You finally booked it; good for you! You got a jumpstart on the number one New Year’s resolution to get lean and scheduled your first CoolSculpting appointment. Statistics stand behind your new game plan to get svelte in 2019 and stay that way. While typical resolution-makers tend to give up before three months into the new year, those who use a kickstarter will stay on course, and what’s a better kickstarter than CoolSculpting? You already know what it is and what it does. Now, we’ll break down the aftercare steps so that you can get the most out of this amazing fat-freezing procedure and know what to expect.
WILL I FEEL PAIN?
While CoolSculpting is a non-invasive fat-reduction procedure, there can be some pain or discomfort, which is mostly experienced during the procedure itself. Patients describe a numbness caused by the cooling sensations from the freezing applicator used during the procedure. You may also feel slight pinching and pulling sensations as the fat cells are frozen and pulled out. Such effects may last between 5 and 10 minutes of the 60-minute treatment time. After the procedure, you might experience mild pain along with itching and swelling. The level of pain felt can also vary between treatment areas, with the abdomen reported, as the most sensitive.
WHAT CAN I DO TO LOWER DISCOMFORT?
Talk to your doctor about ways you can help lower your chances of experiencing pain and other side effects during and after this procedure. A massage can be performed in the treatment area, to both help increase the results of the fat freezing process, while limiting side effects. Because this treatment is non-surgical, there is, of course, no need for anesthesia. However, your doctor may recommend that you take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications if you have any pain or swelling after your appointment. You should not take any pain relievers beforehand, though, as this can increase side effects like bruising. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, are the recommended suggestions to take for after a session; this may be a generic product or a brand-name version such as Advil or Motrin IB. Ibuprofen has the added advantage of treating both pain and inflammation.
Always ask your doctor before taking any medications — including those sold over the counter. You can also use the following non-medicated methods for pain relief following CoolSculpting: deep breathing exercises/meditation, gentle exercise, guided imagery, warm compresses, and massage therapy.
HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR COOLSCULPTING?
The best candidates for this treatment are within 30 lbs of their ideal weight. Knowing ahead of time what the procedure can or cannot do for you is often the best way to prepare and to avoid issues later. Talking it out before you start is crucial.
Other prep steps can help make the day of your treatment more comfortable. These steps include the following:
• Bringing something to read or play with, such as your phone or tablet
• Eating a small snack to prevent nausea from treatment
• Wearing loose, comfortable clothing
WHAT ARE THE AFTERCARE TIPS
It can take two to four months to see the full effects of the treatment as your body flushes out the fat cells on its own. You will not feel discomfort during this whole time but may feel a tingling sensation that goes on and off. Check out these amazing results!
To make yourself more comfortable, consider the following tips for aftercare:
• Wear comfortable clothing, such as yoga pants. As much as it may seem counterintuitive, wearing Spanx or other compression clothing also helps keep the pulling sensation at bay.
• Keep moving! Yoga and stretching exercises, walking, and jogging all help to reduce pain and inflammation and to eliminate the tingling sensation and discomfort.
• Talk to fellow “coolers.” Those who have had the procedure done and can tell you the inside scoop will be sure to tell you what helped them (and, of course, get you excited about those fabulous results!).
Remember, though, that everybody is unique, and the figure flaws you want to address may be more stubborn or may take more time to treat than someone else’s. The great news about this treatment is that everyone sees smooth, beautiful improvement. That’s something that you can take to the bank in 2019 and way beyond!
Here’s to a beautiful year!