Coolsculpting Frequently Asked Questions

Coolsculpting Frequently Asked Questions


The board-certified dermatologists of Associated Skin Care Specialists love Coolsculpting!  In fact, Dr. Jane Lisko, Dr. Holly Hanson, and Dr. Bailey Lee have had numerous treatments ourselves!  Coolsculpting is the number one FDA-cleared, non-surgical, non-invasive treatment for unwanted fat.  Coolsculpting is the most popular, no downtime, non-surgical approach to body contouring.  As of 2019, there have been over 8 million treatments performed worldwide. 


Does it really work?

This is our most common question.  The answer is YES!  Everyone has either small or large pockets of unwanted fat.  These bulges can persist even with balanced diets and regular exercise.  These fat pockets are very frustrating.  Coolsculpting freezes and eliminates these areas, helping individuals reach their desired shape. 


What areas can be treated?

Coolsculpting can be used to treat under the chin, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, bra fat, back fat, arms, flanks, inner thighs, outer thighs, hips, above the knees, and the banana roll under the buttocks.    


How does Coolsculpting Work?

Coolsculpting uses a process called cryolipolysis.  This is a term that refers to freezing and killing fat cells.  Without harming or injuring the skin, Coolsculpting selectively lowers the temperature of the superficial fat.  The device is placed on the skin.  Vacuum suction draws the fatty bulge into the device. Cooling occurs by removing the heat from the treatment site.  This creates ice crystals in the fat cells.  As the tissue rewarms, the crystals cause permanent damage to the fat cells, making the fat cells die.  Gradually over several weeks, the body gets rid of the dead fat cells in the urine. 


Does Coolsculpting hurt?

Everyone has a different perception of pain.  Most patients do not feel that Coolsculpting hurts.  The treatment area tingles as the tissue chills, but it quickly becomes numb.  It reminds me of how our skin feels when first entering cold water.  The treatment itself is very comfortable.  Patients are able to relax, watch something on Netflix, get caught up on emails, or take a nap.  After the treatment cycle is completed, the treated area is massaged for 2 minutes as the tissue rewarms.  This can be uncomfortable.  It reminds me of the burning felt in toes after being outside in the cold for a long time.  The massage is critical, as it increases the fat breakdown by nearly 70%!  The vast majority of people tolerate the rewarming and massage well, but some have more difficulty.  Fortunately, the discomfort is very short lived.  Following the treatment, the area is tender to the touch – somewhat like a bruise.  Bruising can happen, too, due to the vacuum suction.  This discomfort resolves gradually over several weeks.  Uncommonly, some people experience more pronounced discomfort and even pain in the treated area.  This pain responds to ibuprofen and heating pads.  On a positive note, patients that have this more pronounced discomfort or pain after the procedure tend to have more dramatic results. 


How much does Coolsculpting cost?

Cost really varies from person to person, as everyone has a different body shape and unique goals.  When discussing treatment plans, we often refer to the number of cycles.  A cycle area is about the size of the palm of the hand.  Depending on an individual’s personal goals and shape, cycles are often over-lapped to gain maximum reduction.  We recommend a personalized consultation for all patients.  This is best achieved in person, but can be performed via telemedicine if necessary.  After reviewing goals, patients are given paper garments to wear.  While standing in front of a mirror, our Coolsculpting specialist will examine the patient’s area of concern.  Other areas of opportunity will also be discussed.  Photographs are taken to best document the consultation.  Patients are then given a written treatment plan, including options for spot treatment as well as for more global transformation. 


How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments depends on goals.  Each treatment reduces the fat pad by 20-25%.  Additional improvement is seen following each treatment.  Most patients plan for at least 2 treatments, spaced 1-3 months apart.


When will I see results?

Typically, there is some swelling noted right after the procedure.  This is due to inflammation generated by killing the fat.  Most people start to see results by 4 weeks after the treatment.  Optimal results are seen at 12 weeks.  We like to see patients at the 4-6 weeks after the treatment for new photographs.  It is fun to see the changes happen!


Can I finance my treatment?

Absolutely!  When patients are evaluated for consultations, pricing is always given with financing options.  Typically, we work with GreenSky financing.  Applications for GreenSky are available at our office or online.  We also accept Care Credit.  In addition to financing options, Brilliant Distinction points are awarded for Coolsculpting cycles.  These awards accumulate in each patient’s Brilliant Disctincions account.  BD points can be used for other services such as Botox and fillers, or for the purchase of Latisse (eyelash growth medication) and all SkinMedica products.


How long will my results last?

The results are permanent!  By the time we reach adolescence, our bodies have created every fat cell we will ever have.  We cannot make new fat cells.  The fat cells we have can increase in size (hypertrophy) or decrease in size (atrophy).  Coolsculpting actually kills fat cells and decreases the absolute number of fat cells.  As long as patients maintain their same level of activity and same diet, results will remain permanent. 


Does Coolsculpting cause weight loss?

No, Coolsculpting is not a weight loss treatment.  It is treatment designed for fat bulge reduction and body contouring.  Patients can become inspired by the results of treatment so much so that is inspires new activity and new dedication to healthy eating.  Some patients use Coolsculpting as a way to spark and inspire body transformation and healthier living.


Is Coolsculpting the same as liposuction?

While both procedures can achieve dramatic results, they are not the same.  Liposuction is a surgical procedure performed in the operating room, often with general anesthesia or conscious sedation.  Coolsculpting is non-surgical and non-invasive.  Unlike liposuction, no incisions are made in the skin.  There are no scars from Coolsculpting.  While many people are challenged by unwanted or undesirable fat bulges, many are uncomfortable with “going under the knife”.  The advantage of Coolsculpting is that there are no incisions, no scars, no aesthesia.  There is no down-time after the procedure.  Patients can go from our office immediately back to everyday life without any changes in daily routine. 


Should I wait until I lose weight before I do Coolsculpting

Every patient must know his or her own motivational style.  Some patients use Coolsculpting to sculpt away resistant fat bulges as a reward after putting in the time to diet and exercise.  This makes perfectly good sense.  Coolsculpting can contour away those last pockets of fat that just won’t resolve with diet and exercise.  On the other hand, some patients use Coolsculpting to jumpstart a new routine.  Coolsculpting can provide dramatic improvement in just a few treatments.  Many of our patients use Coolsculpting as the launch pad for a new healthier lifestyle.  After completing Coolsculpting and seeing the improvements, patients are even more motivated to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan.  Which personality are you?  There are only right answers!


Why should I Coolsculpt with thedermgirls at Associated Skin Care Specialists?

Our practice is composed of board-certified dermatologists.  This means after medical school, We are the experts in all conditions involving the skin.  Associated Skin Care Specialists is a leader in the Twin Cities.  Founded in 1973, Associated Skin Care Specialists is the most trusted dermatology practice in the Twin Cities.  Drs. Lisko, Hanson, and Lee have over 30 years of combined experience in aesthetic dermatology.  We know you will love your results!


How can I schedule to learn more about Coolsculpting?

Call either our Eden Prairie office at 952-934-7336 or Maple Grove office at 763-416-2380 to schedule your consultation with our Coolsculpting specialists.  Consultations are, of course, complimentary.  We know you will love your results!


Jane Lisko, MD Dr. Lisko is a board-certified dermatologist. She has practiced at Associated Skin Care Specialists, PA in Eden Prairie, MN, and Fridley, MN, since 2001. Dr. Lisko specializes in skin cancer diagnosis and surgery, cosmetic dermatology, and laser surgery. She is married to Dr. Jeff Lisko, a gastroenterologist. Together they have four sons. When not working or spending time with her family, Dr. Lisko enjoys traveling, reading, exercising on her Peloton bike, and playing golf (poorly but with a smile!)

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