Ditching unwanted fat–now, an alternative to liposuctionBy Alex Y. Vergara
There’s a newer and literally cooler way to lose those unwanted bulges and love handles—through a machine dubbed as CoolSculpt. And since it freezes and destroys fat cells through lipolysis, the procedure is noninvasive.
“This works for a lot of people, especially men, whom we found out are more afraid than women to undergo invasive procedures such as liposuction,” said Cristalle Belo Henares, daughter of Dr. Vicki Belo, during the recent formal launching of their newest clinic at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
Apart from housing a Belo clinic, the new branch is also home to Sexy Solutions, the Belo Medical Group’s (BMG) cheaper, supposedly less painful alternative for beauty junkies averse to surgical procedures. Henares directly manages Sexy Solutions’ three branches.
“The treatments we offer in Sexy Solutions, apart from being noninvasive, are also good follow-ups for those who’ve had liposuction,” said Henares. “If you gained a little weight and we could still do something about it without you undergoing another round of liposuction, then the place to go to is Sexy Solutions.”
“Spot” treatments, for instance, offered by Sexy Solutions through a procedure called lipo cavitation cost P2,500 per session. Since the center advocates a “holistic” approach to living healthy, Sexy Solutions even has a resident fitness and nutrition expert in the person of Edward Mendez.
“Edward as well as our doctors and nutritionist could assist clients on their way to becoming fitter, healthier and more active,” said Henares.
But because of the cost (P33,600 per “cycle”), CoolSculpt, a US FDA-approved product based on American technology, is offered by the more upscale Belo clinic. A cycle lasts for almost an hour, and each problem area would require a separate cycle.
“If we address, say, your back, and you have a big tummy, you would need to do another cycle,” said Dr. Regs Llorin, one of two resident doctors in BMG’s newest branch. “That would require you to make two payments.”
CoolSculpt works best on love handles, lower abdominal fat (puson), back, inner thighs, and upper and lower parts of the butt. The machine isn’t designed to address arms and neck.
“It’s almost like liposuction without the anesthesia,” said Henares. “A vacuum sucks a certain amount of fat and freezes it to the point of killing it.”
Once the machine is removed after a cycle, frozen fat in the form of bulges as hard and as cold as ice appear on the treated area. The attending doctor massages the bulges until they disappear. The fat eventually breaks down and in two to three weeks, the body starts eliminating it through its lymphatic drainage system.
Apart from being noninvasive, CoolSculpt doesn’t harm or ruin the skin. The person won’t feel chilly nor suffer from frostbite, as the cycle zeroes in directly on subcutaneous fat.
Common side effects soon after treatment include redness and some form of bruising and swelling. It would normally take between two to three months for patients to see and appreciate the treatment’s slimming effect.
“Almost anyone can tolerate the treatment,” said Llorin. “You won’t need any anesthesia for this. CoolSculpt is very innovative because before it was introduced, everyone tried to address unwanted fat by melting it. But the company behind it did the opposite. It works on the principle that if you freeze something, it would easily break.”
But CoolSculpt isn’t for everyone, Henares added. Those expecting dramatic results similar to those offered by liposuction would be disappointed. In short, its “sculpting” power” is limited.
“I’ve had liposuction performed on me by my Mommy,” the tall and shapely Henares said. “When you undergo lipo, the attending doctor can sculpt your waist and whatever needs sculpting to the maximum.”
But with CoolSculpt, you’re limited to whatever amount of fat the machine manages to suck and freeze. Again, if you’re afraid of anesthesia and hate the downtime that comes with invasive procedures like liposuction, then CoolSculpt is probably for you.