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What is Coolsculpting?

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CoolSculpting Overview

Dr. Hilinski and his dedicated staff are proud to offer CoolSculpting neck and body contouring – the world’s #1 non-surgical treatment for excess fat.1 CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a safe, non-surgical, non-invasive method of eliminating unwanted body fat from a wide range of areas.2 For many years, the only option to get rid of excess body fat was liposuction. Fortunately, CoolSculpting was introduced a few years back as the best, minimally invasive alternative to liposuction. CoolSculpting is based on the theory that excess fatty contours can be reduced and eliminated by freezing the underlying fat. This is also referred to as cryolipolysis, which is a scientific term that means destruction of fat by freezing. If the fat is exposed to temperatures between 5 and -5 degrees celsius, the fat cells will undergo what is called apoptosis – a fancy term for cell death.3 Since you are born with as many fat cells as you will ever have, once fat cells are destroyed by CoolSculpting, they will never come back – leaving you with a long-term improved cosmetic result. CoolSculpting allows this type of non-surgical weight loss without damaging the overlying skin.4 And all of this can be accomplished with no surgical incisions, no knives, no lasers and no needles!

How Was CoolSculpting Discovered?

Believe it or not, the genesis of CoolSculpting can be traced back to kids sucking on popsicles! Years ago, it was observed by Harvard researchers (where Dr. Hilinski attended medical school) that young kids were developing dimpled cheeks as a result of popsicles. It was a phenomenon described as popsicle panniculitis.5 This is a condition where the fatty layer on the inside of the cheek becomes inflamed as a result of the cold temperatures from the popsicle contacting the inside of the mouth. Redness and swelling ensue and then a dimple forms as the fat dies off. This occurs more so in young kids and infants because there is a higher concentration of what are called fatty acids in their cheek tissue. It doesn’t occur readily in adult-aged individuals enjoying a popsicle. Essentially the fat was getting frozen, dying off and then leaving a dimple. Researchers at Harvard picked up on this observation and used this as a springboard to develop the technology behind CoolSculpting.

Is CoolSculpting FDA Approved?

Yes. CoolSculpting is, in fact, the only FDA-approved method of freezing fat to help improve your body’s shape and contour. After extensive analysis by the FDA, CoolSculpting was granted approval as a safe, effective method of fat reduction using a controlled cooling mechanism to freeze away stubborn fat.

Since the device came to market, literally millions of procedures have been performed with the CoolSculpting fat freezing system – with an incredibly safe track record throughout this period of time.

In addition, CoolSculpting has been FDA-approved for improving the appearance of loose skin in patients who have a double chin – meaning it actually tightens skin at the same time as getting rid of excess fatty deposits.6

Best CoolSculpting Candidates

The best candidates for CoolSculpting are grown women and men who are interested in losing 10-15 pounds of fat without undergoing liposuction. Potential patients who are significantly overweight – or obese – are not considered to be good candidates for the procedure.7 Part of the reasoning behind this is because the CoolSculpting applicators need to be able to ‘pinch’ the area of excess fat in order to work ideally. If you happen to be significantly overweight, we recommend consultation with your regular doctor to formulate a comprehensive plan to lose the weight first – before choosing to undergo CoolSculpting.

Planning Your CoolSculpting Procedure

Average Cost: $3,000 – $5,000
Average Procedure Time: 1 – 2 hours
Average Recovery Time: None
Post-Op Consultation: 2 months
*Procedure pricing and results with Dr. Hilinski may vary. Your personalized treatment plan and pricing will be determined at your consultation appointment.

Upcoming Wedding? Freeze Fat Away Before the Big Day

Of all the times in our lives when we want to look our very best, weddings top the list. Brides-to-be put so much planning and effort into their wedding day appearance, they deserve to feel good and love the way they look in photos. If wedding bells are in your future, CoolSculpting can help you look fabulous on your big day! Dieting is unpredictable, but CoolSculpting can help ensure that your dress fits perfectly and that you feel confident and sexy on your honeymoon. Of course, not only brides want to look great – CoolSculpting can help grooms achieve a lean, chiseled look and allow bridesmaids, groomsmen, and mothers-of-the-bride look great too. Visit Dr. Hilinski in San Diego 4 to 6 months before your wedding to achieve a leaner look for the big day. Learn More About Weddings and CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting, Diet and Exercise

So how does CoolSculpting work with diet and exercise? This is actually a very important question that should be addressed and considered by all patients before undergoing Coolsculpt fat freezing treatment.

Any patient considering CoolSculpting should already have made a concerted effort to lose weight by traditional, reliable changes in lifestyle that include a healthy diet and exercise regimen. CoolSculpting should be viewed as just one part of this behavioral change to get and stay healthier – and more shapely!

But, the reality is that a good percentage of people will struggle to lose those last 5-15 pounds of unwanted weight. In addition, some areas of the body simply don’t respond to even a stringent diet and vigorous exercise. In situations where diet and exercise meet their limits in achieving the desired body size and shape, other methods like CoolSculpting are a great option to further help you achieve the desired weight, size and shape.

How is CoolSculpting Done?

CoolSculpting is done in our beautiful San Diego office in a relaxing, private treatment room. The area or areas of concern are selected prior to the treatment. Our expertly trained and dedicated CoolSculpting specialists will apply an applicator to the area of excess fat. This is shown in the adjacent photo diagram, where the silver outline represents the CoolSculpting adapter. The device allows for a gentle vacuum pressure to be applied to the skin – drawing the excess fatty tissue in between the two cooling panels. The fat is then frozen, which results in crystallization of the fat cells underneath the skin. Once a certain threshold is reached, the fat cells die off. The process of CoolSculpting each area is fairly pain-free. Some patients may experience a feeling of cold pressure initially, but this fades quickly as the treatment progresses.

So what happens to the broken down fat cells? Your body will slowly absorb them away over the following 2-4 weeks. Because there is no damage to the overlying skin, downtime is minimal – with most patients noting some degree of numbness in the area and some focal swelling of the treated zones.

All of this is done as an office-based treatment with no need for anesthesia. Each area takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete a treatment. That is why some people have referred to CoolSculpting as the ‘lunchtime’ tummy tuck.

If you have more than one area that you would like Coolsculpted, this can easily and safely be done that same day. This is just one of the reasons why CoolSculpting has become so incredibly popular in San Diego.

We recommend you bring something to read or watch during your CoolSculpting treatment session. One area will take about 35-45 minutes to complete. That could translate into enough time to read your favorite magazine – or one episode of your favorite TV comedy!

CoolSculpting Treatment Areas

The most common areas that are treated with CoolSculpting include the following:

  • Neck (under the chin)
  • Arms
  • Chest (in men)
  • Upper back (bra fat)
  • Upper abdomen
  • Lower abdomen
  • Flanks
  • Banana roll – between the thigh and the buttocks
  • Inner thigh
  • Outer thigh

Upper Versus Lower Abdomen

One of the most common areas treated with CoolSculpting is the abdomen. This is true in both men and women considering non-surgical reduction of fat. So what is the difference between the upper and lower abdomen when it comes to CoolSculpting? The upper abdomen is the area above the belly button, while the lower abdomen is the area below the belly button. Fortunately, CoolSculpting is incredibly effective for treatment of both the upper and lower abdomen.8

Coolsculpt Mini

Coolsculpt Mini is a special applicator that is used with the CoolSculpting system to help treat smaller, more focused areas of unwanted fat. For example, that stubborn, excess fat under the chin – often called submental fat excess or a double chin deformity – can be effectively treated with this smaller Coolsculpt adapter to gain a more contoured neckline without surgery. This ‘Cool Mini’ – as it has often been called – takes two separate treatment sessions to achieve more ideal results. But some patients can see a significant improvement in their jawline and neckline after just one CoolMini session – as is shown in the photo example to the left. The results shown here are just 5 weeks after one fat freezing session!

Kybella Vs CoolSculpting

It is worth mentioning here that many patients who are considering Kybella injection under the chin would be much better off doing Coolsculpt Mini instead. Since Kybella hit the market a few years back, its popularity has actually gone down considerably. A fantastic alternative to Kybella is the Coolsculpt Mini as offered by Dr. Hilinski and his expert team. CoolSculpt Mini has several advantages over Kybella when it comes to contouring the chin fat and creating better jawline definition.9 These include the following:

  • Less treatment sessions – Coolsculpt can delivery phenomenal results in just two sessions (compared with 4-5 for Kybella)
  • Less pain and discomfort – although there is some with Coolsculpt Mini, it is still less than you might get with Kybella injection
  • Skin tightening effects – Coolsculpt Mini has been shown to actually tighten the skin under the chin

Learn more about why CoolMini is better than Kybella for treatment of the double chin by clicking here.

What is Dual Sculpting?

Dual sculpting refers to CoolSculpting treatment using two machines at one time. In offices where only one CoolSculpting machine is available, one side has to be treated, then the other side is treated. For example, one flank would be treated for 30-40 minutes. Then the other side would have to be done.

If two CoolSculpting machines are available in your chosen doctor’s office, both sides can be done at the same time – cutting in half the time you spend getting Coolsculpted! If several different areas are being sculpted in one day – like the flanks, back fat and inner thighs – the treatment times can add up quickly. So with dual sculpting, your body contouring treatment session can be done twice as fast – allowing us to get you back to your daily routine as quickly as we can.

Dr. Hilinski and his team of medspa CoolSculpting specialists have two (2) machines available – DualSculpting – so you can get your body sculpted in half the time as it takes at other San Diego offices.

Multi-Task While Getting Sculpted

One of the many great things about CoolSculpting is the fact that patients can actually multitask while getting the treatment done in our office. What are some of the things that you can do while getting Coolsculpted?

  1. Enjoy a good book. Although your treatment for one area could be as short as 35 minutes, many CoolSculpting patients undergo freezing of several different areas in one day. At times, this can translate into several hours of non-surgical body sculpting in the office. The longer your treatment, the more time you have to enjoy your favorite novel.
  2. Enjoy your favorite magazine. This is a great option for quick, 35 minute CoolSculpting treatments because you will be in and out of the office in just enough time to peruse your favorite magazine.
  3. Catch up on your emails. Why not be productive while getting in better shape?
  4. Post about us on social media! Whether it be on Instagram or Facebook, let all your family and friends know about Dr. Hilinski and his incredible team of CoolSculpting experts.
  5. Watch television. Dr. Hilinski intentionally equipped his CoolSculpting procedure room with a television monitor so his patients could enjoy watching their favorite program or movie.
  6. Get some rest. Why not just close your eyes and get some much need rest?

Botox and Fillers During CoolSculpting?

In addition to the activities noted above, many patients actually undergo Botox and filler treatmentBotox and filler treatment while having their body Coolsculpted! What better time to get your Botox injection and filler injection than during the actual CoolSculpting treatment session? This includes treatment with Dysport, Juvederm, Restylane, Bellafill, Sculptra and/or Radiesse in combination with CoolSculpting.

Coolsculpting Recovery

Most patients have no to minimal downtime or recovery following a CoolSculpting treatment session.10 In fact, we normally do not even recommend pain medications. If there is pain, over-the-counter Motrin or Ibuprofen will usually suffice.

Some patients will notice redness, numbness and itching in the treated areas.11 The redness usually dissipates over days. The numbness and itching can persist a bit longer and typically subsides within weeks to months if it is present. The abdomen area tends to have the highest incidence of numbness after CoolSculpting.

A good majority of Coolsculpt patients will see a complete recovery by 2-4 months after their office treatment. Some patients can start to see the cosmetic improvements within weeks of their fat freezing session. But a majority of patients will see the cosmetic enhancements over a period of months following CoolSculpting.

It is highly recommended that all patients maintain a healthy diet and continue to participate in a regular exercise program after CoolSculpting. If you fail to do so, you may start to see unwanted changes in the treated area(s) that will negatively impact your results.

Massage After CoolSculpting

It is recommended that you massage the treatment areas following CoolSculpting. It is known that manual massage after CoolSculpting treatment will help accelerate the loss of fat – especially in the early period of recovery.12 As the months go on, it has also been shown that manual massage of the treatment area will result in substantially more reduction of fat – leading to better results.

CoolSculpting Results

A great majority of patients who have chosen CoolSculpting are quite happy with their new look. CoolSculpting, on average, will allow patients to see a 20-25% reduction of fat after just one treatment session. With additional treatments, even more fat can be effectively eliminated with even better results.

If you are looking for the absolute best results when it comes to non-surgical body and neck sculpting – minus the extensive downtime and potential surgical complications associated with surgical liposuction – contact our office today to schedule a consultation with our expertly trained staff.

Certified CoolSculpting Practice

Dr. Hilinski and his expert staff have been deemed a CoolSculpting certified practice by Zeltiq. What this means to patients choosing an office for CoolSculpting is that Dr. Hilinski and his staff members have undergone advanced training in this technique of freezing fat. Not all medspa offices are certified by CoolSculpting. The only ones that can claim this are practices that have spent the extra time and effort to be fully trained by CoolSculpting experts – giving you the added comfort that your procedure will be performed precisely as it should be according to the highest standards.

CoolSculpting Financing

Are you looking to get financing for CoolSculpting body contouring? GreenSky Patient Solutions is offering NO INTEREST with low monthly payments for CoolSculpting patients of Dr. Hilinski.

Our office also offers CareCredit financing for non-surgical CoolSculpting treatments.

Contact our office today to discuss what option may be best for you.
1,10,11 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The skinny on CoolSculpting. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2020.
2,7 Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Cryolipolysis for noninvasive body contouring: clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction. Accessed May 28, 2020.
3-4 Dermatology Research and Practice. Effectiveness and Safety of Contrast Cryolipolysis for Subcutaneous-Fat Reduction. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2020.
5 S V Rajkumar, T A Laude, R M Russo, V J Gururaj. Popsicle Panniculitis of the Cheeks. A Diagnostic Entity Caused by Sucking on Cold Objects. Clinical Pediatrics. 1976 Jul;15(7):619-21.
6,12 Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. Safety and Efficacy of Cryolipolysis for Non-Invasive Reduction of Submental Fat. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2020.
8 ePlasty. Cryolipolysis in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2020.
9 JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. Safety and Efficacy of Bilateral Submental Cryolipolysis With Quantified 3-Dimensional Imaging of Fat Reduction and Skin Tightening. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2020.

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