In our last blog post, My CoolSculpting Journey, Part One: The Consultation, we introduced Emily*, a Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery patient who recently underwent CoolSculpting with our Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist, Sonja Balcom. After undergoing her initial consultation, Emily decided to undergo two CoolSculpting treatments, as she will walk you through below.
My CoolSculpting Treatment Story
My first treatment day was about a month after my consultation. I was a little nervous going into it, but I really had nothing to fear! Read more about my CoolSculpting treatments, check-ins, and recovery below.
Treatment Day One
The first thing we did was take photos–eight separate photos of my body in different angles so we could get the baseline and keep track of how my body changes. You wear a backless bra top and boxer shorts for the photos, and your face is not photographed. After the photos, it was time to start the treatments!
First, Sonja took some CoolSculpting templates to determine the size of the plate she was going to need for the applicator. (During the consultation, she had figured out which ones she had wanted to use ahead of time so this was a quick process.) Everyone’s body is different, and this is where it helps to have such an experienced CoolSculpting specialist work on you so she can match the right one to your body! She used a marker to have the exact placement of where she wanted the device to be placed.
There is a cool pad that is placed on the area to be treated, and then the actual CoolSculpting machine is placed on top of the pad. There is a band that goes around you to keep the suction in place which makes it super comfortable. Pillows are placed around you and for the back and love handle treatments, you are sitting up and can be in front of a table, which is perfect for using a computer for doing work, or even just reading a book. Sonja even gave me some snacks as I was going to be there for a good portion of the day.
Each treatment is 35 minutes long. Sonja leaves the room while the device is doing its job, and then comes back in after it’s done to massage the skin that was just treated for 2 minutes. This is crucial to expedite the process of flushing out the fat cells.
For me, we did the back and love handle treatments first then proceeded to do the stomach treatments, so I could sit back and relax for the rest of the sessions.
What does CoolSculpting feel like?
For the first couple minutes, the process is cold and it makes your skin feel a little numb. It is not uncomfortable at all, and it’s not painful, just a different sensation than you are used to. After a few minutes you forget you’re even having it done. In actuality, I was incredibly relaxed throughout each treatment area.
The slightly uncomfortable part is the massage Sonja does after each treatment to help the blood flow back into the area that was being treated. It’s similar to the feeling of waking your hand or leg up after it falls asleep, but Sonja is very friendly and talks to you during the process. I did find the stomach massage to be a tad more uncomfortable than the back massage, but the two minutes of slight discomfort is nothing compared to the results!
What Is The Recovery From CoolSculpting like?
After the first round of treatments, the area treated was numb and had some tingly puffy sensation. It did not stop me from doing any activities though. In fact, I went camping in Yosemite and Sequoia just a couple days after and hiked everyday with no pain–only with what felt like a bloated stomach! Sonja did warn me of that during the consultation, recommending not to do CoolSculpting before a beach vacation because your stomach will be puffy.
5-Week and 10-Week Check Ups
In between my first and second treatment I had two check ups: a 5-week and a 10-week. The first check up was super quick and only lasted around 5 minutes. I could easily do it on my lunch break. During the check-ups, Sonja checks the treated areas to see if your body is responding to the treatment yet and if you are having any adverse reactions. Both times, Sonja told me my body was ahead of schedule and my body was responding really well to the treatments!
At the 10-week check up, Sonja took the same 8 pictures as the the first time to compare. This was the first time I got to see the before and after and I was shocked by how my stomach and back looked compared to after. My weight was nearly the same (in fact, I was a couple pounds heavier than my first visit), but even still, my back and stomach were a lot less full.
From there, we talked about next steps and Sonja recommended another round of treatments to sculpt out some of the areas one more time. CoolSculpting is really an art, and Sonja works her magic to ensure the treatment is done to symmetrically and to make sure everything looks natural and has an hourglass appearance on me.
Treatment Day Two
About three months after my last check-up, I had my second CoolSculpting treatment. (This was due to scheduling on my part, but this could have been done sooner if able.) It followed the exact process as the previous treatment day: documenting my weight, and receiving treatment, except that I had 6 treatments this time instead of my initial 8. There was no difference in the sensation of the treatment, other than knowing what I was going in for and feeling used to it!
The Next (and Final) Steps
After my second treatment day, I had my final 10-week check up. I did not need a 5 week check-in as Sonja already knew how my body was going to respond. I couldn’t wait for the whole ten weeks to come so I could see my results…
Read the conclusion of Emily’s story: My CoolSculpting Journey, Part Three: The Results
Interested in Having Your CoolSculpting Treatment at Garcia Plastic Surgery?
Checkout some of our additional CoolSculpting Resources Below:
Debunking Common Misconceptions About CoolSculpting – There are lots of rumors out there about CoolSculpting. Find out what you should – and shouldn’t – believe about CoolSculpting from the specialists at Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery.
Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting: Which Option is Right For Me? – We address the similarities and differences between liposuction and CoolSculpting so you can make an informed decision on which procedure is right for you!
Featured CoolSculpting Cases – See some of the amazing results that have been achieved by real patients like Emily at Dr. Garcia’s practice!
*name changed for privacy purposes