Coolsculpting: One Man’s Adventure with Frozen Fat Cells

 In Aging, Coolsculpting, Fat removal, Skin Care Tips

HATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR LOVE HANDLES? COOLSCULPTING CAN HELP YOU BREAK UP

 By Bobby McGuire

 

It’s an unusually cold Friday morning and I’ve just finished the trek across a snowy Central Park to willingly put myself through an hour of localized sub-zero temperature indoors. What am I thinking? The short answer is bathing suit season. The long answer starts with an SAT word – Cryolipolysis, commonly referred to as “Coolsculpting.” If all goes according to plan, my nemesis fat will be gone in three months by Memorial Day when the beaches open.

It’s been a long one-way romance between me and my love handles. They love me, but the feeling is far from mutual. My 2019 resolution was to break-up with my muffin top. Initially, I took the natural route. I upped my attendance at the gym, doubled my lifting schedule and took up a near full-time residence in the spinning studio. After two months, my chest and shoulders looked great and you could easily bounce a quarter off of my butt. The only hold-out from my metamorphizing “Dad bod” was the love handles that I’d come to rename my “stalker fat.”

NO NEEDLES, NO SURGERY, NO PAINKILLERS, NO DOWNTIME

A decade ago, guys like me looking to get rid of diet and exercise-resistant fat would have turned to liposuction. But that procedure involved surgical consultations, downtime and a significant (and sometimes) painful recovery period. Welcome to the 2010s and the era of CoolSculpting, a non-invasive procedure with practically no downtime and negligible side-effects.

So, how does this work? Cryolipolysis relies on adipocyte response to acute cold injury by inducing a lobular panniculitis, which results in subcutaneous fat layer reduction. In English, this means that targeted areas of the body are subjected to extreme cold temperature for a short period of time. The fat cells freeze and are eventually eliminated out of the body. Think of grapes that were put in the freezer and then left out to thaw.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

With my mind made to have this procedure done, the next question was “where.” Googling “Coolsculpting NYC” pulled up a bevy of results. Admittedly, the headlines that boast deep discounts appeal to the thrifty side of me. And while, I’m sure these places are staffed with qualified technicians, I find the idea of having any sort of procedure (no matter how non-invasive) performed by a business that makes bargain a selling point, the equivalent of going to a TGI Fridays for an appendectomy. Both places have knives. They must be equal, right?

After a little research, I chose Sadick Dermatology. As a leader in the field, Dr. Neil Sadick has been on the forefront of research in the area of aesthetics. And with offices throughout Manhattan and Long Island, I had my choice of locations. But what ultimately made me choose Sadick, was the desired permanence of this procedure. I thought of it this way: If I’m going to buy something that I intend to wear forever, will I go to K-Mart of Saks? Sadick is definitely Saks.

FREEZE DAY!

I arrive at Sadick Dermatology on Park Avenue and am greeted by Maria and Jenn, who will be handling the procedure. After filling out some paperwork, I head down the hall to get my fat frozen. The procedure room is dominated by a hybrid chaise lounge examination table that’s surprisingly comfortable. Jenn starts up the R2D2-like machine in the corner of the room that turns out to be the Coolsculpting apparatus.

After describing the procedure to me in detail, Maria snaps a few “before” photos and marks up my sides up with a blue pen. It’s time to get started. I lay on one side and the CoolSculpting applicator gets affixed to my right flank. Like the slowly boiled frog in reverse, I feel coolness at first. By the time the applicator hits the optimal temperature of negative 19 degrees Fahrenheit, the area is numb and I barely feel anything other than a cool tingle that is far from uncomfortable. If anything, the experience at its worst is slightly unnerving. I describe it to friends as feeling “numb-comfortable.”

Thirty-five minutes of me checking my social media accounts and reading email on my phone, and it’s time to remove the applicator. A quick massage of the treated area breaks up the crystalized fat cells. The process is repeated on left side. This time to keep myself busy, I Facetime my friends. After a post-procedure consultation with Maria, I’m out of the door. The entire process took less than two hours.

As promised, the immediate side effects are minimal. I was encouraged to jump back into my exercise routine as soon as possible. Within a few hours after my CoolSculpting, I’m back at the gym taking a water boot camp class. My friends in my class remark that my flanks are slightly red, but outside of that, there is no tangible evidence that I’ve had anything done.

IF YOU CAN SQUEEZE IT, YOU CAN FREEZE IT

It’s important to note that CoolSculpting can’t take the place of a diet. It’s meant to help get rid of stubborn fat that has been resistant to diet and exercise. Although it’s best for people who are within 20 or 30 pounds of their target weight, it by itself won’t help you drop you down to your goal. Usually people lose up to 25 percent of unwanted fat from the treated area.

Are you a candidate for CoolSculpting? First, look at the area of your body that’s bothering you and grab it. Since CoolSculpting freezes fat, you’re going to need some fat to work with. If you can pinch at least an inch, you’ve probably got enough. As Jenn quipped to me: “If you can squeeze it, you can freeze it.”

NOT FOR THE IMPATIENT

If you’re looking for results when you wake up with CoolSculpting, you’re going to have to have a very long sleep. In some cases, a slight change to the treated area may be noticeable after a couple of weeks. So, if you’re looking to go shopping for new clothes for your new body, you’re going to have to wait a while for them to fit. I personally intend to enjoy the end of sweater season.

Within three months, the targeted look should be achieved – in my case, in time to fit into that new Paul Smith swim suit I’ve had my eyes on. In the meantime, I’ve been advised to stick with healthy eating habits and my gym schedule. CoolSculpting isn’t meant to bypass the hard work I’ve already put in. Also, hitting the beer and sweets hard puts me at risk for losing the benefits from this procedure.

In the meantime, my love handles and I will be doing one long final slow dance into the Memorial Day sunset, and (I hope) a happier next chapter apart from each other.

Interested in learning more about one of the best locations in NYC for Coolsculpting for men? Call Sadick Dermatology at 212-772-7242 or email them at info@sadickdermatology.com

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