Fat Freezing Pros & Cons: Why Some Love It & Hate It

Pros and cons of fat freeze
Pros and cons of fat freeze

Fat freezing is also known as cryolipolysis (cryo = cold, lipo = fat, lysis = destruction). Since the first brand CoolSculpting was FDA approved in 2010, the fat freeze has been getting a lot of attention as a safe and effective way to reduce fat.

Some people love it and some people hate it.

And so in this article, we'll share 8 Pros and 5 Cons about the Fat Freezing Technology. As of November 2022, we're doing over 800 fat-freezing treatments per month and the article is written from that experience.

Contents:

  1. Pro 1: Non-invasive
  2. Pro 2: Short treatment time
  3. Pro 3: Cheaper than liposuction
  4. Pro 4: Little to no downtime
  5. Pro 5: High success rate of fat reduction
  6. Pro 6: Tolerable pain
  7. Pro 7: Safe
  8. Pro 8: Permanent
  9. Pro 9: Works on many body parts
  10. Con 1: Risks & Side Effects
  11. Con 2: Can be expensive
  12. Con 3: More than one session to see significant results
  13. Con 4: Skin might become loose after fat cells are lost
  14. Con 5: Results not always immediately visible
  15. FAQ

Pro 1: Non-invasive

Fat Freeze is non-invasive
Fat freeze treatment

The biggest pro of fat freezing is that it’s a non-invasive procedure. Unlike traditional liposuction, there are no incisions made to your body. Instead, the fat freezing treatment is done by laying a cold membrane over your body and using a suction applicator to freeze the treated areas.

Pro 2: Short treatment time

The fat-freezing process usually lasts between 35 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the body part and machine settings. Most people would only need to block out an hour for this noninvasive procedure. However, times may vary based on the size of your treatment site. Note that you'll likely need additional time during your first appointment for measurements of the treated areas of the body.

Pro 3: Cheaper than liposuction

Liposuction vs fat freeze which is cheaper
Liposuction vs fat freeze

Liposuction costs around $1200 to $3000 per treated area and often has a minimum number of treated areas, which takes the cost up to over $10000 for a procedure.

Fat freezing treatments on the other hand can go as low as $190 per treatment of 2 applicators (we charge $0 for 2x free trials and $250 for 2 applicators at ala-carte price).

Pro 4: Little to no downtime

Fat freezing offers Less Downtime When Compared to Other Slimming Treatments
little to no downtime

Fat freezing treatments can be done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return to work the day of or the next day after your treatment. For most people, there is a little bit of bruising but it doesn't stop them from going back to work.

The recovery time of the bruising varies depending on the amount of localized fat treated and the desired results, but generally takes 5 days or less.

Pro 5: High success rate of fat reduction

High success rate of fat reduction
Happy fat freeze patient

The success rate for fat freezing treatments is quite high. Studies have shown that the procedure can reduce fat cells in the treated area by up to 25%.

Generally, it takes 3-8 fat freezing treatments to see optimal results from the treatment as your body continues to eliminate the dead fat cells.

Pro 6: Tolerable pain

Most people report that the treatment is tolerable, with some pain being experienced as the pinchable fat on the targeted area is treated at a cold temperature of about -5 degrees celsius.

Since a cold membrane (gel pad) is laid over the skin surface of the targeted areas, this pain level is often reported to be tolerable.

The pain from fat freeze is tolerable
Fat Freeze treatment

Pro 7: Safe

In our experience of doing 10000+ treatments, the fat freezing or coolsculpting procedure is a safe method for fat reduction as we've seen less than 0.1% of cases with side effects (apart from minor bruising).

This fat reduction treatment won't damage nerve fibers, muscles, blood vessels, or skin. Other tissues and other cells are not damaged in the fat-freezing treatment.

Pro 8: Permanent

The fats do not grow back in most cases, as your body does not create new fatty tissue to replace those eliminated during the treatment.

Once cryolipolysis destroys existing fat cells in certain areas, new ones will not grow back, resulting in a long-term reduction of stubborn fat.

However, do take note that if you do not lead a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, you will still experience weight gain and new fat cells will develop.

Maintain healthy diet & exercise daily
After treatment care

Pro 9: Works on many body parts

Fat freeze works on many body parts for fat reduction
Works on many body parts

From flabby arms to thunder thighs to beer bellies, fat freezing treatments are able to work on many fat areas. This is especially so for people who have an area of stubborn fat or two and want a non-invasive method of body contouring.

Con 1: Risks & Side Effects

This procedure is recommended for people who are in relatively good health and do not have any neurologic or orthopedic problems, in the rare case of side effects.

Small side effects such as bruising of the treatment area are common.

One rare side effect is blistering, which is usually caused by negligence from inexperienced personnel.

Another rare side effect is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) and it has been reported that people of Hispanic ethnicity are more likely to experience it. PAH is a rare, previously unreported side effect of cryolipolysis with an incidence of 0.0051%. After treating 10000+ patients, we've not seen a single case of this.

PAH is a rare side effect of fat freeze
Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia

Con 2: Can be expensive

Some clinics might charge you a lot for a fat freeze session
Fat freeze price comparison

  • The Trial: The prices for fat freeze trials can range from $0 all the way up to $600.
  • ‍Per Session: The cheapest customized fat freeze treatment we've seen for an ala-carte session is $199, but most places price it at $500 or higher.
  • Packages: If you buy fat freeze packages, the cost per session ranges from $150 to $500 depending on the size of the treatment area.

Many places even have packages that are $5000 or $10000, so be sure to know your options before choosing a place.

Con 3: More than one session to see significant results

As a business that does 800+ treatments a month, we've seen clients get great results as quickly as in 3 sessions. However, others take 10 sessions and this is because everyone has different body goals and reactions to the treatment.

In nearly all cases, those places that promise results in one session are exaggerating the results in the hope that you visit them.

Con 4: Skin might become loose after fat cells are lost

Skin might become loose after fat cells are lost
Skin might become loose after fat cells are lost

Loose skin is a common by-product of fat loss and for people who lose weight. Especially when unwanted fat is removed from larger areas of the body, loose skin tends to happen.

Therefore, we recommend Radiofrequency treatments as a complementary body contouring treatment to treat skin looseness.

Radiofrequency treatment is another body sculpting & fat reduction treatment
Radiofrequency treatments

Con 5: Results not always immediately visible

Fat freeze results not always immediately visible
Results not always immediately visible

The results from fat freezing might not be seen immediately, as it can take weeks or months before the process of eliminating dead fat cells is complete. Dead fat cells in the treated area will begin to shrink right away and most clients start noticing changes within 4-6 weeks post-treatment, but the full results are typically visible within 12 weeks.

So now that we explained the pros & cons, why do people love it?

Mainly because it's quick and easy. You can eliminate fats at cold temperatures just by going for a fat freezing treatment instead of doing months of a healthy diet. It's definitely an easier method of weight loss and that's why people love it.

And why do people hate it?

Apart from the cons above, people hate that there is no price visibility or clarity in pricing. Many places over-promise and underdeliver results while taking a high-pressure selling approach.

That's why at Kosme Aesthetics, we believe in a fair pricing model

...$0 for the first trial. $0 for the second trial. And then $380 once a month for 2 treatments of 2 applicators so there's no need to fork out thousands of dollars and have to explain to your angry spouse.

And WHY do we do this?

Because we're sick and tired of all the bad actors in the beauty space. We wanted to let people experience the treatment for free, before continuing to pay a reasonable price for subsequent treatments. (And yes, we still earn money pricing it like this.)

‍Maybe we're naive... But we believe it's possible for ethical players to make money serving our clients well...

Ready to get started?

Click here so you can read up more on the way we do things and book a free trial appointment.

Sources:

Cryolipolysis for Fat Reduction and Body Contouring: Safety and Efficacy of Current Treatment Paradigms

Michael J. Ingargiola, M.D., Saba Motakef, M.D., Michael T. Chung, M.D., Henry C. Vasconez, M.D., and Gordon H. Sasaki, M.D.

Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia After Cryolipolysis

H. Ray Jalian, MD, Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD, Lilit Garibyan, MD, Ph.D., Martin C. Mihm, MD, and R. Rox Anderson, MD

Frequently Asked Questions

Does fat freezing work?

Fat freeze is a well-known medical technique that has shown a non-surgical facelift with just a few sessions and is clinically proven safe. This is a non-invasive non-surgical procedure that helps with fat reduction. It offers many benefits over conventional weight loss techniques as a noninvasive method. In 2008 an American Medical Association study found cryolipolysis reduced fat layers by 45%.

Over the following weeks, your immune system will clear off the fats in natural ways.

How many fat freezing sessions do you need?

Usually, 1-2 sessions are enough for smaller areas but to treat larger areas or have more fat to address the best results after 4-6 sessions. Most people generally obtain their desired result within a couple of weeks.

What are the disadvantages of fat freezing?

A disadvantage of fat freezing is that the results may not be immediately visible and it can take weeks or even months before you start to see the full results. Moreover, the procedure can be a bit painful and there may be side effects such as temporary numbness or bruising in the treated parts of the body.

Is one session of CoolSculpting enough?‍

No. Depending on the size and areas of fat, you may need more than one session in order to achieve your desired results. It is best to discuss with your specialist to know how many sessions you will need for your treatment.

Why is fat freezing ineffective for some people?

To achieve optimal outcomes from the fat freezing method, it's suggested that you combine it with weight loss treatment, such as dieting and exercise. If you eat too much during the treatment period and gain weight, the fat loss will be nullified by the gain of unwanted fats from the excess calories.

Why is my fat freezing not working?

The main reason why fat freezing may not be working is that the number of calories you consume is too high. Make sure to watch your diet and maintain a balanced lifestyle, as well as regular exercise in order to get the best results from fat freezing.

If you're consuming 1000 calories more than you burn daily, then the fat freezing treatment won't be effective.

What should you not do after freezing fat?
  • Do not do any activities that'll cause excessive sweating such as hot baths, enter steam rooms, sauna, or heavy exercise for 1 week after your treatment.
  • Do not apply any medicated oil on the body parts where you've done a fat freeze procedure.
  • Avoid exposing the treated area to the sun for up to 1 week after the treatment.
  • Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours before and after the treatment to minimize the chances of bruising.
  • Avoid food that may contribute to weight gain like sugar, carbs, fried, and processed foods to ensure the longevity of your cool sculpting results.
  • Avoid waxing in the treated region for at least 1 week.
  • Avoid exposing the treatment areas to the laser for up to 2 weeks.

Does CoolSculpting work on belly fat?

belly fat
belly fat

Yes, CoolSculpting procedures work on belly fat, lower abdomen, upper abdomen, and other stubborn areas.

Is freezing your fat cells healthy?

As fat freezing work on subcutaneous fat, it is neither healthy nor unhealthy. It treats the fat near the skin surface and it will give an appearance of health as you eliminate fat on the outer layer of the body.

How much does it cost to freeze body fat?

Trials can range from $0 all the way to $600. Generally, at the lower price points, you won't be able to get the same price for follow-up sessions.

Per Session: The cheapest we've seen if you do ala-carte is $200, but most places price it from $500. If you buy Fat Freeze packages, the cost per session can go anywhere from $150 to $500.

For places without doctors, most of them use a model where they will price the trial for under $50, and then push a package of about $3000 for 10 sessions to you.

For places with doctors, the trials after often at around $100 and the packages can be about $2500 for 5 sessions.

At Kosme Aesthetics, we believe in a clear pricing model and our mission is to make hard-selling and big packages a thing of the past.

So... Here is our pricing model...

...$0 for the first trial. $0 for the second trial. And then $380 if you want to continue sessions on a monthly basis.

What body part can I do Fat Freezing on?

Fat Freezing treatments are used to reduce targeted fat. The most common medium cup targets inner thighs, tummy, belly, love handles, bra fats and arms. Smaller cups can be used for areas such as double chin while large & medium cup can be used for fat loss when there are more targeted fat.

How are fat cells destroyed in fat freezing?

How does fat freezing work?
fat freeze: what happens during the treatment

The fat freezing procedure uses suction to freeze fat cells at cold temperatures, which kills the fat cells while leaving blood vessels, skin cells, and other tissues safe. At the temperature of 0 to -10 degree celsius, the treatment will destroy fat cells.

These fat cells remain in your body until it is passed out through the lymphatic system or eliminated from the body naturally. So basically, the actual fat removal happens after the treatment when you sweat or are in the toilet.

Why is my fat freezing not working?

The main reason why fat freezing may not be working is that the number of calories you consume is too high. Make sure to watch your diet and maintain a balanced lifestyle, as well as regular exercise in order to get the best results from fat freezing.

If you're consuming 1000 calories more than you burn daily, then the fat freezing treatment won't be effective.

Can you do fat freezing at home?

 fat freezing method at home (lipo belt)
is it safe to freeze away fat at your home?

Yes, it's possible to do fat-freezing treatments at home if you purchase professional devices. However, it's unsafe and inadvisable to do so, as the procedure involves precise temperatures and specific body parts.

Furthermore, many at-home treatments like using ice packs do not work.

What does fat-freezing feel like?

Fat freezing feels like a strong vacuum and suction around the treated area. It may be uncomfortable, but it should not cause any pain. Due to the wet membrane and controlled cooling, it doesn't hurt.

In your initial treatment, it's advised to choose lower levels of suction and slightly less cold temperatures so you can get used to the feeling. You can increase these parameters as you go along.

Can fat freezing reduce cellulite?

Cellulite in leg
cellulite in legs

No, fat freezing does not reduce cellulite. It can help reduce stubborn and excess fat on the body, but it does not remove cellulite. We usually recommend our clients do radiofrequency treatments to remove cellulite.

How does fat freezing work?

Science behind cryolipolysis
procedure of fat freeze

The science behind how Cryolipolysis works is actually quite simple. Fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than other types of cells in your body. Extreme cold kill fat cells.

Cryo-fat freeze treatment works by causing cell apoptosis (fat cell death) at freezing temperatures. A membrane is laid on your body and the fat freeze machine uses a suction cup to freeze the fat cells.

The cold temperatures then cause targeted fatty tissue to freeze and hence die. The dead fat cells then get flushed out by the lymphatic system in standard natural ways.

Will fat freezing work for double chin?

Doulble chin before and after fat freezing treatment
Double chin before and after fat freeze

Fat freezing treatments only work well for double chin if the patient has enough fat in the area. From our experience, we don't advise clients to use fat freezing for double chin.

How long does it take to see results from freezing fat?
Fat Freeze results after completing the prescribed treatment plan
Fat Freeze results after completing the prescribed treatment plan

Immediately after an expulsion process occurs, the cells will naturally be removed. In most cases, your body fat can be reduced in just three days. Sometimes a final result will appear within six to nine weeks of treatment.