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My Experience with CoolSculpting

What Chloe Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Molly Sims, Ali Landry, and ME have in common

I recently made a huge decision: it was time to get rid of my love handles once and for all! Bye bye, annoying hip fat.

Naturally, I started with Google. How does one go about getting fat removal surgery? The options I found were almost limitless. My first inclination was toward liposuction. It was something my friends had had before and I was familiar with the concept. Then something new popped up – “CoolSculpting.”

According to the Allergan website, the CoolSculpting procedure is a fat-freezing procedure that is THE ONLY “FDA-cleared, non-surgical fat-reduction treatment” and uses controlled cooling to eliminate the stubborn fat which resists all of our noble efforts of diets and exercising. The website even claimed, “The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting—so you’ll look great from every angle.

I also quickly discovered that Coolsculpting is the “newest secret weapon” of A-list celebrities like Chloe Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Molly Sims, and Lindsay Lohan. Apparently, there’s a whole slew of celebrities trying out the new tech to maintain their sleek, famous figures.

According to New Beauty magazine, Khloé Kardashian had used CoolSculpting to help sculpt her body in addition to her normal routines of diet and exercise. The 32-year-old celebrity claimed that although she was a Botox Virgin, she had used Coolsculpting to slim down.

Jennifer Aniston in InStyle magazine said that though she, “loves lasers and non-invasive treatments” she has also used CoolSculpting to target problem areas.

Molly Sims talked to Vanity Fair about Coolsculpting after her two pregnancies. “There was no downtime. It’s perfect for busy moms! I had a wonderful experience and I plan on doing it again.”

Ali Landry talked about CoolSculpting her belly on E! News. “I always had to wear Spanx to suck it in… two months later, I can see my waist again!”

An unnamed source close to the curvy chanteuse told Radar that part of Mariah Carey’s slimmed-down look of late can be attributed to CoolSculpting.

"After so many success stories, I realized that this could also be my new secret weapon too! So I asked myself..."

What is Coolsculpting?

According to Forbes Magazine, inspiration behind coolsculpting came from two Harvard dermatologists (Dieter Manstein, MD and R Rox Anderson) who observed that infants and young children would get swelling and redness in their cheeks 6 to 72 hours after sucking on a popsicle or ice cube. In extreme conditions, fat cells would die leading to the appearance of dimples! CoolSculpting was born.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment to reduce the appearance of stubborn localized fat. A vacuum and chilled applicator are placed over the fat area. The vacuum sucks fat into the applicator where it is subjected to freezing temperatures. (Kind of crazy, right?) The cold causes the fat cells which are more sensitive to the cold than the surrounding tissue to die.

coolsculpting in virginia

Coolsculpting is FDA Approved!

Coolsculpting was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) in September 2010 after receiving approval for use in Europe in 2009. It was approved for the removal of localized fat pockets in areas including the abdomen, thighs, flanks, and back. In 2018, it was also approved for neck fat.

What areas can be treated with Coolsculpting?

  • Abdomen
  • Flanks/Love Handles ( ME !)
  • Arm bulges
  • Knees
  • Thighs ( both inner and outer )
  • Bra and back fat
  • Neck fat under the chin
  • ANYWHERE. really !
Just look at these before and after pictures!
Images: www.coolsculpting.com/before-and-after/
Before coolsculpting abdomen
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
After coolsculpting abdomen
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
Neck Fat Removal
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
After coolsculpting neck
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
Before coolsculpting flanks
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
After coolsculpting flanks
Before coolsculpting arm
Coolsculpting before and after courtesy of Allergan
After coolsculpting arm

Am I a good candidate for Coolsculpting?

What I found was any adult with a fat bulge like mine is a candidate for Coolsculpting! Coolsculpting is an effective non-surgical method for removing or reducing subcutaneous fat. There is visceral fat which surrounds your organs and then there is subcutaneous fat, which is that extra inch to pinch on the outer layer. My trouble area was my love handles which falls into the subcutaneous treatable fat category.

My decision to get Coolsculpting and my consultation:

Now that I had made up my mind and knew which treatment I wanted (a non-surgical procedure: effective and preferably one with little to no recovery time), Coolsculpting seemed to fit the bill.
I made my appointment with Dr. Chang at the Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center. Of course, I did my research, and learned that

he’s worked in Loudoun County for over 18 years. Looking at the before and afters on his website, I saw that he creates amazing transformations.

One thing I was really impressed with about Dr. Chang is that he doesn’t buy into gimmicks and fads. I was 100% confident that he would only use CoolSculpting if he knew it was tested, approved, and effective.

Another thing that I was counting on was that if he didn’t think CoolSculpting was right for me, he could go ahead and tell me about liposuction. There’s a surgery center there, so I knew I wouldn’t have to go anywhere else for my treatment.

Next came the consultation…

Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery

When I first walked in the door, I immediately noticed that Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center is beautiful. I had a consultation with one of their Registered Nurses. I was surprised at how comfortable I felt with the Nurse. You have to keep in mind that you’re sitting on a table pointing out the areas of your body that you’re already self concisous about. There’s a lot that could go terribly. Instead, she so nicely called those areas “opportunity for improvement.” Immediately, I could feel myself relaxing and even laughing at some of her jokes.

The nurse explained all of the details of the procedure. It would take three months for my body to flush out the dead fat cells.  She showed me some templates in the office that evaluated the areas I wanted to be improved along with the suggested number of cycles necessary to completely treat each area.

The part that excited me most was that Dr. Chang’s office has two machines – so we can “Dual CoolSculpt” treating both sides of my body at the same time. I was so nervous of being antsy and fidgety during the treatment, but the whole treatment would only take 35 minutes! Thank goodness

Coolsculpting by Aesthetica

I found out during my consultation that not all CoolSculpting is created equal.

The machines have been updated SIGNIFICANTLY since the technology was invented. Dr. Chang only recently began CoolSculpting because the original machines were in the Nurse’s words: “barbaric.” Described as a mammogram for your fat, suction between two freezing plates causing uneven treatments and bruising, discomfort even to the point of passing out.

I had one foot out the door!

Then she explained that new handpieces contour the skin into the treatment area, reducing side effects significantly. She showed me 10 different configurations, they can now move the hand pieces to make it completely customizable to the patient. I didn’t quite understand, but she calmly explained again.

The Nurse told me that she herself had had a treatment. That made me feel worlds better. She said it was extremely cold, but not painful.

After the applicator is removed there is a two minute massage to the treated area to “completely kill” the fat cells. That sensation was described to me like the feeling of running your hands under hot water after being out in the cold.

My Treatment

After arriving at Aesthetica a second time to receive the treatment, but before the treatment began, the Nurse helped take pictures of the treatment area: for comparison afterwards. I was told that after photos would be taken three months later. She also weighed me, explaining that CoolSculpting is not a tool for weight loss – there wouldn’t be a drastic decrease – but the scale shouldn’t go up. That felt like it would help keep me accountable to being a bit healthier for the next three months, at least.

The nurse took out her assortment of sharpies and highlighters to mark up my skin. It was like a pirate’s map on my abdomen. She precisely defined the treatment plan and we were able to agree on the area for improvement.

The treatment area was thoroughly cleaned, then a gel applicator pad was placed on my skin. The nurse attached the applicator to the machine and smiled at me: “Your treatment is about to begin.” She hit the button.

It felt like my skin was sucked up into a vacuum bowl. Not uncomfortable, but it was sort of a weird feeling… She hit a second “chill” button and the cooling began.

It was cold. REALLY cold.

The sensation reminded me of when I played soccer in high school and had to put an ice pack on my knee pretty regularly.

Eventually the area went completely numb and I didn’t feel anything at all. That was actually probably even weirder than the cooling had been.

The nurse stayed with me for about 5 minutes to make sure I was completely comfortable, handed me a button to press if i needed her to return for any reason, and then left me to sit in blissful silence for the next twenty minutes. No kids, no husband, no chores, just quiet! I sat and peacefully read my book. It was wonderful.

Twenty minutes later, a bell went off and the nurse returned to finish the treatment. The handpiece was removed and the skin was REALLY cold to touch. My skin looked like a mound of red, irritated, fat.

She warned me that this was the unpleasant part of the procedure. She swiped the area with water and began to gently massage the treatment area. It STUNG. She had been on par when she described it as coming in from the freezing outdoors and running your hands under hot water.

It turned into a pretty vigorous massage. Once the initial “pins and needles” feeling passed, it wasn’t bad at all. Apparently, massaging the area helps break up the crystalized fat cells and increases the effect of the treatment by 68%!! Isn’t that amazing?

What can you expect after Coolsculpting!

The area will be swollen for a few days to a week: don’t freak out about it. I know I was pretty anxious about it, but it’s just your body clearing away the fat cells which are metabolized through your liver little by liver over time,

Bruising is NORMAL for a few days, I was told. I bruised a little but not too bad. 

The area will feel numb and tingle for a few weeks after the treatment. I just let that tingling remind me of how much better it was going to look in a few short weeks!

Sometimes the side effects might last longer, but the Nurse told me no longer than a month and it really didn’t even take that long for me. Decreases in fat bulges do not occur immediately (don’t bother going straight home and looking in a mirror!) but you will begin to see a difference after 4 weeks and full effects after 12 weeks

DONE and DONE!! ... Results are IN!

12 weeks later, I came back to Aesthetica for my follow-up and we took my after photos.

I am THRILLED. Coolsculpting truly has made a huge difference. I see it in my wardrobe. I feel it on my body. I LOVE the way I look. I am so, so excited to find a way to achieve my goals: non surgically, with no downtime, to boot!

If you or any of your friends are looking to slim down some of your stubborn arm, belly, or thigh fat, I will absolutely be encouraging my friends to have this done.

From start to finish, Coolsculpting with Dr. Chang was easy, pleasant, relaxed, successful, and every step of the way felt like it was truly meant to help me become my best self. Make sure you seriously consider both this procedure and this Aesthetica practice in particular if you live in the Northern Virginia area.

10/10 would recommend!

-Tiffany, an actual testimonial case study written by an Aesthetica patient

Dr. Chang and CoolSculpting In Some of Your Favorite Magazines:

Leslie on pain during the procedure:

“…They explained everything to me. I felt really comfortable. The treatment itself was not uncomfortable and afterwards I felt great.” – Lesley

Anne on noticing her results:

“It’s subtle at first, and then a month later, you look and you go, oh, wow! It really did something! It really moved the bar for me, and I’m feeling better about myself already.” – Anne