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An Alternative to Liposuction, Does CoolSculpting® Work?

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You no longer need expensive or invasive surgery to contour your body and improve your self-esteem. CoolSculpting®, or cryolipolysis, a non-invasive method of freezing and destroying fat cells, is rising in popularity across the country. In just two years, CoolSculpting became available in nearly 6,000 locations around the world—an increase of 76%.

This procedure is a safe alternative to liposuction, but that begs the question: Does CoolSculpting work? Can you really reduce fat in your arms, belly, and other areas without surgery? We’ll explain how it works, why it works, and how it’s used at Sona Dermatology & MedSpa to achieve your ideal look.

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a fat reduction method that uses an applicator with two panels that cool localized areas of the body and freeze fat cells. The fat cells crystallize, die, and are naturally removed by the body through the liver within a few months.


Though it’s a fat reduction treatment, CoolSculpting should not be a weight loss strategy. It’s designed to help individuals who can’t lose small pockets of fat despite regular diet and exercise. The procedure contours the body and helps to perfect stubborn areas.

What Areas of the Body Does CoolSculpting Treat?

The procedure works on those pesky areas where it’s hard to slim down, such as belly fat. In fact, belly fat becomes more common as women age due to a decrease in estrogen levels. Even with a healthy lifestyle, fat can still persist due to a range of factors.

CoolSculpting can be used on a number of areas of the body to achieve a sleeker appearance. Treatment is FDA-approved for the following areas:

  • Chin
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Knees
  • Upper arms
  • Back and back rolls
  • Abdomen and flanks (love handles)

More than one area can be treated in a session depending on the size of each targeted area.

The CoolSculpting Procedure

Freezing fat cells? Does it hurt?


No. In fact, the procedure is so simple that you can read a book or check your emails during your session.


The CoolSculpting procedure may be described as a bit uncomfortable due to the temperature, but it’s not painful, and it doesn’t require needles or anesthesia. You may, however, feel a cold, numbing sensation.


During the procedure, pinchable fat is placed between the applicator panels, and the temperature is lowered between 23 and 41°F. A cycle lasts 45 to 60 minutes, with most customers opting for one to two sessions to see optimal results.


After the procedure, the area may be tender, but no recovery time is required. You can continue with your daily activities, such as work or running errands, immediately after treatment.

Is CoolSculpting Safe?

As a non-invasive procedure, CoolSculpting is safer than major surgery. As a result, there are no major side effects or risks of infection, and it can be performed on men and women of any age.

Despite how CoolSculpting works, the procedure doesn’t affect other surrounding tissue, such as muscle, nerve fibers, blood vessels, or your skin.

CoolSculpting customers may experience these possible minor side effects:

  • Redness
  • Minor swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling
  • Itching
  • Bruising

Who is the Best Candidate for CoolSculpting?

Candidates for CoolSculpting should generally be in good health and have smaller pockets of fat that require treatment.

Ideal candidates should not have the following conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin lesions or cuts
  • Cold sensitivity or cold intolerance

Candidates looking to lose large amounts of weight should not look to CoolSculpting as a weight loss method. The procedure works best for pockets of excess, pinchable fat where results will be more noticeable. For the best results, you should be within 20 to 30 pounds of your recommended weight.

Does CoolSculpting Work?

Studies show that CoolSculpting does in fact reduce fat, but the results will also depend on the person. Those who maintain a healthy lifestyle after one or two treatments will see much more lasting results.

It’s also important to remember that results aren’t immediately evident, and it can take more than three months to see the full results. This is because it takes time for the body to filter and excrete those dead fat cells. If you’re still unsatisfied with results after one treatment, a second treatment can be performed several weeks later.

Nonetheless, CoolSculpting does work. A study on cryolipolysis efficacy showed a reduction in fat up to 25% when measured by ultrasound. That’s a quarter of total fat in the treated area.

Another study found that massaging the area after treatment may improve results. In a group of study subjects, mean fat layer reduction was 68% greater in the massaged area than the non-massaged area. These results were reported two months after treatment.

Is CoolSculpting Permanent?

The results of CoolSculpting treatment are permanent as fat cells are destroyed completely. However, you will see better, more permanent results by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen. It’s possible for remaining fat cells to reflect additional weight gain.

woman enjoying beach after coolsculpting

What to Look For in a CoolSculpting Provider

With Sona, you get specialized treatment with expert care. Sona provides free consultations in order to explain how treatments work, to offer pre-treatment care and instructions, discuss pricing options, and answer any questions that you have about dermatology or cosmetic concerns.

  • Licensed Staff—Unlike other med spas, which use laser techs or train staff in only one procedure, Sona employs treatment providers who are medically trained and licensed in their field. You’ll receive treatment from Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants across many locations.
  • Sona University—All Sona treatment providers attend Sona University, a training and education program that emphasizes treatment safety. All providers undergo 40 or more hours of intensive training before they interact with clients.
  • Medical Oversight—All Sona locations are overseen by a physician licensed in the state. The Medical Director, as this physician is known, ensures that all treatments are given safely and effectively.
  • Clean Environment—When you arrive at a Sona, you’re welcomed by a warm and clean environment that promotes health and professionalism.
  • Latest Technology—Whether you are seeking CoolSculpting, laser hair removal, or a skin treatment, Sona uses the latest in standard industry technology to deliver the best results.

You’ll receive a personalized consultation that covers all of your questions and concerns. To complement your CoolSculpting treatment, you can seek additional cellulite and skin tightening treatments to truly optimize the results of your body contouring procedure.

Your CoolSculpting Appointment: What to Expect

It’s helpful to schedule a consultation with your provider before you come in for your CoolSculpting appointment. The consultant will analyze your skin and its overall health, as well as address concerns you have regarding excess fat, skin laxity, or other issues. Your consultant will then recommend treatments available and explain the benefits of each one. By the end of your consultation, you will walk away with a customized treatment plan.


How does CoolSculpting work at a med spa like Sona? When it comes time for your appointment, you’ll go through these simple steps:

  • Check-In—When you arrive, a provider will greet you and bring you to the private treatment area to change.
  • Treatment—Your treatment provider will begin treatment by applying the CoolSculpting device to the desired area. You will feel the cold temperatures for the first several minutes until the area becomes numb. During your procedure, you are welcome to read, work, or rest.
  • Post-Treatment—Your treatment provider will massage the treated area for several minutes to maximize results. There is no recovery time needed, so you will be free to go or schedule future appointments. At this time, you can also ask questions about aftercare, possible side effects, and any follow-up treatments.

Sona provides a safe and comforting environment to address your needs and concerns. Do not hesitate to ask questions.

How Much Does CoolSculpting Cost?

Does CoolSculpting work? Yes. But does treatment fit your budget?

The average CoolSculpting treatment costs $1,481, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Sona can work with you to formulate a payment plan that breaks down your treatment into monthly payments.*

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