Alexa's CoolSculpting Journey
Truth be told - I hate my double chin. And to be frank, I don't know anyone who doesn't. When I was younger, I never noticed this area on myself; hence I was a chubby kid. I naturally have a very full face, some would say "moon" shaped, but it was always something I found distinctive about myself... what can I say, I was blessed with big cheeks! It's been told from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery that an average of 70% of North Americans suffers from the daunting double chin, and more than 55% are seeking a cosmetic solution.
Let's give a warm welcome to CoolSculpting. Yes, I have tried other alternatives to treat my under-chin area. Belkyra, a series of injections using a solution called Deoxycholic Acid to reduce fat under the chin, was introduced to me several years ago. Still, unfortunately, it didn't give me the results I desired. I completed three (non-consistent rounds – to be fair), and every time I resembled Peter Griffin for two weeks. Hiding the swelling and bruising was impossible, and although it's a common side effect, it made me even more self-conscious about myself.
When CoolSculpting became available to treat the submental area, I was curious. Could this be the treatment that I've been waiting for? Could this be the treatment that finally gets rid of my chin fat? I want to walk you through my CoolSculpting journey so I can hopefully help someone who feels like me make a decision that could maybe change their life too.
I felt excited and relaxed. I had pre-treatment photos taken, and my area was marked out with a template and traced. Lauren, the CoolSculpting tech, got me set up and comfortable in the chair – and I must mention that her calm energy put me at ease! The one thing that I was less than ecstatic about was having my head confined in a support cushion for 45 minutes. It's designed to stabilize the patient's head throughout the treatment, which is necessary but not exactly pleasant. Regardless, when you get to the point where you are so desperate to change something, you don't care what you must go through to get there, and I knew I was at that point with my chin. Once the applicator was suctioned onto the area and secured with two straps, the cooling was then initiated. I recall my first 2 minutes quite tolerable. Between 5-10 minutes, I was beginning to experience a deep, stinging cold sensation. I remember telling myself to remain calm, and to breathe deep which to my surprise helped a lot (maybe a lot of it is mind over matter). I could swallow without difficulty, but I couldn't talk. Queue the hand signals – thumbs up means you're okay, and thumbs down means "get me out of here!" I also couldn't communicate that I needed water because let me tell you, your throat WILL feel parched. To be honest, there were moments I experienced where I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the entire treatment. Even though the area becomes numb after a certain point (mine was around 20 minutes in), it's still an uncomfortable feeling. But wait – I was in for a rude awakening assuming that the cooling was the worst part. Studies have shown that a vigorous massage following the removal of the applicator will increase your results by 70%. It's a requirement that is non-negotiable. I must admit, as a technician myself who does these treatments on patient's multiple times a day, I had no idea what they were going through until today.
Let's say it feels like your fat is being destroyed. Once that portion of the treatment was over, I looked like I had nothing done. WHAT?? There was zero pain once the massage was over. I had minimal swelling to my surprise and no redness. I didn't even have bruising. My chin was only slightly warm and partially numb. Considering how it feels getting it done, your mind automatically assumes you will experience intense downtime. I was so fortunate that it wasn't the case. I went out for dinner that night, not feeling overweight or self-conscious about myself and in my opinion, that's a significant win.
Day 1 After Treatment
I woke up with no swelling and no redness. The area was more tender today than right after I had it done yesterday. If I can explain how it felt, I guess the only words that come to mind are hard and dense. I felt a weight in my chin, although it didn't bother me. I was uncomfortable only when I touched the area, which I barely did because I didn't want to feel pain. There was pressure in the area, but again no bruising. I was happy. This was the most natural "downtime" I have ever experienced following a procedure of this calibre. Everything I endured throughout the treatment and following the process was completely worth it at this point.
Day 2 After Treatment
Upon waking up, I am having very similar symptoms as yesterday. Virtually no pain again, just a small amount of what feels like pressure. No bruising. Perhaps a minimal amount of swelling but nothing noticeable, in my opinion. I wore makeup and applied it with ease. To give you an idea of what it looked like, if you didn't say you had anything done, no one would have guessed! I did a hot yoga class tonight, and I had no issues.
Day 3 After Treatment
I woke up feeling good today. I still have a minimal amount of swelling and numbness to the area, but I feel comfortable. It's still slightly tender to touch, but again, don't touch it! One thing I noticed different about today is that I experienced a sharp and sudden pain of pins and needles in the center of my chin which happened out of the blue. It was a little uncomfortable, but I put pressure on it with my hand which helped a lot. I must admit that I am very impressed. I haven't felt the need to take any Tylenol or Advil at this point. I have also been sleeping well. I can't wait to see how I feel in a week!