Fat Freezing

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fat-Freezing

Woman Standing in Underwear

Feeling taut and toned can be a major source of confidence; after all, it’s one of the primary reasons so many of us spend our free time in the pilates studio. But regardless of how disciplined we are with our reps, it can be virtually impossible to spot-reduce fat from certain areas via exercise alone. Enter CoolSculpting®, also known as fat-freezing: a non-invasive treatment that reduces stubborn fat — and can go a long way to sculpt your silhouette. It's scientifically tested, yet there are still a myriad of misconceptions surrounding the topic. Read on and suss out the true scoop for yourself.

Editor's Note

The CoolSculpting treatment is a non-invasive fat freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” in the submental and submandibular areas, thigh, abdomen, flank, and upper arm, along with bra fat, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (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. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.

A quick definition

“CoolSculpting is a proven, non-surgical means of eliminating stubborn fat in body areas that are often resistant to diet and exercise,” explains Shelly Atalig, advanced registered nurse practitioner and fat-freezing expert at Ideal Image. “The treatment uses controlled cooling to eliminate fat, sculpt, and contour — without surgery and with little to no downtime.”

How CoolSculpting actually works

Researchers discovered that fat cells could be frozen and destroyed in an unexpected way. They observed that people who frequently ate popsicles developed cheek dimples in the areas where their popsicles made repeated contact with the inner cheek, meaning the popsicle reduced the fat in those areas.

To achieve that similar elimination on a larger scale, fat freezing uses a device to literally freeze those subcutaneous fat cells to death. Applicators are placed over the treatment area to hold fat in place and apply targeted freezing. The process is said to be minimally uncomfortable, and the time involved (typically as little as 35 minutes per area) is usually worth it —  once a treated fat cell is eliminated, it’s gone for good.

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive option

Unlike liposuction, which requires incisions to literally suck fat from under the skin, fat-freezing is 100 percent non-invasive — which is one of the reasons it’s becoming so popular, Atalig notes. Plus, she adds, “it’s extremely effective and offers little to no downtime.” After your appointment, you can pretty much hop off the table and head back to work!

CoolSculpting is not a weight loss method

While fat-freezing does target and eliminate fat cells, it’s not considered weight loss, Atalig emphasizes. Instead, she says to think of fat freezing as a solution to minimizing those pesky problem areas — i.e. “those bulges that won’t budge,” she says. For instance, fat-freezing can be used to thwart pesky back fat or rid your otherwise toned legs of those inner thigh pouches.

As with any procedure, it’s important to consult with your care provider to make sure CoolSculpting is the best option for your desired outcome. Though there always risks to consider, this treatment is considered a safe way to say goodbye to those last little pouches of fat that are standing in the way of your ideal figure. Want to chat about CoolSculpting? Get real aesthetic answers, right now from our trained aesthetic specialists!

® is an Allergan®-owned non-invasive fat reduction treatment.

CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information 


The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), 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. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for weight loss.

Important Safety Information 

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.

Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions including recent surgery, pre-existing hernia, and any known sensitivities or allergies.

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 submental or submandibular area treatment.