If you’ve been working out, reducing weight, or just have some stubborn pockets of fat you can’t seem to lose, MedSpa fat reduction technology is likely a great option for you. But if you’ve done a little research, you may be confused by all the words and names for treatments, how they are different, and which is best for you.
Fat freezing and heating are two different methods used to reduce fat. In this post, we will compare these two non-invasive fat reduction treatments so you can decide which one would work best for you.
First things first.
What’s the Main Difference Between Fat Freezing and Fat Heating?
The primary difference between fat freezing and heating is that freezing uses cold temperatures to reduce the appearance of stubborn fat, while heating uses heat to melt fat cells.
Fat freezing is sometimes called CoolSculpting or cryolipolysis. Fat heating is often referred to as lipo cavitation.
What is Fat Freezing?
Did you know that sometimes, when kids eat popsicles, they temporarily develop dimples? When a pair of Harvard students noticed this, they wondered if the same principle of freezing could apply to fat. From that, CoolSculpting or cryolipolysis was developed.
To briefly explain how fat freezing works, when fat cells are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, they cannot survive. So, fat freezing aims to cool your stubborn fat cells down to a temperature where, over time, they will die away.
At your CoolSculpting treatment, your technician will take your health history to make sure you’re a good candidate for the treatment. Then, a handheld applicator with a large suctioning end will be placed on the treatment area.
The machine will create a strong suction and begin to cool down. Your skin will get very cold and eventually feel numb. While fat freezing is usually considered ‘pain-free,’ it’s possible you may feel a little discomfort at this stage, mostly due to the extreme cold.
After about 10 minutes the skin will go numb. You’ll remain in this position for about an hour, and then the machine will be removed.
At the end of your treatment, the technician will massage your treated skin to return blood flow and help improve lymphatic drainage.
Some people opt to repeat the treatment a number of times. This can be done as soon as the same day.
How Quickly Will I See Results with Fat Freezing?
Results of CoolSculpting aren’t immediate. Instead, you’ll see a gradual fat reduction over the course of 1-3 months. By 6 months time, you’ll likely have seen the full extent of your first treatment’s results.
How Much Fat Can I Lose with Fat Freezing?
The amount of fat you’ll lose varies for each person, but typically, you can expect to lose about 20-25% of the fat in your target area per treatment. That’s why most people tend to have about 4 fat freezing treatments.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Fat Freezing?
Most people are good candidates for fat freezing but the only way to know for sure is to book a consultation. It’s likely you’ll be able to have fat freezing if:
- You have an ideal BMI with just a few pockets of stubborn, diet-resistant fat
- You’ve tried to remove your diet-resistant fat with no success
- You’re generally healthy
- You aren’t pregnant and don’t intend to become pregnant in the coming months
- You have at least 1 inch of fat that can be pinched in the area
CoolSculpting is also a great option for post-pregnancy belly fat loss.
There are very few fat freezing side effects but you may experience localized redness, swelling, or bruising following the treatment. During the treatment, you might experience slight pain or stinging.
What is Fat Heating?
Just like melting butter in a pan, our fat cells can actually be melted away. Maybe it’s not exactly the same, but it does help paint a visual. Our fat cells, if heated enough, can implode and melt. Then, our lymphatic system washes them naturally from our bodies.
At your fat heating treatment (also called lipo cavitation), your dermatologist or technician will take a health history to make sure you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment. Then, ultrasound jelly will be applied to the treatment area.
A round, handheld applicator will be moved all over the target area, delivering ultrasound waves into the fat tissue. These waves cause microbubbles in the fat tissue, forcing them to burst. Then, the melted fat cells are naturally removed from the body through the lymph system over the coming weeks.
While the fat cells are technically being heated and melted, the treatment doesn’t cause your skin to feel hot. Instead, it’s relaxing, as the ultrasound appliance is simply moved smoothly over the skin. Lipo cavitation is considered pain-free.
An ultrasound treatment provides added benefits of tightening the skin, and this treatment works well to help decrease the look of cellulite as well.
Treatments usually take about an hour. Most people book multiple sessions. Larger areas with more fat or cellulite may need 6 or more sessions for full results. Smaller areas may need only 3-6. Sessions need to be about 6 weeks apart so seeing full results from multiple treatments may take quite a few months.
How Quickly Will I See Results with Fat Heating?
Full results are typically seen 6-12 weeks after your treatment. Some fat loss may begin to happen sooner, and your skin should look tighter in the day following your treatment as well.
How Much Fat Can I Lose from Fat Heating?
Typically, one treatment will see about 1-inch of fat reduction from a single treatment. Subsequent treatments may offer 2+ inches per session, but individual results vary. That’s why most people opt for multiple treatments.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Fat Heating?
Most people are good candidates for fat heating. The best way to assess whether it’s right for you is to book a consultation. You’ll likely be able to have fat heating treatment if:
- You want to firm or contour certain areas of your body without invasive procedures
- You’re in generally good health, even if you are moderately overweight
- You’re not pregnant or breastfeeding
- You need to lose 10-30 pounds of weight
If you have an acute or contagious disease, HIV, a condition that affects a major organ, implant devices such as pacemakers or electrical prosthesis, epilepsy, or MS, you may not be a good candidate due to the use of ultrasound in this treatment.
Post-pregnancy weight loss can be achieved with lipo cavitation, but can’t be started until at least 3 months after birth.
Side effects from fat heating are unlikely, but it’s possible you might see a little redness or swelling after your treatment. This should subside in a few days.
So Which is Better For Losing Fat: Fat Freezing or Heating?
The answer comes down to preference. While both provide similar fat-reducing results. Here’s a breakdown of the differences.
Session Time: 1 hour
Sessions Required: Typically 3-4 for best results
Areas Targeted: Hips, thighs, back, arms, stomach, and chin
Ideal Candidate: Someone generally healthy and close to their target weight with a few areas of stubborn fat
Side Effects: Typically none, but in some cases, mild to moderate discomfort during the treatment, and mild bruising or swelling that will subside within a few days
Results: Results will gradually be seen in 1-3 months with full results appearing in 6 months time.
Session Time: About 45 minutes to 1 hour
Sessions Required: 3-6 or more sessions, spaced 6 weeks apart
Areas Targeted: Stomach, thighs, back, abdomen, and chin
Ideal Candidate: Someone generally healthy with some stubborn or diet-resistant fat
Side Effects: Virtually none, but in rare cases, mild swelling may happen
Results: Some results might be seen earlier, but full results will be seen 6-12 weeks post-treatment
What is the Cost of Treatment?
Of course, cost may be a factor in your decision. CoolSculpting prices generally begin around $750 a treatment and the cost is determined by the size of the treatment area. Lipo cavitation may only cost around $350 a treatment, but you may need more treatments to see similar results to fat freezing.
Regardless of which treatment you decide to try, be sure to look for lipo cavitation and fat freezing reviews to help you determine which is best for you. Both treatments are excellent options for stubborn fat removal.