Want to try CoolSculpting? Doctor says not everyone is an ideal candidate for fat-freezing procedure

Body contouring is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But with the potential risks associated with invasive treatments like liposuction, many are turning to safer alternatives that offer little to no downtime.

One such treatment is Cryolipolysis, also known as Coolsculpting, a non-invasive body-contouring treatment developed by Harvard scientists in 2010. The technology targets the fat cells beneath the skin, cooling them to a temperature that causes them to die off and eventually be metabolized by the body over the course of eight to 12 weeks.

Celebrities like Molly Sims, Kris Jenner and Khloe Kardashian are fans of the simple yet effective procedure, with Sims having underwent the treatment after giving birth to her second child in 2016. She also became a spokesperson for the brand after having two treatments on her stomach.

“As a mama, that’s what we need. I did it… and it totally worked!” the model told Vanity Fair.

Dr. Will Kirby, a board-certified dermatologist and chief medical officer of LaserAway, which offers CoolSculpting, spoke with Fox News about what you can expect from the treatment, and who’s a good candidate.

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Fox News: Who would be a good candidate for the procedure?

Dr. Kirby: Well, it's important to recognize that CoolSculpting is not intended for weight loss or to treat obesity. And in fact, many patients are surprised to learn that ideal candidates for the CoolSculpting are relatively fit!  Simply put, if you just can't rid of that pocket of unwanted fat with your diet and exercise routine, then you might be a good candidate.

What parts of the body can be treated?

The most commonly treated areas include the stomach, the flanks (love handles), the thighs and the back. Other treatable areas include the arms and even under the chin.

What can a person expect during their appointment?

The treated area will be cold but the process is relatively comfortable. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to up to 4 hours depending on how many body parts and areas are being treated. During this time, the patient can watch TV, read a book or use their phone.

How much fat reduction is possible?

With each treatment, approximately 20 percent of the fat that can be vacuumed into a hand-piece will be permanently reduced. This reduction takes a few weeks to be noticeable and should be augmented with lifestyle modification including exercise and a healthy diet.

Will a person need more than one treatment?

Most patients opt for two or three treatments in an area to achieve their fat reduction goal.

Are the results permanent?

The fat cells that are eliminated by CoolSculpting will not come back as they are permanently destroyed. Maintaining the great results from with CoolSculpting, however, has everything to do with sticking to a healthy lifestyle. If a patient thinks that CoolSculpting will give them a golden ticket to a buffet, well they are mistaken.

What’s the aftercare like? 

Aftercare is very simple and there is no downtime.

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What are the potential downsides?  

Common side effects from CoolSculpting include redness, bruising and numbness of the skin in the treated area. These typically subside pretty quickly. Discoloration can occur but it is usually transient as well. Some patients note sensory deficits (tingling, stinging, aching, cramping) in the treated area that occur will within about a month but, this too, resides in a predictable time frame.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t get CoolSculpting?

Most people with an area of "punchable" fat are great candidates for CoolSculpting. As long as you have realistic expectations and are committed to a healthy lifestyle, then CoolSculpting might be a great way to jumpstart your holiday season as we head into 2019.