Body Shaping- CoolSculpting® and truSculpt® 3D

My first publication at Advanced Dermatology comes at a perfect time, as I sit here and wait for my certificate of completion at CoolSculpting® Master’s University in Pleasanton, California.

We have come a long way in body shaping technology. As much as we try to maintain a healthy weight and ideal body physique, many of us are still dealing with stubborn areas of fat and/or loose skin. At Advanced Dermatology, we offer two different non-invasive and nonsurgical treatments that address both of these nuisances: 1) CoolSculpting® and 2) truSculpt® 3D. While similar in name, they are different in their mechanism of action.

CoolSculpting® uses cryolipolysis, which is a fancy word for “killing fat cells through freezing”. CoolSculpting® works by selectively applying controlled cooling to produce a gradual reduction of subcutaneous fat cells. It is ideal for stubborn pockets of fat that seem to resist diet and exercise. After the cells are destroyed, they are naturally eliminated by the body. The result is a reduction in fat and/or size of the area that was treated.

truSculpt® 3D uses radiofrequency to reach deep into the skin to heat up and damage the fat cells. The advanced technology of the applicator allows the heat to reach the subcutaneous fat layer without causing dangerously high temperatures in the skin. With the radiofrequency, we are able to improve skin laxity by delivering enough heat in the skin to stimulate collagen production that could continue for up to 12 weeks. The dead fat cells go through the same elimination process. What makes truSculpt® 3D unique is that it can address fat reduction and tissue tightening simultaneously.

Before (top) and After (bottom) 1 truSculptr 3D Treatment (Flanks). Photos courtesy of Advanced Dermatology, LLC. Results may vary. 

I often get asked, “Elana, which one is better?” truSculpt® 3D and CoolSculpting® are both designed to sculpt and contour areas of the body with limited downtime and disruption. The right candidate for each of these treatments might look different. If you have a discrete area of fat or bulge, it is very likely that you are a candidate for CoolSculpting®. If you have an area of pinchable fat with overlying skin that might present as more loose or crepe on the surface, truSculpt® 3D might be a better solution. We might also recommend truSculpt® 3D if the particular area of concern does not fit adequately into the selection of CoolScupting® applicators.

CoolSculpting® has been around for many years, and as a result, people are more aware of its existence and there is more data out there to support its success. Dr. Taub was one of the first physician’s to get her hands on the truSculpt® 3D and complete a research study at Advanced Dermatology. Our conclusions were consistent with other body shaping technologies. We were able to see first-hand what this device could accomplish and adjust the protocol to make it more successful for our patients and other practices around the world.

A better question is, “Which treatment is right for me?” When we are assessing patients for each treatment, we are looking at skin quality, body shape, fat orientation, and medical history. Most importantly, we are looking at what you want to achieve, whether it is a big event you have coming up or the desire to feel more confident in your clothes.

Fortunately, since we have the latest CoolSculpting® technology and all ofthe available applicators, in addition to truSculpt® 3D and other tissue tightening devices, we are able to pick and choose which tool(s) we want to use in your treatment plan. Some patients may benefit from a combination of both modalities. With each treatment, we expect to see 20-25% of irreversible fat cell damage in the area that was treated. For both fat reduction and skin tightening, multiple treatments are usually prescribed to see a visual difference beyond the clinical effects. There are different intervals between each treatment so that the  body is allowed to work and recover. For CoolSculpting®, we repeat treatment on an area in 6-8 weeks, whereas truSculpt® 3D it is usually 12 weeks due to continuous collagen production for improvement in laxity.

Before (left) and After (right) 2 CoolSculpting® Treatments (Flanks). Photos courtesy of Advanced Dermatology, LLC. Results may vary.

CoolSculpting® and truSculpt® 3D both have high safety profiles as long as you are having them performed by experienced and trained providers. The side effects associated with CoolSculpting® are redness, bruising, swelling, numbness, tenderness and a very cold feeling to the treated area. After truSculpt® 3D, patients usually experience warmth, redness, tenderness, and swelling. These effects are usually very minor and temporary. The discomfort associated with both of these treatments is very minimal, although it varies from patient to patient. These will all be discussed in further detail during your consultation. On the plus side, there is little to no downtime with these treatments and you can go back to your normal daily activities after the treatment.

My favorite part about being an aesthetic nurse, with a focus on clinical development and research, is that I am constantly sharing experiences with colleagues and trying to come up with ways we can make treatments better for our patients. After becoming a CoolSculpting® University Master’s graduate and coordinating one of the first clinical studies in the country for truSculpt® 3D, I have learned that there is no perfect or standard treatment plan for everyone. Every patient that walks through our door is different – man or woman, larger or smaller, flat or curved, wrinkled or smooth. At Advanced Dermatology, there is a great amount of innovation, creativity, and art in what we do. We can come up with a unique treatment plan for any patient and any body type.

Before (left) and After (right) 1 CoolMini® Treatment. Photos courtesy of Advanced Dermatology, LLC. Results may vary.

The truth is, body shaping is a journey and there is no quick fix. These treatments can be successful, but it is important that you adhere to the treatment plan that was prescribed to you. For optimal results, it is always best to supplement your treatments with a healthy diet and exercise.

I will leave you all with this: It is all about balance! Enjoy your favorite holiday treat and indulge in traditions that make you happy. It will take time to reach your goals, but we will be right there with you throughout the process. We are excited about your results just as much as you are. Whether you are coming in to carry out your treatment plan or having a cosmetic consultation, we are looking forward to seeing you!