The Skinny on Fat Reduction

CoolSculpt for Unwanted Adipose

Body fat is like hair. We don’t mind it in the right place, but stick a bunch of it where it doesn’t belong and, well, it becomes our life mission to annihilate it. Fortunately, annihilating unwanted fat is pretty quick and easy nowadays. We can freeze it, melt it, inject it, and probably some other things. But what actually works?

For example, I’m at a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat reasonably well, and my inner thighs refused to understand why this should affect them. I asked Dr. Rhonda Klein of Modern Dermatology how to rid of the monsters. She recommended CoolSculpt. CoolSculpt minimizes fat on thighs, abdomen, flanks, chin, arms, inner and outer thighs, back, bra and banana roll. Not all at once, but you probably guessed that.

Each area is treated individually and most times a series of treatments are recommended for optimal results. The best candidates are those who are at a healthy weight, eat a decent diet, and are fit but still can’t shake tenacious areas of fat. 

How does it work? CoolSculpt freezes fat cells and permanently destroys them, reducing the size of whatever area is targeted. Over time your body naturally eliminates these dead fat cells. The technical term for this is “cryolipolysis” which is difficult to spell and almost impossible to say.

You’ll enjoy the slimming results as long as your weight remains stable. If you gain weight, the remaining fat cells will increase in size and you'll notice you're bulking back up in the treated area as well as elsewhere on your body. 

Now, you may have heard of SculpSure which also de-bulks stubborn fat by destroying the cells. The results are also permanent but SculpSure uses heat instead of cold. Dr. Klein explains "Sometimes we will use a combination approach of both modalities depending on the distribution of fat in the area(s) we are treating."

Why a combination? Several reasons:

  • You may have medical issues preventing use of CoolSculpt. For instance, you can’t treat an area over a hernia with CoolSculpt; you may have an autoimmune conditions like lupus and cannot tolerate very cold temperatures, or you may have had prior surgery in the area.
  • Your fat must have a suction-able bulge for CoolSculpt.
  • SculpSure has more spread (1-2 cm outside of applicator) but is more painful.
  • SculpSure is always two treatments. For CoolSculpt it depends on the fat distribution.

Here was my experience: First, Dr. Klein sharpied the area of my thighs I found most vexing. Then her assistant placed a gel sheet - it felt like a slimy piece of paper towel - on my left inner thigh to protect the skin. Then, a paddle with a concavity roughly the size and shape of a flattened supermarket cheese log was placed on top of the slimy towel, targeting the sharpied area. She clicked on the machine and this area was sucked into the concavity while cold creeped into my leg. I only felt cold for a minute or two before it became, literally, numb.

After 20 minutes it was over. Dr. Klein’s assistant entered, removed the paddle, and informed me she was going “massage” the lump of frozen fat until the skin was smooth.

If I’m being honest, the term “massage” is a misnomer. It kind of hurt. But beauty is pain, etc. On a positive note, I had no bruising or swelling though I was told I might.

And the results?


Dr. Klein informed me it would take two to three months to see results and my thighs would continue diminishing for six months. After only a week or two I witnessed shrinkage and the area was firmer. After four months they’re pretty much my dream thighs.

I know that happiness comes from the inside, but thinner thighs also makes me happy. Go figure.

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