AUSTIN -- We've all heard the expression "melt the fat away," but what if you could "freeze" away unwanted fat cells? CoolSculpting has promised to do just that since it was introduced a few years ago. However, there was one area of the body it could not treat – until now.
Stephanie Christine tries to exercise regularly and watch her diet, but the 40-year-old mother of two didn't like everything she saw in the mirror.
"I was like, OK the baby belly was still kind of there," said Christine.
Then she heard about CoolSculpting – a non invasive, no incision treatment that promises to get rid of unwanted body fat by freezing fat cells.
"You can cool down fat cells, freeze them, and have your body destroy them and eliminate them from your system," said Rob Whitfield, M.D., a Board Certified plastic surgeon at the Breast and Body Center of Austin.
Christine said at first, it sounded too good to be true.
"You are a little bit suspicious," she said. "Will it really work? I've been pretty impressed."
A vacuum applicator is placed on the area to be treated.
"As long as you can pinch the fat you can treat the area," said Whitfield.
As the vacuum sucks the portion of skin into the device, the cooling process begins.
During the 60 minute sessions the fat cells are frozen without hurting the skin.
"If you're out exposed to freezing temperatures your skin will be affected, and you'll get frostbite," said Whitfield. "But (CoolSculpting) protects the skin. Just the fat cells are frozen."
Immediate massaging warms the cooled skin. CoolSculpting claims patients can lose two inches in just two visits. Christine, who's back for her second treatment, is a believer.
"I can see a significant difference, and the before and after pictures are really impressive," said Christine. "I didn't even realize how impressive it was until they showed me."
Prices range from 750 to 1500 dollars per treatment.
"It's been very effective," said Christine.
Until recently, the outer thigh was one area that CoolSculpting could not tackle. But the recently FDA approved CoolSmooth applicator changes that. It doesn't use a vacuum, instead, the CoolSmooth freezes the fat cells with a direct compression application pressed against the thigh.