[unpaid/complimentarytreatment/prioradrelationship] It feels like a long time since I reviewed a treatment but I felt game-on for trying the fat-freezing technology, Coolsculpt. You may have seen my Instagram Live interview with Dr Tracy Mountford, from The Cosmetic Skin Clinic where I had the treatment where we touched on Coolsculpt. I need to emphasise that it’s not a weight loss treatment but targets very stubborn areas that can’t be shifted with diet and exercise. I’m really a perfect candidate – happy with my size, a regular exerciser (walking and yoga) and yet just have upper arm contours that aren’t in line with the rest of my body. I have worked really hard to firm them up, but nothing to date has helped.
Coolsculpt works by freezing the fat cells over a period of time (35 minutes) by damaging so they’re no longer wanted by the body. You end up excreting them out but that takes place over three months or so, very gradually. The Coolsculpt machine is an impressive piece of kit – huge for a start, with various attachments depending upon what area you are targeting – that makes a whirring noise that was a bit like being on a plane. There’s something about plane noise that makes me instantly sleepy and that’s exactly what happened with Coolsculpt. I semi-dozed, listening to a podcast, with the whirr in the background.
The clinic is super-professional – it’s beautiful, tranquil and clean – with friendly (masked) faces and experts ready to answer any questions. Magda performed the CoolSculpt treatment on me – she’s absolutely the expert in it having performed it many times. One thing I really appreciated was that she was absolutely straight with me about outcomes, pain and expectations. She told me to expect some very slight skin laxity at the very top of my arm because it’s there already and sculpting won’t change that. She also told me some people find it more painful than others – I was very much braced for pain as the intense cooling took place but in fact, it was (luckily for me) very mild. You can feel your flesh cooling down – right down – and depending upon your threshold, I imagine it could be quite sore, but really my arms just felt solid and numb with a side order of slight discomfort. You’re supposed to have one arm done and then the other but I insisted on having both done at the same time (it’s about half an hour) only to realise the reason you have one then the other is because if you get a forehead or nose itch half way through there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. The time passed quickly and after I’d talked myself out of the itch I just settled to listen to my podcast.
The sucker that you see coming from the machine like an ominous tentacle has a suction pad that is applied to your arm after some cold gel and that’s it. You just have to lie there. My arms felt tender for a couple of days but there was no bruising or obvious signs that anything much had happened although I had numbness for a couple of weeks. Results wise, you see nothing for a month and then suddenly, you start to wonder if perhaps there has been an effect but aren’t quite sure although the one thing I was certain of is that the texture of my skin had completely altered with all bumpy skin completely gone in place of smoothness. After six weeks I went back for my check and by then, the results were very obvious – the ‘hang’ had more or less disappeared. Eight weeks later, and I didn’t think I needed the second recommended treatment. Twelve weeks later, I’m sure that I don’t. Magda was correct in predicting some skin creasing around my under arms which isn’t caused by Coolsculpt but is slightly more obvious because there isn’t the fat there to plump it out.
I really couldn’t be more impressed with Coolsculpt – it’s exceeded my expectations and I’ve been bare armed for weeks (when our rotten summer allows). I mean, I just don’t think about what tops I put on any more which was exactly what I wanted to achieve. I just felt a bit brought down by the fact that – much as I didn’t want to – it would be my primary consideration when getting dressed every day. Just so you know, this was a treatment that I enquired about preparing to pay to have it but the clinic said they’d be happy to do it if I would review it afterwards. They were fully prepped that I’d be reviewing either way. Not everyone is suitable for Coolsculpt but you’d be advised of that at your appointment at the clinic with realistic achievements pointed out – when I spoke to Dr Tracy she said she’d rather under-promise and over-deliver and that has proved the case. I will reiterate that it’s not a weight loss treatment – the fat that has melted away will never return but you could, in theory, in extreme circumstances, end up filling surrounding fat cells. I’m not skinny (happy with my weight and shape on the whole) and nor are my ‘new’ arms but they fit the rest of me perfectly so they don’t feel like the odd bit out. I’d do another treatment in a heartbeat if I ever felt the same again (budget allowing because it IS expensive – and more on the why of that in my interview with Dr Tracy). The Cosmetic Skin Clinic is HERE. The specific Coolsculpting page is HERE.
Lastly, I should say that always prioritise experience and professionalism over cost on this type of treatment. You can use the Bcam (British College of Aesthetic Medicine) website HERE to find someone recommended if you don’t have a Cosmetic Skin Clinic in your area (London and Buckinghamshire).
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