring for Treatment Areas and Monitoring Results

Immediately after treatment, the targeted areas may feel stiff, swollen, or numb for several hours up to 2-3 days as the skin and tissue recover. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 weeks to allow proper healing.

  • Use ice packs, elevate the treated area, and take over-the-counter pain medication as recommended by your provider to relieve side effects. Compression garments may also help.
  • Wait at least 1 month or as directed by your provider following CoolSculpting before undergoing other aesthetic procedures in the same area.
  • Results emerge gradually over 2-4 months as frozen fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body. Some temporary swelling or enlargement may occur before shrinking begins. Be patient through the process.

Follow-up visits allow your provider to assess your progress through measurements, images, and feedback on your experience.

Take the Next Step Toward Your Body Goals

coolsculpting result

Stop letting those small pockets of stubborn fat keep you from looking and feeling your very best! CoolSculpting offers a revolutionary way to spot reduce the bumps and bulges you just can’t conquer through diet and exercise alone. In just a few short office visits, you’ll be on your way to slimmer and smoother problem areas.

While completely non-invasive, CoolSculpting provides noticeable, lasting improvements to your body contours. Look and feel more confident in your favorite skinny jeans, form-fitting dresses, swimsuits, and lingerie. Forget obsessing over specific fat spots—CoolSculpting lets you freeze them away.

Contact our office today to schedule your series of CoolSculpting treatments!

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!


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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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