If you ever watched “Star Trek” as a kid, it is easy to imagine Scotty or Uhura marching to the infirmary and asking for a quick session of cryolipolysis to rid themselves of stubborn fat. In less than an hour good old Dr. McCoy would have hooked them up to a high-tech gadget, gotten rid of the fat, and sent them on their way.

Seems far-fetched, doesn’t it? And yet, that is precisely what CoolSculpting does. The same cryolipolysis our fictional characters would have asked for has been developed and is available to anyone who seeking to lose stubborn pockets of fat. Cryolipolysis (the medical term for CoolSculpting) is a procedure that destroys unwanted fat cells in a non-invasive way, relatively pain-free way.

It all started in the 1970s when a doctor began to notice that his young patients with dimples had one thing in common: they adored Popsicles. Sure, some of the kids inherited dimples, but others actually developed them over time. This doctor – who went on to write about his research in the New England Journal of Medicine – discovered that those yummy, ice cold treats actually killed fat cells in the interior of his patient’s mouths.

Fast forward 39 years when a study authored by Coleman et al. reported that freezing fat cells was a legitimate, reproducible, effective way to rid certain parts of the body of fat. Their study involved 10 patients, each of whom was given a single one hour session of cryolipolysis on their love handle area. After two months, patients showed a 20% decrease in love handle fat. At the six month mark that reduction was up to 25%.

It was no surprise when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the procedure for general use in 2010.

CoolSculpting is not magic, but is still fairly awe-inspiring. Here’s how it works: fat bulges are placed between two cooling plates and held in place by a strong vacuum. The cooling plates are set to a specific temperature that is proven to destroy fat cells without damaging skin, nerves, or blood vessels. After about an hour, the work has been done. All that is left is to wait for the dead fat cells to be absorbed into the body. The body then treats those fat cells like they would treat any food that has been consumed, by storing what is needed to fuel bodily functions and getting rid of the rest. In other words, all those dead fat cells are either used up by the body or disposed of. Regardless of how they leave, they are gone forever.

Now available in Denver, Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know I’m a good candidate for CoolSculpting?

If you are within 20-30 pounds of your ideal body weight, you are likely a good candidate for the procedure. It does not matter if you have just lost weight or are in the process of dropping a few more pounds, CoolSculpting can help get rid of those fat bulges that plague you.

How many sessions will I need?

 In what may be one of the greatest benefits of CoolSculpting, you can customize your treatment, undergoing as many sessions as you need to achieve your personal goals. Many of our patients feel like a fat loss of 20-25% is plenty. Others would like to lose 20-25% more so they add another session.

How long before I can return to normal activities?

 CoolSculpting is non-surgical, meaning most of our patients are able to return to their everyday activities right away. Although some do experience minor bruising, redness, discomfort or numbness, these are temporary. The vast majority of patients who undergo CoolSculpting experience no downtime at all.

What can I expect during and after the procedure?

Within a few minutes you will begin to feel intense cold and pressure. This soon dissipates as your body adjusts to the treatment. Many of our patients can read, work on their laptop, watch a video, listen to music, or even nap during treatment.

Immediately following the procedure you may feel a bit swollen. That is a natural reaction and one that is sure to pass. To get a better picture of how CoolSculpting will work for you, it helps to remember that fat cells have actually been killed and are simply in the process of being used up (metabolized) by the body. Each day following your procedure fat cells are metabolized and your body will begin to shrink. Patients generally report seeing optimum results four months after receiving their CoolSculpting treatment, although it does not end there. The body continues to rid itself of dead fat cells for at least two more months.

Now available in Denver, Colorado

Is CoolSculpting safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CoolSculpting for several areas of the body, including stubborn love handles, thighs and abdomen. There have been more than 1.5 million treatments performed worldwide, making CoolSculpting one of the safest, non-invasive, non-surgical fat reduction procedures on the market.

 Why would I choose this procedure over liposuction?

The goals of liposuction and CoolSculpting are nearly identical. They simply go about achieving those goals in different ways. Liposuction requires that patients dedicate themselves to a recovery period, compression garments, temporary disfigurement, and possible time off work. Because it is non-invasive, CoolSculpting allows patients to undergo the procedure and immediately go back to living their regular lives.

Does the procedure really produce permanent results?

Yes, it does. CoolSculpting works by freezing fat cells. Once those fat cells are frozen they die and are eliminated from the body. Once they are gone, they are gone for good.

Isn’t it funny how open we were as kids, how ready we were to believe what we saw in movies, Saturday morning cartoons, and in books and comics? Everything seemed possible. Today, we have at hand the technology to rid ourselves of fat in a way that seems like something out of a space-age television show. Why not embrace the reality that CoolSculpting can change our lives in one single hour – about the time it once took to watch our favorite television show?

Now available in Denver, Colorado