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CoolSculpting Froze Off My Belly Fat, And This Is How It Felt
You may think CoolSculpting , the non-invasive procedure that freezes fat cells and supposedly has no recovery time, sounds too good to be true. No sit-ups? No planks? A slimmer stomach just a few weeks later?
Here’s the breakdown: Also known generically as cryolipolysis, CoolSculpting is performed by doctors and aestheticians. By freezing fat, the process naturally eliminates dead, frozen fat cells throughout your body. You can see results in just a few weeks—though sometimes it takes up to three months.
My stomach has always been my trouble area. I’m also willing to try almost anything once, so when I was given the opportunity to test the treatment out, I figured I’d give it a shot. As an avid runner with a penchant for pizza, I figured I had nothing to lose. Since CoolSculpting promised “no downtime,” I could get right back to training for the back-to-back 10K and half-marathon I had on the calendar about eight weeks later. (Signing up for your own race? Try our 12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan.) I wouldn’t need to take any time off work either—and would hopefully soon be gifted with a firmer six-pack. Win-win, right?
So I crept into a sleek Tribeca medispa on a quiet Saturday morning. But with no one else in the waiting room, I suddenly felt alone—and nervous. “As a reporter, I should have done more research on this before agreeing to it,” I thought to myself.
I realized I had no idea what I was getting into—not my typical, OCD-like way of handling anything related to my health or body.
A technician whisked me into a sterile room and gave me a glorified paper bra and set of panties to put on instead of my own. (They were really glam.)
After I changed, she instructed me to stand in the corner under a few harsh lights so she could snap a few “before photos” and figure out which parts of my stomach were best for the treatment.
Grabbing my gut—which I like to think I work on somewhat as a regular exerciser!—my technician happily exclaimed, “Oh, you’re going to be a great candidate. This roll is the perfect type of fat for CoolSculpting.”
Not quite something you’re excited to hear while someone holds onto your stomach roll.
I’ve struggled with my body image my whole life, but I tried to agree with her sentiment and nodded. But that was before she pulled out the marker (yes, a marker, you heard me right). Sorority-style, she took some sort of branded ruler to my belly and drew lines to mimic where my fat peaks.
OK, maybe I should have expected that at a fat-freezing treatment. What I wasn’t expecting: to feel as crushed by her assessment of my stomach as I did.
We picked my lower abs and I hopped in the chair, not quite ready for what was next.
The technician gave me the rundown: She’d place a towel dripping with a freezing agent on the drawn-upon roll of fat. This would then be clamped down on by the CoolSculpting device. The device hums for an hour, killing fat cells, and I’d be able to watch Netflix (score). Then, she’d come back in, spend two minutes rubbing my fat back out, and we’d repeat on the other side. All-in-all, this would total to two hours time. A bit faster than a gazillion crunches, right?
I was already feeling defeated from my assessment, but at her description of the procedure, I became straight-up terrified. She explained the clamping of your stomach can feel like someone is taking your breath away, but it was so much worse than that. The sharp pain of a huge machine sucking your stomach (imagine a vacuum) is kind of indescribable in the worst possible way.
Thankfully, you go completely numb after about 10 minutes (which is when I turned on an episode of SVU). The rest of the hour is a blur of Mariska, chilly temps, and intermittent pain. I watched the countdown clock second by second on the CoolSculpting machine.
As for that two-minute massage? Well, after the hour, your once roly-poly roll of fat has condensed into what feels and looks like a hard stick of butter. The technician returned to spend what were the 120 most painful seconds of my life rubbing my right lower abdomen. This, she explained, would help minimize swelling and aid in the lymphatic drainage of the now-dead fat cells. With tears streaming down my face, I told her the pain was too great. I’d have to come back another day to do the other side, I told her. (By the way, this is The Best Tool for a Deeper Self-Massage.)
The Side Effects
Shaky and emotionally drained, I returned to my apartment, where I had laid out my running clothes, thinking I’d bounce right back and be OK to jog. When I walked in the door, my husband asked how it went, and I pulled my shirt up to show him massive bruises the size of grapefruits on my right side.
He didn’t say much—I think he was in complete shock—but I gasped, realizing just how much pain I was in. Despite bruising and swelling being two of the more common side effects, I didn’t realize just how beat up I’d be. Was this really worth it for the promise of a “flat belly”?
Even more: Another possible side effect of CoolSculpting is lingering, tingling nerve pain and you can’t take a handful of Advil for it: CoolSculpting causes an inflammatory response in the body, and any ibuprofen stifles that desired inflammatory response. The nerve pain, which can last up to six weeks, was random, stabby, and anxiety-inducing.
Thankfully, the pain and bruising subsided after about three weeks. And when I went back for my left side (where I learned my fat peaked far less, hallelujah), I didn’t experience the same post-treatment nerve pain. I did have another set of major bruises, though. Sigh.
CoolSculpting purports itself as non-invasive treatment with no downtime. The truth? I couldn’t run, do yoga, or strength train for two weeks—and I’ve never felt my personal space more invaded than during the treatment. I was hyper-aware of my stomach fat and somehow felt more self-conscious than ever. The inflammatory response also causes a bit of swelling in the first week or two, so your stomach actually gets bigger before it gets smaller.
Which brings me to the results: the slimmer stomach I was after. Did I get it? Three months later, I’ll admit it: My stomach is seriously flatter. My once-familiar round belly was more akin to a washboard, and muscle cuts were emerging near my more now-pronounced hipbones. (The spa never followed up to take after photos, so I never got the exact deets of how many inches I lost.)
Two points worth adding: The weeks off the streets and out of the yoga studio (due to the pain of the treatment) don’t help anyone’s fitness goals. Plus, a family vacation at the three-month mark (when the best results from CoolSculpting are seen) made my abs far less washboard-y. The familiar old curvature of my belly reappeared. And despite many sweaty runs, planks, and downward dogs, I couldn’t get my stomach as flat as it had been before that trip.
So yes, in my experience, CoolSculpting works, but only if you’re really strict with your diet and exercise regimen, which I was, for the most part. And remember, just a few weeks off completely derailed project six-pack.
Considering how badly the procedure made me feel about myself, I’m also not sure I’d ever do it again. Despite my slightly flatter stomach, I’d tell you to skip spending thousands of dollars for CoolSculpting and spend some extra time on your ab routines .
Coolsculpting for stomach works by freezing the fat cells in your stomach, thereby causing a natural fat elimination process. The coolsculpting procedure uses some special hand applicators to apply the necessary low temperature directly to the stomach area where the fat reduction is required. Once the fat cells in the stomach are frozen, the fat cells would begin to die and the body would immediately get rid of the dead fat cells.
This follows a natural process, where the body’s metabolism removes the dead fat cells from the stomach, filtering them out of the body via the lymphatic system. Coolsculpting procedure effectively eliminates the stubborn fats in the stomach naturally, thereby reducing the thickness of fat layers and pockets. With this process, cool sculpting can dramatically reshape your stomach within months.
How Much Is The Cost Of Cool Sculpting In Boston?
According to Realself.com, the normal cost of cool sculpting in Boston is about $600 to $4,000 with an average cost of coolsculpting as $1,625 and $2,400 from all other locations. The cost of cool sculpting depends on your desired fat reduction goals, the number of cool sculpting treatment cycle to achieve your desired results, and the number of body areas you wish to treat.
Being a personalized treatment, you can try just a treatment cycle to see what the result would be before you undergo more coolsculpting treatments. More treatments are sometimes recommended for one area to reach your desired goals. Coolsculpting treatment can help you to cut down about 25 percent of fat cells per treatment from the target area. If you want to undergo coolsculpting treatment in multiple body areas, you should plan to pay about $1000 to $4000.
- Coolsculpting for Stomach, Abdomen, Tummy $1200 – $3600
- Coolsculpting for Mid and Lower Back $1200 – $2400
- Coolsculpting for Love Handles or sides $1200 – $2400
- Coolsculpting for Inner Thighs $1200 – $2400
- Coolsculpting for Outer Thighs $1500 – $2400
- Coolsculpting for Back of Arms $1200 – $2400
- Coolsculpting for Double Chin $700 – $1200
If you want to cut down the amount of fat in any area of your body without surgery, schedule an appointment with your physician for a free consultation to learn more about how cool sculpting treatment can be so useful.
Areas of Treatment and Average Cost by Area
Coolsculpting is a patented fat reduction treatment that has been approved by the FDA for treating the following body areas: outer thighs, inner thighs, the back, chin, upper arms, love handles, lower stomach, and the abdomen. The coolsculpting Boston prices are mostly based on the number of the treatment cycle. More so, your coolsculpting treatment cost would be determined by the targeted body area, and your desired results, which will, in turn, determine the number of the treatment cycles required. For a better price quote for coolsculpting treatment, you need a personal consultation with your physician, who will examine your fat reduction needs, create a bespoke coolsculpting treatment plan, and determine the cost of cool sculpting your stomach.
Coolsculpting for Stomach, Abdomen, Tummy
The CoolMax applicator is useful for eliminating bulky fat deposits in the lower abdomen area, while the CoolCore application is useful for precision cool sculpting on the upper abdomen. The average number of recommended cool sculpting treatments for the stomach is about 1 to 3 and the price ranges from $1200 to $3600 per session. For the treatment, two visits may be required to the cool sculpting physicians.
Coolsculpting for Mid and Lower Back
The CoolCore applicator can be effectively used to reduce heavy fat cells around the lower back region, while the CoolPetite Advantage applicator can be used to eliminate fat from the mid-back section of the body. Depending on your desired goal, you may need an average of 2 treatments cycles.
Coolsculpting for Love Handles (Flanks or Sides)
The CoolCurve applicator is typically used to eliminate stubborn fat in the contoured area of the flanks or sides, while the CoolCore applicator is used for precision cool sculpting in this body area. A single treatment session may be enough to achieve the desired feat reduction goal, but most patients usually opt in for a second treatment session to help achieve the desired results. The average number of recommended treatments is about 1 to 2.
Coolsculpting for Inner Thighs
Getting rid of cellulite from the inner thighs is one of the major reasons for undergoing the cool sculpting procedures. Normally, coolsculpting the inner thigh requires a single treatment of about 35 to 40 minutes per thigh using the CoolFit applicators. The CoolFit applicator is designed for long body areas and also body areas that are difficult to access while CoolCurve applicator is used to address small body areas on the inner thighs. Cool sculpting procedures can be carried out on both legs at the same appointment, but if you wish, you can schedule 2 cycles. The average number of recommended treatments is about 1 to 2.
Coolsculpting for Outer Thighs
Eliminating stubborn fat cells from the outer thighs uses the CoolSmooth PRO applicator. This applicator gives the outer thighs a slimmer appearance that cannot be achieved using workout or diet. If you wish, you can have both thighs treated in a single session or you may schedule different appointments for each thigh. This, however, depends on the number of fat cells required to be removed from each thigh. The average number of recommended treatments is about 1 to 2.
Coolsculpting for Back of Arms
The CoolFit applicator is suitable for freezing the fat cells in your upper arms. This procedure doesn’t take a long time as both arms can be sculpted in a single session. The average number of recommended treatments is 1.
Coolsculpting for Double Chin
Do you wish to restore your youthful appearance? This can be made possible and easy by cool sculpting your double chin. The Coolsculpting Mini applicator will eliminate excess fat in your chin and neck area. Depending on the number of fat cells in your double chin, you may need single or multiple visits to your physician to achieve your desired results. The average number of recommended treatments is about 1 to 2.
Are you planning to undergo a coolsculpting treatment for your stomach? Schedule an appointment with your physician today to know if you are eligible for the treatment and how much your estimated cool sculpting cost for stomach would be.
CoolSculpting is a body-contouring procedure that works by freezing away fat cells with the help of a vacuum-like device. The procedure is designed for people who want to get rid of stubborn fat in certain spots of the body. CoolSculpting is not a method of weight loss. It’s meant for people who are within 30 pounds of their recommended body weight.
Since CoolSculpting isn’t considered a medically necessary procedure, the person getting this treatment is responsible for all costs. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that the average fee per treatment for CoolSculpting was $1,481 in 2017. The CoolSculpting official website says the average cost is between $2,000 and $4,000 per session.
The cost is based on the area of body being treated. The smaller the treatment area, the lower the cost. Treating multiple areas can also increase cost. Other things that factor into the total cost of CoolSculpting treatment include where you live, your provider, and any follow-up appointments you might need.
In most cases, you only need one CoolSculpting treatment per area. However, some people might need a follow-up treatment if they want additional results after several months. Treatment takes a few hours or less, with no required downtime.
Talk to your prospective provider about specific costs prior to your procedure. You may also want to ask about the cost differences between specific areas of treatment, especially if you choose to have CoolSculpting performed on more than one area of your body.
CoolSculpting is an option for removing stubborn fat in the upper arms. Smaller areas may cost around $650 per treatment. With the procedure, each arm is treated, so your total cost for the session may be about $1,300.
Each treatment for the arms can last about 35 minutes on average. Only one session is typically required to achieve the desired results.
The stomach is perhaps one of the most common CoolSculpting treatment areas. It can be difficult to get rid of excess fat cells in this area due to age, as well as life events like pregnancy.
The estimated cost of CoolSculpting for the stomach area is $1,500 a session. Some providers recommend two treatments for the stomach area.
Each treatment takes between 35 and 60 minutes. Results are permanent, but some people choose to have additional sessions to remove even more fat cells.
The cost of CoolSculpting areas of the thigh varies. For example, one dermatologist in New York charges $1,500 per outer thigh and $750 per inner thigh. Treating these areas on both legs can cost $4,000 or more.
Each treatment can take as little as 35 minutes. Like CoolSculpting for the arms, you can get permanent results in one session for your thigh treatment.
It takes four to six months to see full results, according to the ASPS. During this time, your body will work to remove the rest of the targeted fat cells.
CoolSculpting can cause temporary side effects, such as pain and numbness. These typically last only a few weeks.
You won’t be required to take time off work. However, you may decide to take your treatment day off to avoid the possible stress of getting back to work after the procedure.
In all, you should only be at your provider’s office for a couple of hours per treatment. More time may be necessary if you’re treating multiple body parts.
CoolSculpting results are meant to be permanent. The only exception is the stomach area, which could require two or more sessions to obtain optimum results. Talk to your provider about how many sessions they think you’ll ultimately need.
Unlike traditional weight loss methods, the fat cells are completely removed, not shrunk down. According to the ASPS, the fat cells targeted during CoolSculpting treatments are eventually reduced by an average of 20 percent. Some people can see reductions of up to 40 percent, which is also more likely in smaller treatment areas like the arms.
If you want to target the same area in the future, talk to your provider. The costs will likely be the same as your first treatment, as the whole process needs to be done again.
Also, if you gain weight in the future, there’s a chance that new fat cells can return in the previously treated area.
CoolSculpting is an aesthetic (cosmetic) treatment. Aesthetic treatments like CoolSculpting aren’t covered by insurance. You can ask your provider about any discounts and payment plans they may offer to help offset the costs of your treatment.
Working with your provider is the most promising way to reduce your CoolSculpting costs. Some offices offer promotional coupons for new clients.
You can also ask your provider about any financing plans they offer. While this could cost you a bit more in the long run if they charge interest, making payments can reduce your upfront costs. Some providers offer payment plans that are interest-free.
15 sourcescollapsedHealthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
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Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN on July 26, 2018 — Written by Kristeen Cherney