Coolsculpting has been available in the United States for several years and in Europe for a much longer period of time. Over 50,000 patients have undergone coolsculpting safely with minimal complications.
The procedure involves placing an applicator head over the involved area. Suction is then applied, which draws the soft tissue into the device where it’s held in place. The skin and fat are then cooled in a controlled manner. Upon completion of treatment, the involved area is gently massaged to smooth contour irregularities that have been created by the device.
Patients typically describe an uncomfortable feeling as if a block of ice was being held against the area. Within ten minutes, the area becomes numb and patients become more comfortable. At this point they are able to read a book, watch a DVD, listen to music or sleep.
A small number of patients experience bruising and swelling which spontaneously resolves in 2-3 days. Occasionally, patients experience pain which is often described as dull and achy. This also resolves quickly.
Rarely, nausea can occur when abdominal coolsculpting is performed and is probably secondary to traction on the abdominal contents. This is fortunately uncommon and quickly resolves on its own.
These problems occur sporadically and don’t appear to be modulated by mechanical factors such as applicator size. At this time, no long term complications have been identified with this procedure. The procedure is associated with high satisfaction rates and is an excellent option for treating localized adiposity.