Coolsculpting & Kybella
We all have fat in places we don’t like — the abdomen, flanks, along the bra line, the upper arms, and jowls, among others. Our team at Always Beautiful Med Spa wants to help you get rid of some of that fat and slim your contour. Two treatments to get rid of the fat are CoolSculpting® and Kybella®.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting® has been quite a phenomenon in the aesthetic world. It is the invention of two Harvard scientists who had been researching the effect that eating popsicles seemed to have on children. Kids who ate lots of popsicles developed dimples. Dimples form where there is little fat atop facial muscles. The scientists thought the cold somehow affected fat in the area, hence the dimples.
They applied this thinking to fat on the abdomen and CoolSculpting® was the born.
The core concept is that human fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than other tissue cells. The CoolSculpting® device delivers controlled cooling down into the treatment area freezing the fat cells while leaving other tissues and structures unharmed. This freezing kills around 20-23 percent of the fat cells in the treated area. The body then breaks down and flushes these dead cells from the body over the course of the next few weeks. With less fat, the patient’s contour slims.
How Much Fat Does Coolsculpting Remove?
CoolSculpting® freezes and destroys up to 23 percent of the fat across the treatment areas.
How is CoolSculpting Done?
When you arrive at our beautiful Aurora offices for your session, we take you to The CoolClinic™ where you sit in our angled treatment chair and we explain the CoolSculpting® procedure to you. There isn’t any need for local anesthetic or pain relief medication.
Then we begin. We start by positioning the CoolSculpting® panels over the treatment area. Light suction is applied to the skin and underlying tissue, drawing the skin and underlying fat up between two cooling panels. Controlled cooling is then delivered into the tissue below. The temperature is set to the point where it freezes only the fat cells, leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. Once the fat cells are crystallized they gradually die. As it does with any unneeded byproduct, the body’s lymphatic system then gradually flushes the dead fat cells from the body.
This process is repeated several times across the target area until we have covered the entire area. A CoolSculpting® session in The CoolClinic™ at Always Beautiful generally runs from one to three hours.
What Areas Can CoolSculpting Be Used On?
The FDA has approved CoolSculpting® to freeze and remove fat pockets in these areas:
- Submental area (double chin)
- Back fat
- Bra line fat
- Underneath the buttocks
Does CoolSculpting remove the fat permanently?
Yes. The fat cells that are destroyed are flushed from the body by the lymphatic system. They are gone for good.
Is CoolSculpting painful?
As the cooling of the target area begins you will feel a few minutes of intense cold. This sensation passes relatively soon, and most patients don’t equate it with pain. After this initial cold, the area becomes numb for the remainder of the application. The panels and accompanying suction will create some pulling and tugging, but this isn’t painful, either.
During your CoolSculpting® session, you can read, watch videos, work on your laptop, or even take a nap.
Is CoolSculpting safe?
These are completely non-invasive procedures. That’s amazing in itself considering CoolSculpting® removes up to 23 percent of the fat in the treatment areas without a single incision. Because there are no incisions and the like, there is zero chance of any infection or poor wound healing. Patients sometimes have some lingering soreness across the treatment areas, but this resolves at most in a couple days. There can also be some redness and bruising on the treatment sites, but this also passes quickly.
Is there recovery after CoolSculpting?
There is no recovery with CoolSculpting®. We don’t even need to apply topical anesthetic! When we remove the cooling panels, we massage the area for two to three minutes to alleviate the numbness. But then you’re free to immediately get back to whatever you do.
When will I start to see my results?
Your results will begin to show as your body sheds the frozen fat cells. You may start to see changes as soon as three weeks after your treatment, but the most dramatic results will come after around two months. Improvements will continue as the body continues to flush out the dead fat cells for up to six months after your session.
What is the difference between CoolSculting and Kybella?
Both of these treatments at Always Beautiful aim at removing fat and slimming the contours, but they do it in completely different ways. CoolSculpting®, as described above, does it with controlled freezing of the fat cells. CoolSculpting® has been cleared by the FDA for use on eight different areas of the body, including the jowls (with the CoolMini® applicator).
Kybella® is described below, but basically it removes fat through injections under the chin directly into the jowl area. The deoxycholic acid in Kybella® attacks the fat cells and breaks them down. This slims the contour of the former double chin. Kybella® is only approved by the FDA to use on the jowls.
How many Kybella sessions do you need?
The FDA has set the maximum number of Kybella® treatments at six. But how you respond to Kybella® is unique to you. At Always Beautiful, we’ve found that, on average, most patients are satisfied after three treatments. Other patients opt for all six. It really depends on how slim you want your profile.
The time between treatments is required to be at least four weeks, as this allows Kybella® to fully do its thing before having the next set of injections. We believe five to six weeks apart is a better degree of spacing. This allows your results from the previous injection session to fully show themselves before deciding to go ahead with another round.
What happens during a Kybella session?
Kybella® can only be administered by a Kybella®-trained specialist such as our Registered Nurse and Certified Aesthetic Nurse Injector Ali McCoy Stengel. During your treatment, she injects Kybella® with a very fine needle into numerous locations under the chin. Patients report they feel little more than a slight pinprick with each injection. A treatment session only takes 15-20 minutes.
How long will my results from Kybella last?
Kybella® delivers permanent fat reduction in your jowls, reducing the appearance of a double chin. Once that fat is gone, there is limited ability to store fat in the area in the future. Your skin can still sag somewhat with additional aging, but your new profile will remain much tighter for the long haul.
Is Kybella painful?
These treatments at Always Beautiful involve around 15 to 20 injections per Kybella® session. These are delivered with a fine needle and are not much more than pinpricks. Afterwards you will have some soreness at the injection sites, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. There really isn’t much discomfort. Swelling is the issue that is most prevalent with Kybella®, as described below.
What will my recovery be like with Kybella?
There is a recovery period of sorts with Kybella®. There will be some minor discomfort after your injections, as described above.
Next will come swelling. The amount of swelling is related to the amount of fat the patient has under his or her chin. The more fat, the more swelling. This swelling usually peaks after around 24 hours and then goes away by 48 hours after your procedure. But in some patients, the swelling lingers for up to three weeks. This swelling is more prevalent during the first treatment, with less coming from subsequent sessions (remember you can have up to six Kybella® injection treatments).
The injected area will develop some numbness and this can last up to two months. There will also be tenderness-to-the-touch in the area, but it is only felt usually with direct touching. This lasts for one to two months.
The final step of recovery is a change in the fat. The fat first begins to become more like gel after three or four days. Then it hardens. You can feel this, but others can’t see it. This solidified fat then breaks into bits and the body’s immune system goes about carrying away the dead fat cells over the next couple of months.
When will I see results from Kybella?
After around one month, patients have noticeable reduction of their double chin and tightening of the skin in the area. This continues to improve for the next three to five months. Results build with each injection session.
Is Kybella safe? What are the side effects?
The potential side effects with Kybella® are similar to those with dermal fillers. All side effects have proven very rare, however. They include nerve injury in the jaw that can create an uneven smile, trouble swallowing, and some weakness in the surrounding facial muscles. In clinical studies with 1600 patients, these side effects were not long-term but they did not resolve immediately.
These are the common side effects after treatment and resolve themselves:
- Residual pain
- Areas of hardness in the treatment area