[By Elena Lim]
While I am not fat by any measure, I do occasionally lament about the excess rolls of flesh loitering around my belly. Four years after my first born, I have resigned myself to the fact that these “breadrolls” as my husband affectionately calls them, are here to stay.
Liposuction and other surgical nip tucks are out of the question for me. Not only am I terrified at the sight of blood, I am even more reluctant to have any procedure with downtime that may keep me from my job and daily runs of fetching the little one to and from pre-school.
When Coolsculpt by Zeltiq came about, I was naturally interested in the procedure. I had realistic expectations about the procedure. I had a consultation with my doctor at The Sloane Clinic, where he assessed me and ascertained that I had no serious health issues. Then he explained to me that Coolsculpt basically uses cold energy to break fat cells down. Our body will then naturally eliminate the fat cells over a period of 4-8 weeks. Patients expect to see a 20% reduction in fat for every session. While it is not a total elimination of those dastardly rolls, a 20% reduction is a significant result for someone like me who have tried all means from brisk walking to cutting down on supper and failed.
An applicator was placed on my tummy and I felt a strong suction. It was by no means uncomfortable; it felt more like traditional cupping sued in Chinese acupuncture. In fact, the nurse was more concerned about discomfort than I was, and I had to reassure her I was fine. I didn’t feel anything when they turned the Zeltiq on, I just felt a cold sensation and then the area went quite numb. After 10 minutes, I settled into the procedure and was totally comfortable.
The only drawback about the procedure I envisioned was the time involved. An area takes 60 minutes, and that’s a lot of time when you are strapped to a machine. I was almost resigned to uploading random posts on facebook using my blackberry when the clinic’s nurses came in with two trolleys filled with “goodies”, from magazines to a pot of hot tea to an ipad for me to surf the web and watch movies. The coolest part of the treatment is the fact that I could also pick a complimentary spa service from their menu as part of an added service for coolsculpting customers (probably designed after some tai-tai complained of boredom on her umpteenth coolsculpt session). I chose to have Lush feet which are heavenly hot paraffin wraps on my feet to hydrate and soften my skin. In fact, before I could start on my second People magazine, the procedure was over, quicker than I had anticipated.
When the nurses removed the zeltiq applicator from my tummy, I was a little concerned to see that my skin was ice cold and flushed pink. The area felt a little numb and swollen but not uncomfortable. The nurses gently massaged the area and after 5 minutes, the pinkness had subsided somewhat. I left the clinic with no problems and was able to move around comfortably. I had no bruising from the procedure even though I was told it was possible for some patients to experience bruising. Guess I was one of the lucky ones.
I didn’t see any results for the first 2 weeks. Truth be told, I was starting to be a little concerned that my money had gone down the drain. However on the 4th week, I noticed that my jeans definitely felt a little looser around the waist and my tummy was visibly flatter to the naked eye. In fact, I was so encouraged by the positive feedback from my family and friends who mistakenly thought I had embarked on some new exercise regime that I have already booked myself in for the next Coolsculpt session. Next up: I am planning to do my love handles and then perhaps my thighs. I will keep you posted.