Does CoolSculpting Really Work?

coolsculpting northern virginia

Patients considering noninvasive fat freezing often want to know: Does CoolSculpting really work? 

Continue reading to learn all about CoolSculpting efficacy as well as one serious side effect known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH).

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting in Northern Virginia is an FDA-approved noninvasive body contouring treatment that uses controlled cooling to target, crystallize, and disintegrate fat bulges.

During treatment, a pre-sized applicator vacuums fatty tissue between two cooling panels and applies freezing temperatures to the area. This causes fat cells to undergo apoptosis (cell death), before being cleared from the body through natural detoxification channels.

Does CoolSculpting Really Work?

coolsculpting mclean

Prior to undergoing treatment, many patients want to know: Does CoolSculpting really work?

According to the manufacturer Allergan, CoolSculpting can eliminate up to 24% of fat cells in the treatment area. That being said, most women and men need more than one session, usually 2-3, to achieve desired results.

In addition, CoolSculpting works best on individuals who are at or near their target weight. As such, it is not well-suited to those with larger fat deposits or higher BMIs.

Finally, for a very small percentage of patients, less than 1%, CoolSculpting in Northern Virginia can actually cause the treated area to enlarge and harden.

This phenomenon is called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia and, rather than shrink the bulge, it actually makes it bigger and firmer. As a result, patients are left with an unnaturally shaped lump that looks similar to a stick of butter.

How Can Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia be Treated?

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) does not have any serious health implications. It is a cosmetic issue that can be effectively addressed with liposuction.

That being said, patients must often wait 6-9 months for the fat to soften before having lipo, which can be emotionally difficult. It also means that the individual must undergo a surgical procedure that they were likely hoping to avoid in the first place.

Learn More About Body Contouring in McLean

If you are considering noninvasive body contouring, please contact our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nicole Hayre.