Author: Jennifer Bailey, CoolSculpting Coordinator
* Disclaimer – Individual results may vary
Everyone has a tendency to do things in their own way; however, any time you’re able to collaborate with others, you’re always going to learn something new. So when we had the opportunity to attend Coolsculpting University, Dr. Bailey and I jumped at the chance. We made our way to Reston, Virginia on a chilly February weekend to see how we could improve upon our growing Coolsculpting offerings.
For those that aren’t familiar with Coolsculpting, it is a non-invasive, fat-reduction procedure that uses controlled cooling to eliminate diet and exercise-resistant fat. Each Coolsculpting cycle is designed to permanently eliminate 20-25% of the fat cells within the targeted area. It’s important to mention that Coolsculpting is not a weight-loss plan. For example, you can think of the weight of a fat cell as being equal to a cotton ball. Imagine you put a bag of cotton balls under your shirt near your stomach. Those cotton balls, while not weighing much, would be pretty noticeable. Removing all of those cotton balls (fat cells) will dramatically change the way you look, but it won’t reduce your weight by much at all.
Prior to our trip, we made sure that we spent some time really developing a strong working knowledge of the equipment and the process. We wanted to get the most out of the experience: participating in the discussions and asking relevant questions. We took our time and really studied the basics. For example, one thing that we focused on familiarizing ourselves with were the different types of applicators available. The Coolsculpting equipment utilizes different applicators (the part that touches the body and “applies” the cooling) depending on the target area. At Naaman Clinic we have two Coolsculpting machines and we utilize three different applicator sizes:
– Cool Advantage Plus – the largest applicator we offer. We usually utilize this applicator for an initial step called “debulking.”
– Cool Advantage – the medium-sized applicator used for sculpting targeted areas. We can use two of these at a time (treat both flanks (lovehandles) or both thighs, etc).
– Cool Mini – the smallest applicator we use. Typically used for treatment of “submental fat” (chin area).
The conference had roughly 50 other participants from all over the US. We were so thankful to be surrounded by a group of our colleagues that were as eager to learn more about this process as we were. We learned so much about the Coolsculpting procedure that we’re now able to pass on directly to our patients. At one point, Dr. Scott Gerrish, Medical Director at the ZELTIQ Training Center hosted a Q&A session that served as an opportunity to ask questions that came up during our breakout sessions.
One thing in particular that I learned about sticks with me to this day. We were having a group discussion about patient consultation and how to best gauge a patient’s expectations and goals. One doctor suggested asking patients a simple question, “Do you want Coolsculpting to make you look better in your clothes, your swim suit, or your birthday suit?” It’s sort of a silly question, but it really works! Asking this question lets me know how aggressive the treatment plan needs to be for a patient. It’s something that I use almost every day now because it puts a visual and a case-use to the procedure.