aarp, the girlfriend, cool sculpting

Kelly Abeln

The Girlfriend’s Guide To CoolSculpting

Just think. Your love handles and tummy pooches — frozen and destroyed. Forever.

What is it? CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical FDA-approved weight-loss technique in which small areas of pinchable fat — think love handles or a tummy pooch — are frozen and destroyed. Forever.

How is that possible?! Using freezing plates and a vacuum-like applicator, a specialist captures a fold of squishy skin with fat underneath it and ices out the cells. The “injured” cells die off, and the body flushes them out. The result is a gradual reduction of fat. (Blood, nerve and skin cells aren’t affected, unlike liposuction.) Asterisk: Doctors recommend that patients be within 30 pounds of their desired weight before chilling out.

Will you walk me through the procedure? It’s not quite a day at the spa, but it’s pretty darn close. After a consultation, a board-certified surgeon in a clinic spends about 45 minutes working on the trouble spots. There’s an initial rush-of-cold jolt; then you’re numb and pain-free. Some patients say that they’ve napped during their treatments.

When I will I see results? Give it 4-6 weeks. You’ll see about a 25 percent improvement per session, and doctors recommend two applications per area (at around $1000 a pop).

What else should I know? There’s zero recovery time, but side effects include some bruising and swelling. Pregnant women and nursing moms should hold off, too. (Always check with a doctor before trying a new procedure.) And while the bad cells stay dead, new fat stores can develop if you gain weight. In other words, you still can’t beat exercise and a healthy diet. One more thing: always check with your physician before trying a new procedure.

Illustration by Kelly Abeln