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You’ve seen the commercials with the before-and-after photos, but can you really freeze the fat away? The simple answer is, yes! CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment that literally freezes fat cells. The procedure is safe, FDA-approved and involves no needles, medications, anesthesia surgery or downtime.

CoolSculpting addresses many of the same problems as surgical procedures for body sculpting, with fewer potential downsides.

Dr. Stephen Lex, co-founder of Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, performs the fat-freezing procedure in his office. He explains how it works:

“The body has its maximum number of fat cells following adolescence. When we lose weight, the fat cells shrink but do not go away or dissolve. This means if we gain weight again, we just refill or fatten the fat cells we already have.

“Fat cells are particularly susceptible to the effects of cold, unlike other types of cells. While the fat cells freeze, the skin and other structures are spared from injury. Once the cells have died, they are eliminated from the body and are gone for good, making CoolSculpting a long-lasting treatment option that improves the appearance of the body while reducing fat distribution.

“CoolSculpting can target those stubborn areas where exercise just doesn’t seem to deliver the results wanted. Most people can expect a 20- to 25-percent fat reduction in the targeted area and more than 90-percent say they can see a difference after just one treatment.”

How it works:

1. A cooling device, about 6” square, is applied to the area.

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2.  Gentle suction holds the tissue to the gel pad.

3. Controlled cooling is applied to the tissue.

4. The device may be moved and applied to multiple spots in one area of the body. For example, it may take three or four 10- to 30-minute applications to target the abdomen, for a total of one to four hours per treatment.

5. There may be a slight pulling or tugging from the suction and a feeling of coldness on the skin. Neither the suction or the cooling should be painful; some people do report some mild discomfort.  

6. Most people require three or four sessions months apart in the same area to get the results they want.

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Is there a health topic you would like to know more about? Contact Starla S. Collins, health writer, life & success coach and public relations expert, at


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