Picture this: you’ve just found out that there’s a procedure that can freeze away your fat for good – all with no downtime and no surgery.
When someone finds out that we specialize in CoolSculpting® Dallas clients – or talks to one of our CoolSculpting® experts… the conversation always turns to a few key questions:
First… how does CoolSculpting® work? Often, this may even be phrased as “does CoolSculpting® work?” and we absolutely love explaining the science of freezing away fat! Short answer – yes, it works because fat is hyper-sensitive to cold. It’s the safest and most proven technology for non-surgical body contouring available today, but you’ve got to be the right candidate for the treatment to see a great result.
Which brings us to our next question in a client’s CoolSculpting® journey… “Am I a candidate for CoolSculpting®?”
Simply put: if you have 1) pinchable fat, 2) the right expectations for treatment, and 3) no contraindications (or reasons not to freeze your fat) then you may be a CoolSculpting® candidate.
Am I a candidate for CoolSculpting®?
The best and most accurate way to find out if CoolSculpting® will work for you is to schedule a free consultation with us. We’ll answer your general questions and you’ll get a free medical clearance evaluation with our board-certified medical director too. This is included (for free) as part of our consultation journey at Element Body Lab.
But if you’re not ready to take the plunge, let’s talk about the qualifying questions that usually indicate good CoolSculpting® candidates. Here are our top five ways to know if you’re a candidate prior to your consultation:
CoolSculpting® Candidate Qualifier #1: Do you have pinchable fat?
CoolSculpting® uses suction or non-suction handpieces to target stubborn, pinchable fat that lies above the muscle wall. That’s the key – the fat has to be the kind of fat that lies above the muscle wall. CoolSculpting® treatments are only FDA cleared to target subcutaneous fat – which is one of two types of fat that exist in the body.
Let’s talk about fat: Subcutaneous vs. Visceral
Subcutaneous fat is usually pinchable – like the fat you’ll find at your love handles or at your upper arm areas. It’s the fluffy, jiggly type of fat directly under the skin. Subcutaneous fat is incredibly hard to get rid of, even with a healthy lifestyle. Also important to note, subcutaneous fat is harmless. Frustrating, but harmless.
(photo credit: https://www.fitnescity.com/)
Visceral fat is found below the muscle wall, usually in the abdominal cavity surrounding organs. It’s more dangerous, linked to more health issues and *can not be targeted by CoolSculpting®*. It’s responsive to weight loss, but not to body contouring procedures. If you’re looking to target visceral fat, you shouldn’t invest in CoolSculpting® because the technology only targets subcutaneous fat.
If you do have pinchable fat, you’ll need about an inch of pinchable fat in order to get contact with the CoolSculpting® cooling panels. If you don’t have enough fat to reach the back panel, or if the fat is too fibrous, you may need a more experienced provider (like us) to ensure you see a result or have the right treatment recommendation to achieve your goals.
CoolSculpting® Candidate Qualifier #2: Are you looking to spot-treat an area? Are close to your ideal weight?
CoolSculpting® is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight loss option. The FDA clearance for most body areas includes a BMI score below 30, except for the double chin area, where the BMI score needs to be below 43. But BMI alone doesn’t matter.
If you have a BMI above 30 and are happy with your weight and body, but just looking to target a “trouble spot”, like your chin, bra line, or upper arms, CoolSculpting® may still be a good fit! It’s all about having the right expectations…
If you are looking to lose weight, CoolSculpting® can act as a catalyst by pushing you in the right direction. Many of our clients find it easier to lose weight after a treatment because they’re more motivated, and because they’ve made an investment in themselves.
But most of our clients don’t notice a change on the scale after a CoolSculpting® treatment alone.
How is that even possible? How can you see such dramatic CoolSculpting® results but not see a difference on the scale? Because fat is fluffy – but it doesn’t weigh a lot. A pound of subcutaneous fat is roughly the size of a grapefruit. It takes up a lot of space when compared to a pound of muscle.
With CoolSculpting®, you should expect to see a 20-25% reduction (on a bell curve) with each treatment. Results will compound on each other if you have multiple rounds of treatment, so you can see a more dramatic result.
It doesn’t matter how big or how small you are if you have the right expectation in mind. CoolSculpting® can certainly be customized to address larger areas and larger pockets of fat. But if your goal is weight loss, then CoolSculpting® isn’t the best fit to achieve your goals. If you’re wanting to target those tough to respond to places and use CoolSculpting® as a catalyst in your fitness journey, then great.
If you are happy with your weight, but notice these areas that no matter how hard you work, how big you are, or how small you are – they just keep on looming? Now those are great places to consider for CoolSculpting®.
CoolSculpting® Candidate Qualifier #3: Is it fat you notice, not skin?
Now we know that you’ve got an area that you can pinch. We know that you’re not looking for weight loss. So… are you looking for fat reduction, not help with something else (like skin)?
We make the joke that you’ve got to have an inch to pinch to see a substantial CoolSculpting® result. But it’s more than just an inch to pinch… it’s got to actually be fat. Not skin. When you pinch up an area you’re wanting to target with a CoolSculpting® applicator – you’re going to have some fat and some skin, of course…
But it’s got to be primarily fat. Because that’s what CoolSculpting® is made for. CoolSculpting® is primarily aimed at fad reduction.
How do you know if it’s fat or skin? Well, you could schedule a one-on-one chat with us for an opinion, or you can do some DIY at home CoolSculpting® planning to make some assumptions on your own. Here’s how: find a place that when you pinch it feels spongy – like your love handle or your upper arm (aka batwing) area.
Now pinch the area right at your elbow or on the top of your hand
The sponge-like feeling – that’s what fat usually feels like. The elbow area and the top of the hand, that’s skin on skin.
In order to be an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting®, you’ve got to have more fat than skin in order to see a good result. The only way to know for sure is to have a physical exam with our medical team, but the example above is a pretty good way to think about it for at-home CoolSculpting® assessments.
Lax skin does not exclude you from being a CoolSculpting® candidate – you may still be a candidate even with some loose skin. You’ll just want to think about whether it’s fat that you’re bothered by or skin. You’ll also want to consider if you have more lax tissue after treatment, will you like your results? Most often, our clients aren’t bothered by their skin as it’s a normal sign of aging, but occasionally, this topic turns someone away from treatment. We’ll do our best to educate you on what results to expect from your treatment plan based on our years of experience.
If you don’t have lax skin, you shouldn’t see a dramatic increase in lax tissue after CoolSculpting®. We are getting rid of the fat underneath the skin – so if you already have loose skin, we may make that worse. If you don’t have loose skin, you shouldn’t afterward, but it is possible, especially with an aggressive treatment plan.
We’ll happily discuss this with you during your consultation process and give you a great understanding of what to expect. Most of our clients don’t report any loose or lax skin after their treatment, but we take time to educate our CoolSculpting® Dallas clients at every opportunity.
Dr. Phillip Dauwe (our medical director) will be able to discuss skin quality (and whether you should be concerned about skin laxity after your CoolSculpting® Treatment) during your medical clearance appointment. He will also discuss whether there are any health considerations you should be thinking about when choosing the best option for you, outside of just the aesthetic concerns around the skin.
PS – We’ve written other articles about skin laxity and CoolSculpting® if you want to dig a little deeper into this topic.
CoolSculpting® Candidate Qualifier #4: Is there a CoolSculpting® applicator that will fit your unique anatomy?
Choosing the right handpiece can make a tremendous difference in the results you’ll see from your CoolSculpting® treatment.
The reason why? Proper applicator selection ensures that the most amount of contact with the cooling plates found inside of the CoolSculpting® devices’ cup-style handpieces. It’s pretty cool, right?
Our most important job as providers is to educate you on how CoolSculpting® works, where it works best, and finally – to manage your expectations so you have the best CoolSculpting® experience possible. Part of that is ensuring there is the right fit for treatment. We’ll email you the CoolSculpting® applicator templates during your virtual consultation so you can make sure!
There are five sizes of CoolSculpting® handpieces and if there’s not a tool that fits, there are protocols to overlap treatments to ensure full coverage in some cases. But not all areas of the body are treated the same.
For example, we do not overlap on an outer thigh or inner thigh treatment because of the risk of indentation in those body areas. But we can aggressively overlap in the abdomen area.
This is likely the most confusing part (or the most exciting part) in a CoolSculpting® treatment. From a provider perspective – this is where we can flex our artistic abilities! This is what separates good CoolSculpting® from GREAT CoolSculpting®.
This skill is what separates Element Body Lab.
It’s also why years of experience with hands-on treatments are important when choosing a provider. When making a decision around body sculpting – you want to interview providers who can educate you on the best choice for your body.
We’re focused on just one thing – body sculpting. Our Dallas CoolSculpting® Specialists focus acutely on just one technology – we use CoolSculpting® because it’s the name-brand and gold-standard when it comes to a non-surgical approach… BUT every patient who walks through our doors talks to a board-certified plastic surgeon to receive the best advice Dallas can offer.
We’ll guide you in this part of the journey because each treatment is entirely unique to the client, and no two bodies ever look the exact same and have the exact same goals.
CoolSculpting® Candidate Qualifier #5: Do you have at least 3 months before you need to see results?
We know you need your results two weeks ago, in a perfect world. But realistically speaking – what’s your timeline?
CoolSculpting® results develop slowly – over the course of three weeks to three months. In order to be an ideal CoolSculpting® candidate for treatment, you’ll need 3-6 months before your “ideal timeframe” to see results.
Most clients do 2-4 rounds of treatment before their goal is met, spaced 4-6 weeks apart. That may mean planning a little further in advance.
If you have an event – like a wedding – that you’re getting ready for in 2 weeks, you won’t have your results in time. If you’re leaving for a vacation in 5 days, you should wait until you get back from your trip before you have your CoolSculpting® treatment because you may even be a bit swollen and uncomfortable if you try to rush it!
Timeline to results is an important aspect to consider. Make sure you have at least 3 months before you’re hoping to see results, if at all possible.
Are you a CoolSculpting® candidate?
As we said at the beginning of the blog, the best and most accurate way to find out if you’re a candidate is to take the next step and schedule a consultation for CoolSculpting® in Dallas. You can book your appointment online and get on the calendar for a virtual chat with our team.
We can’t wait to talk! But before we sign off…
…a little bonus advice for those of you who were treated at another facility and didn’t notice a difference!
Maybe you’re reading this blog because you were treated by another facility and didn’t notice a difference.
In the words of our founder, Jessie Poole, “All hairdressers use scissors but not all haircuts are good.”
CoolSculpting® is the same. Not all CoolSculpting® is equal, especially in Dallas. CoolSculpting® follows the same rule as above. Many places offer CoolSculpting® in Dallas, but just because they offer it doesn’t mean they’re an expert at what they do. CoolSculpting® is a tool – and having an expert provider makes a difference in the results you’ll see.
Even though you didn’t see a result from someone else doesn’t mean that CoolSculpting® doesn’t work or wouldn’t work for you. You may have been under-treated, or you may have been poorly treated (see applicator selection information above).
If you haven’t already talked to the practice or provider who treated you, start there. Your results are their reputation, after all.
Be honest with them about your experience. Express your concerns and ensure you have before and after photos! If you haven’t taken after photos, that’s where to start. You may see your before and after photos and notice a major difference. It’s hard to see the change in the mirror when you see yourself every day.
But if you’ve reviewed your before and after photos and there was little to no result, review the treatment plan and the provider’s recommendations.
You may be one of the rare few people who don’t respond to CoolSculpting® treatments. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. Unlikely, but possible.
Chances are, something else happened.
Here’s a list of a few reasons you (or your friend or that person on the internet) didn’t get the results they should have:
- The client didn’t get a physical exam by a licensed medical professional (a medical doctor, or an appropriately appointed Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner) and they had a medical condition that should have excluded from the treatment
- The client didn’t have the right treatment plan to address their concerns with unwanted fat, or more specifically what they’re ideal outcome would look like
- The client’s provider was more concerned with making money than with listening to the actual problem the client had with their body
- The treatment plan was developed without an artistic eye, or without an understanding of how to achieve the results the client wants
- The provider didn’t place the handpieces for maximum impact to make a dramatic change
- The handpiece didn’t make full contact with the targeted fat, and no cooling was administered (YES, that can happen.)
- The client didn’t get the advice they needed for pre-treatment recommendations to ensure maximum results
- The client didn’t get the advice they needed for post-treatment recommendations to ensure results
- The client put on a significant amount of weight after being treated
- The client never had a before and after photo reviewed
- The before and after photo was so poorly shot that you can’t notice the change
- The provider had no business performing aesthetic treatments to begin with (cough, cough… were you treated by someone’s receptionist instead of a CoolSculpting® Specialist?)
- The client would have been a better candidate for an alternate procedure based on their expectations
- The office has outdated equipment that’s not in full functioning order
- The client didn’t receive authentic, certified CoolSculpting®
- (Helpful hint: If your CoolSculpting® Dallas practice is charging less than $600 per “cycle” it’s likely not certified or authentic)
Element Body Lab has just one focus – CoolSculpting®. It’s all we do. Interested in being treated with CoolSculpting® in Dallas (or willing to make a trip to meet us)? Book your virtual consultation and we’ll see you soon.
Element Body Lab, The Dallas CoolSculpting® Experts