Freeze Fat Away With CoolSculpting

Above: Leading Toronto cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Mulholland talks about targeting fat without surgery
Above: Leading Toronto cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Mulholland talks about targeting fat without surgery

The pressure to look picture-perfect is on and more men than ever are seeking out ways to improve their appearance. While the cosmetic surgery industry is typically seen as one driven by women, the reality is that thousands of men across the country undergo cosmetic procedures each and every year.

The number of men seeking out advice from a cosmetic surgeon to improve their appearance has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, this is borne out by official statistics. Stats released last year by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that the number of men requesting both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures increased dramatically in 2014 by 43%. The ASPS also reported a 273% increase in the number of plastic surgery procedures performed on men since the organization began tracking statistics in 1997.

“Men are spending more time and money on their appearance than ever before,” says Dr. Stephen Mulholland of SpaMedica in Toronto. Dr. Mulholland has seen a steady increase in the number of men seeking both surgical and nonsurgical procedures in the last several years, noting that these days approximately 30-40% of his patients are men.

One of the most sought-out, non-surgical treatments that men are looking for? A quick-fix solution to tame belly fat, decrease waistlines and get rid of those love handles. “Stubborn belly fat that won’t disappear with diet and exercise has always been a concern for my male clients,” Mulholland says. “There are so many effective non-invasive body contouring treatments available now, such as CoolSculpting.”

CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, is a popular fat-freezing technique that gives both men and women an alternate option to surgical liposuction and it’s growing in popularity. Marketed as a non-invasive way to eliminate stubborn fat cells, the FDA-approved treatments only last a couple of hours (depending on the number of treatments areas) with zero downtime. Unlike liposuction, you do not need anesthesia or a long hospital stay.

“It’s a non-surgical treatment designed to kill fat, dead,” says Mulholland.

“It’s a non-surgical treatment designed to kill fat, dead,” says Mulholland. “There are no real risks and the results are pleasantly predictable.”

How does it work?
CoolSculpting uses controlled cooling to target and eliminate localized fat cells. A vacuum-sucking apparatus is placed on a small pocket of fat on the body (think your lower or upper abdomen, flanks, back, underarms and other areas of the body) and then it clamps down and cools a section of fat about the size of a stick of butter. It’s a clunky process, that involves Sharpies to mark the exact spots and gel pads to protect the surface of the skin that gets sucked up into the mouthpiece, but it’s surprisingly painless. Each treatment area takes about an hour and throughout that hour your fat cells are targeted, cooled and crystallized, essentially killing them.

There are no needles or surgical tools, and there’s no long recovery times. Over the months that follow, the body naturally rids itself of these dead fat cells, and the excess flab slowly disappears.

Does it hurt?
No, it doesn’t. It does feel awkward for a few minutes after the slithering gel patch is applied and the CoolSculpting applicator sucks up your fat. But, then the entire area inside the applicator goes numb and you feel nothing. An hour later, when the treated area is frozen and the applicator is removed, a therapist will massage the frozen lump of skin, which is uncomfortable for most patients, but it’s not unbearable.

You can go back to your normal schedule following your treatment, although areas may feel slightly numb or tingly for a few days. Dr Mulholland advises patients should lay off the gym for a day or so and drink up plenty of water. Also worthy of note: Some patients may experience swelling or slight bruising post-treatment, but there is no absolutely scarring of the skin or damaged nerves.

The ideal candidate
Oddly, CoolSculpting isn’t intended for the seriously overweight. Dr. Mulholland advises that the ideal candidates are actually those men who already reasonably fit, exercise regularly, eat sensibly and just want to target those pesky problem areas.

“If you are trying to lose a considerable amount of weight, this is not for you,” says Mulholland. “This is an effective solution to help improve those stubborn pockets of fat.”

Christopher Turner

Christopher Turner

AmongMen’s Editor-in-Chief is a well-respected fashion and style writer whose works have appeared in Fashionism, Fashion Television, MSN, DesignLines, the Kaboose Network, the Disney Family Network and Sun Media. He also has a collection of designer kicks that would make Imelda Marcos blush and lives in Toronto’s trendy east end. Follow him at: @Turnstylin.

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