Everything You Need to Know About Fat Freezing

Fat Freezing

Everything You Need to Know About Fat Freezing

What is Fat Freezing?

The CoolSculpting® treatment is a non-invasive fat freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” (you know, those bulges that just won’t go away, regardless of how much you sweat it out on the treadmill). While it isn’t a weight loss solution, fat freezing can reduce pouches of fat.


  • How does it work?

    In short, it freezes fat cells to the point of cell death. Each treatment (also known as cryolipolysis) reduces the depth of fat in approximately 20 to 25 percent of the fat thickness, so it’s possible to see more results with each subsequent treatment. The process is typically done in a doctor’s office using a special fat freezing machine. The machine features an assortment of differently-sized panels to create a unique treatment plan for each individual. The applicator holds skin in place with suction. Your provider will determine which applicator is used depending on the size of the area being treated. The machine then delivers a controlled cooling which targets the fat cells and freezes them. Post-treatment, your body will naturally process the dead fat cells and eliminate them over the course of several months.
  • What areas does it treat?

    The CoolSculpting® device is FDA-cleared for some of the most problematic areas for fat, like the double chin, thighs, abs, love handles, “bra fat,” upper arms, and the area directly under the butt, which some call the “banana roll.”
  • How long will it take to see results?

    It depends on the individual patient. Usually, there is little to no visible difference after the initial fat freezing session. Results usually begin to appear within 1-3 months after treatment and some may need two or more sessions, though the results can take weeks to months to fully materialize. All good things take time, right?
  • Does the treatment hurt?

    While the thought of freezing your fat might conjure notions of frostbite-like pain, most patients say fat freezing is only mildly uncomfortable — and only for the first few minutes at that! After about five minutes, the treated area becomes numb. There’s no need for topical numbing cream, let alone anesthesia.
  • How long will one session last?

    Depending on the size and quantity of the areas being treated, your session will likely last from 35 minutes to several hours. Remember, you won’t have to be completely still during the appointment. You might even be able to watch an episode or two of your favorite TV show — some offices offer streaming video services.
  • What are the costs?

    There’s no one set cost for fat freezing. Just as your body shape goals differ from someone else’s, so does the price of treatment. Generally, providers will charge based on the area treated and the number of treatments needed to whittle that area. Most of us have more than one bulge we’d like to banish; for this reason most people spend around $2,000-$4,000 on their fat-freezing experience depending on the area (which often includes multiple body areas) and the number of appointments needed.
  • What are the most common risks?

    The most common risks include minor swelling and bruising. Numbness and tingling in the treated area are also possible, and can last for a few weeks in some cases. Talk to your provider about any potential risks or side effects.
  • Is fat freezing right for me?

    If you have a bulge (or a few) that you’d rather live without, you could be a candidate for fat freezing. If you’re within this category and are considering treatment, you should speak with your provider or if you don't have one, chat with Spotlyte’s concierge for more information on providers.
The Process


Fat freezing is administered in a doctor’s office or at a certified medispa. Reading reviews can be helpful in choosing the right provider for your needs. Additionally, browsing before and after shots is a surefire way to give you an idea of what fat freezing can realistically achieve. If you’re not sure how to get started finding a provider, ask our team of trained aesthetic specialists for help.


You’ll enter a treatment room and potentially change into a comfortable gown, then either sit or lay down (depending on the area you’re treating). The clinician will sterilize the area, mark the treatment areas on your body, slick on a conducting gel pad, and then then apply a fat freezing applicator based on your customized treatment plan. The applicator covers the entire treatment area, gently holds the skin in place, and slowly freezes fat cells to the point of cell death. Once eliminated, these fat cells cannot come back. One application typically takes as little as 35 minutes — but that doesn’t mean you have to stare at the ceiling the entire time. In fact, many patients use treatments to catch up on work emails or their group chat.


One of the best aspects of fat freezing is that there is little to no downtime. Many people are able to go about their day immediately post-treatment. That said, some patients experience soreness for a few days after a session — but the feeling is manageable.


It depends on the individual patient. Usually, there is little to no visible difference after the initial fat freezing session. Results usually begin to appear within 1-3 months after treatment and some may need two or more sessions, though the results can take weeks to months to fully materialize. All good things take time, right?

Next Steps

Because each person’s body and desired outcome differs, it’s virtually impossible to determine how many sessions you’ll need without a professional’s help. Before starting your fat freezing regimen, your specialist will schedule a consultation, where they can give you a personalized estimate of your treatment timeline. Usually, patients need to wait a few weeks between sessions. So if you’re scheduling your treatment in anticipation of a major event, plan accordingly: you’ll want to start months in advance of the big day.

CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information

The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your healthcare provider if CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit the CoolSculpting website .

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