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CoolSculpting for the Stomach

Woman's belly 9 weeks after undergoing CoolSculpting treatment.
A fat woman's belly after 8 weeks of CoolSculpting treatment.
Woman's belly 12 weeks after coolsculpting.
Woman's belly 8 weeks after coolsculpting

CoolSculpting utilizes a cold therapy called Cryolipolysis. As a controlled cooling treatment approved by the FDA, it eliminates stubborn fat unaffected by diet and exercise. Without surgery, needles, or downtime, you will look and feel better.

CoolSculpting Versus a Tummy Tuck

For some people, getting a tummy tuck is the right course of action. However, as this is an invasive and potentially dangerous surgery, you should first have a consultation with a reputable physician who offers CoolSculpting. In response to losing unwanted fat, your body becomes more sculpted and contoured.

Following are some factors to consider when weighing CoolSculpting versus a tummy tuck.

Available Time

A tummy tuck is a major operation that usually takes between one to three hours to complete. You would then need to wait an additional two weeks before resuming sedentary work and up to one month before exercising or participating in more rigorous physical activities.

In comparison, one CoolSculpting treatment takes only 35 to 60 minutes. Once finished, you can return to your normal activities immediately. With no downtime, it is ideal if you have limited time available. In fact, some people have this noninvasive procedure performed during lunch or after work.

Physical Anatomy

People who choose a tummy tuck have an excessive amount of loose, sagging skin, which the surgeon removes. In some cases, liposuction also gets performed. If you have a lot of extra skin due to extreme weight loss or perhaps having a baby, a tummy tuck might be the right solution.

Although CoolSculpting does not get rid of extra skin, it does reduce fat. Rather than a weight loss procedure, this holistic treatment focuses on bulges of fat on the tummy and other areas of the body. Through an innovative device, controlled cold targets the problem area, killing fat cells. Over several months following the procedure, the body flushes out these skin cells, producing a thinner and more sculpted look.

Your Budget

For budgeting purposes, consider the expense of having a tummy tuck compared to a CoolSculpting procedure. On average, a tummy tuck will cost between $3,000 and $12,000 depending on the surgeon, clinic, geographic location, the amount of loose skin removed, whether the patient needs to spend recovery time in the hospital, and so on. Then, there is the expense of medication and medical supplies, not to mention time off from work.

In comparison, CoolSculpting only costs between $750 and $1,500. The amount you pay will depend on the size and number of applicators, the physician, and the geographic location. As you can see, there is a significant difference in the price between the two.

How Long Does the Stomach Treatment Take?

Initially, you will have a consultation with the physician, which usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the number of questions you have and the volume of information you need to feel confident in moving forward with this noninvasive procedure. At that time, the physician will tailor a treatment specific to your goals.

As for the CoolSculpting procedure itself, it can last between 35 and 60 minutes based on the number of areas of the body getting treated. For extremely stubborn fat or to achieve an even leaner appearance, you can select to have additional treatments performed. Sometimes, the physician will rely on more than one system and applicator, making it possible to treat multiple areas of the body simultaneously.

Can It Remove Stomach Fat?

Yes, CoolSculpting can remove stomach fat, along with fat bulges on other areas of the body, including the thighs, underneath the buttocks, upper arms, and even the back. In fact, physicians use this procedure to eliminate visible fat beneath the chin, commonly referred to as a “turkey neck,” and for contouring purposes. For most patients, CoolSculpting will get rid of a double chin in only one to two visits.

While some patients start seeing positive results in as little as three weeks, the most dramatic changes come in roughly two months. Throughout a four- to six-week period following the procedure, your body will continually flush out dead fat cells.

Does It Help the Lower Stomach?

In addition to the upper and mid-portion of the stomach, the CoolSculpting procedure can reduce fat in the lower abdomen. Because this treatment focuses on eliminating bulges of fat, it works incredibly well on different areas of the body.

Does It Remove Upper-Stomach Fat?

During the initial consultation, the physician will provide you with details of having CoolSculpting performed. Included is the fact that this treatment targets the entire abdomen, including fat accumulated on the upper stomach portion.

Can Males Treat Their Stomachs?

Just like women, men can have the CoolSculpting procedure performed to get rid of unwanted stomach fat. Often, their focus is to get rid of a beer belly, love handles, and even “man boobs.” Along with eliminating fat, men feel drawn to this treatment because it produces a more masculine and chiseled look.

Does It Hurt Your Stomach?

Besides a slight risk of experiencing the side effects outlined, CoolSculpting does not cause any damage to the stomach. Instead of penetrating deep, it targets the fat layer.

Is It Safe to Treat the Stomach During Pregnancy?

A high level of safety is one aspect of CoolSculpting that makes it a perfect way to reduce body fat. Already, this FDA-approved treatment has helped millions of people all over the world. However, some people do not make good candidates for this procedure.

As far as pregnancy, because CoolSculpting only targets the fat layer, as opposed to penetrating deeper organs, it will have no adverse impact on women before getting pregnant. As far as women who are already pregnant or nursing, at this time, experts have not conducted enough studies to determine the short- and long-term effects. Therefore, physicians do not recommend this procedure for pregnant or nursing women. Also, women with an excessive amount of loose skin after giving birth do not make good candidates for CoolSculpting.

While considered safe and effective, there are a few other people who do not make good candidates for the CoolSculpting treatment. Included is someone suffering from cold agglutinin disease, cryoglobulinemia, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.

Are There Side Effects of the Stomach?

During the actual CoolSculpting procedure, you might experience sensations that feel like slight pinching, tugging, tingling, aching, stinging, and cramping, along with a feeling of intense cold at the treatment site. As the cooling of the treatment intensifies, those areas become numb, thereby eliminating any sensations.

Once the procedure is over, you could have some minor swelling, bruising, firmness, blanching, redness, stinging, tingling, aching, cramping, tenderness, itching, or sensitivity to touch. Usually, these subside within a few days to weeks. On rare occasions, more side effects might develop. During the consultation, the physician will let you know what to expect and when you should contact the office about any concerns.

Does It Help with Stomach Cramps?

As mentioned, you could experience stomach cramps during or following the procedure, or both. Because these are minor, there is no reason to get alarmed.

Can It Cause Stomach Gas?

Some patients will experience a small degree of swelling and bloating following the CoolSculpting procedure, but like other side effects, they diminish quickly.

How Does It Treat Your Stomach? (Cryolipolysis)

For the CoolSculpting treatment, the physician places a gel pad and applicator on the involved area of the body. Through the applicator, safe and controlled cooling gets delivered, gently and efficiently targeting fat cells located beneath the skin’s surface. Many people read a book, listen to music, check emails, and even take a short nap during the CoolSculpting procedure.

Over the next few weeks to months, dead cells flush out of the body to produce a more sculpted appearance.

How to Exercise the Tummy Afterward

As this is a nonsurgical treatment, you can return to your normal physical activities immediately. Without restrictions, you could even hit the gym on the same day of the procedure. While most people find that walking, yoga, aerobic exercise, and stretching help with the recovery process, others find that it exaggerates any discomfort, so listen to what your body tells you.

Potential Risks

As an invasive surgery, a tummy tuck poses several risks. During the operation, patients are at risk for issues relating to the anesthesia administered. There are extra risks during and after this type of surgery, including infection, bleeding, the accumulation of fluid in the tummy, skin loss, and even a wound that does not heal properly.

While a small number of patients experience more intense side effects with CoolSculpting, there are no risks. As a result, this treatment is a safe option if you want to get rid of fat bulges on any area of the tummy.

Side Effects

Immediately after a tummy tuck, patients can expect both pain and swelling. For that, the surgeon prescribes pain and anti-inflammatory medication, which creates additional risks, including multiple side effects and even dependency. Other side effects include numbness or a change in skin sensation, prolonged swelling, and skin discoloration.

With CoolSculpting, the side effects are minimal. While going through the procedure to get rid of tummy fat, you might experience slight sensations, like tingling, pinching, aching, tugging, cramping, or stinging. However, because this treatment uses cold to eliminate fat, once the cooling effect sets in, these sensations cease.

Following a CoolSculpting procedure, you might have some minor numbness, bruising, swelling, redness, tingling, aching, cramping, itching, stinging, and sensitivity to touch. Although other side effects can develop, that is extremely rare.