SkinDC is currently experiencing phone system problems. For urgent scheduling matters, please email: frontdesk@skindcderm.com. For urgent medical matters/questions, please email: medicalassistant@skindcderm.com.

CoolSculpting: Legacy vs. Elite

June 20, 2023

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring procedure that aims to eliminate stubborn fat cells using controlled cooling technology. Developed by scientists at Harvard University over a decade ago, CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, has been well-established as a safe and effective treatment alternative to traditional liposuction surgery. 

Many of us have stubborn fat bulges despite diet and exercise. CoolSculpting effectively targets fat cells underneath the skin without damage to the skin or surrounding tissues. CoolSculpting’s mechanism of action is to slowly lower the temperature in order to freeze and crystallize the fat within the fat cells but avoid freezing normal cells which contain water.  The body responds to the frozen fat cells by causing them to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death.  The treated fat cells are permanently eliminated from the body, and they do not regenerate.  This selective removal of unwanted fat cells leads to a reduction in fat thickness and an improved body contour. 

One of the significant advantages of CoolSculpting is that it is a non-invasive procedure. There is no need for anesthesia, incisions, or downtime, allowing patients to resume their regular activities immediately after treatment. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, such as pulling, tugging, or cold sensations during the procedure, but these sensations generally subside as the treatment area becomes numb. 

Results from CoolSculpting are not immediate but become noticeable within a few weeks to months following the procedure. The body gradually metabolizes the eliminated fat cells, resulting in a slimmer and more contoured appearance. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve the desired outcome, depending on the individual’s goals and the extent of fat reduction needed. There is a 20 to 25 percent fat reduction with each CoolSculpting treatment. “Most patients require at least two rounds of treatment to reach their aesthetic goals,” explains Ragan Lake, Body Contouring Specialist at SkinDC.

To learn more about CoolSculpting, listen to our Body Contouring Specialist, Ragan Lake, speak about the treatment here: CoolSculpting at SkinDC

Where Areas Can I Treat? 

CoolSculpting is a versatile non-surgical body contouring treatment that can target various areas of the body where stubborn fat accumulates. The procedure is FDA-approved and has been proven effective in reducing localized fat deposits in several places. Here are the FDA-approved areas that can be treated with CoolSculpting: 

  • Abdomen: The abdomen is the most popular treatment area for both men and women. CoolSculpting can address unwanted belly fat and help sculpt a flatter and more defined midsection. 
  • Flanks: CoolSculpting can target the flanks or love handles, which are the areas of fat located on the sides of the waist. By treating this area, patients can achieve a more contoured silhouette. 
  • Thighs: Both the inner, outer, and posterior thighs can be treated with CoolSculpting. This procedure can help reduce the appearance of stubborn fat pockets and create smoother and more toned thighs. 
  • Double Chin: CoolSculpting has proven effective in treating submental fat, commonly known as a double chin. It can reduce the fat in this area, which results in a more defined jawline and slimmer facial profile. 
  • Upper Arms: CoolSculpting can address excess fat in the upper arms, commonly known as ‘bat wings’. This fat reduction can leave patients feeling more confident and toned in their summer clothing. 
  • Back and Bra Line: CoolSculpting can target fat deposits on the back and around the bra area. This treatment can help eliminate rolls and bulges, resulting in a smoother and more contoured back. 
  • Male Chest: CoolSculpting can be used to treat excess fat in the chest area for men who have pseudo-gynecomastia, a condition characterized by the appearance of male breasts due to fatty tissue, not breast tissue. 

It is important to note that the suitability of CoolSculpting for a specific area may vary depending on individual factors, such as the amount of fat present and the desired outcome. This is why SkinDC offers a FREE body contouring consultation to see if CoolSculpting is right for you! During this consultation, our body contouring specialist, Ragan Lake, will assess your problem areas and develop a customized treatment plan. Schedule your FREE CoolSculpting consultation today. 


What Should I Expect During a Treatment?

During a CoolSculpting treatment at SkinDC, you can expect a comfortable and straightforward experience. At the beginning of each treatment, our body contouring specialist, Ragan, will walk you through your custom treatment plan that was designed during your consultation to ensure you are all on the same page. She will then mark the treatment area to ensure the applicator is correctly placed for optimal results. A gel pad is then placed on the area to protect the skin and help the applicator get proper contact. The applicator is then placed on the treatment area, and the fatty tissue is gently suctioned inside to ensure full contact with the cooling plates. Once the applicators have been started, patients may feel a very cold sensation in the treatment area, but this typically subsides in ten minutes as the area becomes numb. 

Many patients use this time to relax, read, watch Netflix, or even take a nap. The treatment sessions typically last around 35 or 70 minutes, depending on the area being treated. After the treatment has ended, the applicator will be removed and the body contouring specialist will perform a two-minute massage of the area. According to clinical studies, this massage helps break apart fat cells and improves the patient’s outcome. 

When Will I Start Seeing Results? 

After a CoolSculpting treatment, you can expect to start seeing initial results around three weeks. However, it is important to note that the full results of CoolSculpting become more noticeable over time and may continue to improve for up to three months after the treatment. During the first few weeks following the treatment, you may begin to notice a gradual reduction in the treated area’s fat thickness. As the body’s natural metabolic processes kick in, the treated fat cells start to break down and are gradually eliminated from the body. Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can help optimize your CoolSculpting results. 

Who is an Ideal Candidate for CoolSculpting? 

An ideal candidate for CoolSculpting is someone who is close to their ideal body weight but has specific areas of stubborn fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. It is important to remember that CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss procedure but rather a body sculpting technique. Good candidates have realistic expectations and understand that CoolSculpting is designed to enhance the body contour and reduce fat thickness, not to drastically change overall body weight. “I recommend that a patient be within 15-20 lbs of their ideal weight,” says Ragan. She explains, “…at that point, the areas treated with CoolSculpting will be discouraging to patients who are making the right lifestyle choices because they’re the last areas (if ever) to respond to diet and exercise.”

If you are not sure if you are a good candidate, schedule your free body contouring consultation at SkinDC today! 

CoolSculpting Elite vs. CoolSculpting Legacy 

In January 2021, Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, announced the launch of CoolSculpting Elite, the next-generation fat reduction system. This new device came with many changes and improvements over its predecessor, the CoolSculpting Legacy device. 

Improved Applicators 

Unlike the CoolSculpting Legacy applicators, the Elite applicators are not U-shaped but instead are C-shaped, and come in seven different shapes and sizes. With previous CoolSculpting treatments, some patients found the applicators somewhat uncomfortable and tight. The new C-shaped applicators have a contour that fits your body’s natural curves better for maximum results and comfort. The new C-shape instead of the U-shaped contour also means less squeezing on the tissue. 

The new design of the applicator features up to an 18 percent larger cooling area as compared to the previous generation CoolSculpting applicators. They also contain ‘Freeze Detect’ which is a technology that monitors heat extraction. The Freeze Detect is a patented protection against cold injury. This system monitors heat extraction to help ensure patient safety and optimal results. 

Enhanced Fat Removal 

Another benefit of the new C-shaped applicator design is that the contract between the applicator and the skin’s surface is greatly improved. With greater surface contact, the device is able to cool the underlying fat.  This allows for the cooling to be more efficient and uniform.  In our experience, the new handpieces have led to quicker and more effective results.  In addition, the larger footprint of the applicators also means that more surface is covered in the treatment area for greater results. 

Faster Results in Fewer Treatments 

CoolSculpting Elite makes contact with the body in a more efficient manner, as Elite applicators cover up to 18 percent more skin surface than CoolSculpting Legacy. This means larger treatment areas can be targeted in less time (shorter treatment sessions). Not only that, but each device has the ability to use two applicators at the same time, a practice commonly referred to as Dual Sculpting. Each CoolSculpting Elite machine can address two different treatment areas at the same time. This shortens appointment times considerably since multiple areas can be treated at the same time. 

At SkinDC, we have multiple CoolSculpting Elite machines, allowing for our body contouring specialist to “Quad Sculpt”. “Quad CoolSculpting allows me to treat more areas at once for a patient, which means less time in the office and fewer appointments,” says Ragan.

Studies have also shown that individuals can start to see results in as little as three weeks, with full results shown at three months with the Elite machines. The CoolSculpting Legacy machine treatments would not see results until four weeks post-treatment, with full results being seen at four months. 

CoolSculpting at SkinDC

SkinDC is home to two of the nation’s CoolSculpting experts. Dr. Terrence Keaney is a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of SkinDC. He is an early adopter of the CoolSculpting Elite device and a national speaker of CoolSculpting best practices. Ragan Lake is a Master CoolSculpting Clinician and leads the SkinDC body contouring team, performing over 2,000 CoolSculpting treatments annually. Ragan is also a National Trainer for CoolSculpting. As a National Trainer, Ragan visits National CoolSculpting Training Centers in New Jersey, Texas, and California, and offers private Field Training Programs across the nation. 

SkinDC is consistently ranked as the #1 CoolSculpting provider in Virginia and Washington, D.C., and a top 10 provider nationally (Allergan Aesthetics, 2022). SkinDC provides patients with a personalized, holistic approach to body contouring utilizing the latest CoolSculpting Elite technology. SkinDC was named “The Face of CoolSculpting” in the January 2023 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. The magazine’s “Face of Washington” distinctions are awarded to local entrepreneurs and business leaders who are moving their industries and the region forward, and making the region a better place to live.