Non-Invasive Fat Removal: An Honest Review on CoolSculpting® & truSculpt iD® From Someone Who Had Both Body-Sculpting Procedures by Belinda Lichty Clarke
For years, surgical liposuction, which comes with a fair amount of risk, reigned supreme as the best way to eliminate unwanted body fat. Now, with the advent of new fat-eliminating technologies, non-invasive body-contouring procedures are seeing a tremendous surge. According to a 2018 report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures have increased nearly 200 percent since 2000.
The Skinny on Hot vs. Cold
For many years, Coolsculpting, which freezes fat cells, was the treatment of choice for women (and men) looking to eliminate fat without surgery or downtime. Then TruSculpt iD came along, which heats fat cells until they die and are eliminated naturally by your own body. Both come with the promise of reducing your body fat (stomach, arms, thighs, etc.). TruSculpt iD studies have shown an average of 24 percent fat reduction in the abdomen.
Thanks to my professional connections, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both. Here’s the honest truth about my experience.
- The Procedure: The CoolSculpting® procedure was performed on my abdomen. First, it’s not a comfortable hour, but it’s bearable. After a cold gel pad is applied across your lower tummy, a contoured vacuum sucks in (and keeps sucking in) your belly roll while a relatively heavy freezing contraption freezes the roll. The cooling pad protects your skin from damage from the cold, and after about a minute you’re numb and don’t feel the cold.
- The Aftermath: After a full 60 minutes of suction-freeze, the device is removed and you have what looks like a long chunk of pink frozen fat across your stomach. The technician massages your belly until it’s pretty much “defrosted,” which is not excruciating, but not the most fun either.
- The Wait: CoolSculpting® touts that it’s a “no downtime” procedure, and it absolutely is that. However, it does hurt a little bit afterward, more than you might think. If you imagine the soreness you might feel after grueling round of sit-ups, but constant for about two weeks, that’s what the recovery feels like. Advil is recommended, and I definitely used it for a while.
- The Results: I was a total skeptic, and even as my follow-up visit loomed I was not convinced my pudge had been reduced – at all. However, after about a month, I noticed a slight improvement and a little more improvement for two months afterward. Not a radical improvement, nor is my stomach like it was pre-kids, but it was slightly less pudgy.
- The Procedure: truSculpt iD® is literally the opposite of CoolSculpting® in that the primary fat zapper is heat, not cold. The procedure was performed on my abdomen and hips. As far as the actual procedure goes, truSculpt iD® wins hands down because it's a 15-minute session instead of 60 full minutes. The technician strategically places eight small square paddles (think of those beepers you get at Chili’s while you are waiting for a table) along your stomach/love handles with a sticky tape to keep them in place. For a quarter of an hour, the paddles get very hot, but the heat alternates from paddle to paddle so it’s totally bearable.
- The Aftermath: After 15 minutes the procedure is done and you’re out the door. Unlike CoolSculpting®, after which I experienced a little abdominal pain, the truSculpt iD® aftermath is completely painless.
- The Wait: Unlike the CoolSculpting® procedure, which can take effect in a month, the truSculpt iD® results require about 12 weeks to be fully noticeable.
- The Results: I have to admit I was a bit skeptical after the truSculpt iD® procedure because it was such a no-brainer. I had no pain during or after, so I felt like maybe it didn’t work for me. So I didn’t really think so much about it over the course of the summer (I got the procedure June 30). However, when back-to-school time came around and I started dressing up for work again, I absolutely noticed a difference in how my skirts fit, especially on my hips. For sure, my hip fat has been reduced and even my "baby belly" seemed noticeably less prominent.
Stephanie Wolf, director of operations at Vitahl Medical Aesthetics, a clinic in Chicago that offers the truSculpt iD® procedure, says she's definitely seen a large increase in the number of truSculpt iD® treatments in her offices. "We have had success treating patients who tried other body contouring treatments that did not work as well and they are delighted with the results of truSculpt iD® has given them."
My Bottom Line
At the end of the day, these procedures aren’t cheap, costing thousands of dollars for multiple visits. I only did one treatment, so I can imagine that with a hefty investment, the results are absolutely worth it.
Wolf agrees. "More than 70 percent of our patients who have had truSculpt iD® have purchased another treatment for a different area because they are impressed with their results on their first area treated. The lower abdomen is the most popular area treated."
Have you had the CoolSculpting® or truSculpt iD® procedure? Share your experiences below.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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