Beauty: CoolSculpting fat away

COOLSCULPTING | Vicki Hyman | Inside-Jersey Magazine/ |

You have to appreciate a cosmetic procedure that has a sense of irony.

CoolSculpting, the highly popular nonsurgical technique for freezing away stubborn fat, uses an applicator that sucks up and super-cools fat in a targeted area. The procedure takes less than an hour and requires no downtime, but leaves patients with a large temporary welt that resembles, well …

“It’s like a gallon stick of butter,” says Laura Chestman, a registered nurse who is known at Allure Plastic Surgery Center in Middletown as the CoolSculpting Queen, performing as many as six treatments a day. “It’s crazy-looking. I’ve had patients look at it and they get nauseated.”

The welt goes away after a vigorous two-minute massage and patients are willing to make the trade-off: Each CoolSculpting treatment results in a 20 to 25 percent reduction in fat in the targeted area, about the amount of fat you can pinch with your hand, says Allure plastic surgeon John Taylor.

The idea of freezing away stubborn fat dates back to at least 1970, when scientists coined the term Popsicle panniculitis after noticing that infants lost cheek fat after sucking on ice pops. Later research confirmed cold temperatures can kill off fat cells without harming surrounding tissue, nerves, muscle and skin.

In 2007, two doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School introduced a fat-freezing technique called cryolipolysis. The Food and Drug Administration first cleared the procedure for reducing fat in 2010, but CoolSculpting has taken off in recent years, since the pharmaceutical giant Allergan purchased the company licensed for the technology and invested in a major marketing push that also targets men.

(Golfer Ian Poulter and ice skater Johnny Weir are brand ambassadors.)

Of course, a Kardashian plug never hurts: Matriarch Kris Jenner underwent CoolSculpting in a 2016 episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” Fat-freezing treatments rose 7 percent between 2016 and 2017, easily outpacing the growth of the most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, including Botox, soft-tissue fillers and chemical peels, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual report.

The treatments also outpaced liposuction, still the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, in growth and in sheer numbers. Liposuction also targets stubborn fat — and has more pronounced results — but CoolSculpting doesn’t carry the risk of anesthesia, requires no downtime and costs half as much.

Taylor estimates it would cost $2,500 to $3,000 to treat several problem areas, compared to a minimum of $6,000 for liposuction.

CoolSculpting offers the best results on the stomach, sides of the abdomen and inner thighs, Taylor says, but it can also be used for saddlebags, back fat, bra rolls and upper arms. (He prefers the injectable Kybella, made from synthetic stomach acids, to banish under-the-chin fat.)

As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, patients should be realistic, he says, emphasizing that CoolSculpting is for contouring, not weight loss.

Each treatment takes about

45 minutes, during which the

patients can read, check their iPhone, watch TV or even nap. Afterward, patients can go back to their daily routine with only some tenderness

or soreness in the treated area.

The fat doesn’t disappear immediately; it takes about two to four months to disappear, and the same area can be treated repeatedly to get better results.

The skin of younger patients typically snaps back; in older patients, less so. But, Taylor says, most shrug off the sag, saying, “I don’t care as long as my pants fit better.”

So how does it feel? One Ocean Township woman, who has had a number of treatments, put it bluntly: “Like you’ve been sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.”

The feeling can be a little intense at first but then the targeted area

goes numb.

“It’s just one minute,” says the woman, who did not want her name used. “If you can’t get through the one minute, don’t talk to me. Just do it.

It works.”

Slate is a Top 5 CoolSculpting Provider in NJ. Having performed over 1500 treatments, Slate is the premier medical spa and the leading CoolSculpting Paramus, NJ provider.  Our location provides a zen like setting with each room equipped with an LED Television and access to WiFi to help you look great and feel great. State-of- the-art technology merges with luxury to offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

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