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Aesthetics Practice Today

Will Coolsculpt Tighten Skin?

Published March 7, 2016 2:55 PM by Mina Grasso
Body shaping procedures continue to increase in popularity. More options are becoming available for various parts of the body. However, it is becoming more complicated and confusing to consumers. 

One of the most popular aesthetic procedures that patients are seeking is Coolsculpting. Coolsculpting is a state of the art procedure using cryolipolysis that permanently destroys unwanted fat buldges such as the muffin top, thigh bulges, love handles, back and bra fat, arms and submental fat. It involves freezing fat cells without damage to the skin.

A common question that comes up during a consultation is: "will the Coolsculpt tighten my skin after the fat goes away?" When a patient comes in for a consultation for body shaping, Coolsculpt is definitely one of the options that is discussed as a non-surgical procedure. Some patients are seeking reduction of unwanted fat, others have issues of skin laxity while many patients want both addressed. 

The target of Coolsculpt is to reduce unwanted fat buldges. We do not promote Coolsculpt as a skin-tightening procedure. Patients may experience skin retraction as the fat cells are slowly reduced if they have good skin elasticity. We have seen skin retraction in majority of our patients and staff who have received Coolsculpt. I usually tell patients that skin tightening after the procedure depends on their skin elasticity. If patients have pre-existing skin looseness (laxity), it's important to set expectations that due to the loss of elasticity; the skin will probably not tighten as the fat is reduced. 

There have been reports of improvement in skin texture and skin laxity with Coolsculpt, but it's difficult to predict which patients will experience this improvement. Skin elasticity can vary with gender, age, history of sun exposure and hormonal balance. 

While consulting a patient for body contouring, it is important to determine what the patient's goals are. Coolsculpting can be combined with skin tightening procedures. Depending on the patient's condition, expectations and budget, a surgical referral may be the best choice. Patients can experience greater satisfaction when realistic expectations are set for Coolsculpting.

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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