What Is Fat Freezing - Risks, Benefits And Side Effects

Shalu Bhati

Updated At  16 Jan 23

Are you struggling with fat deposits that just won’t budge despite the number of hours you put in the gym? Have you given a thought to fat freezing? Keep reading to get to know all the details about this procedure.

Love it or hate it, but you cannot ignore it. That’s body fat for you. If you love your body and all the fat and flab it comes with, then congratulations you have reached the top of the self-acceptance levels. But, there are still some people who find it difficult to accept the excess and stubborn fat. When diet and exercise have zero impact, it often leaves those people dejected. Are you one of those people who would like to get their body in shape even when the traditional route of diet and exercise has failed you? If yes, then you have come to the right place.

Fat freezing is the latest innovation in the field of fat loss and reduction. With celebrities approving it, fat freezing has gained immense popularity over the years. It was due to its multiple benefits that this new entrant could take over liposuction in the popularity charts. And we will tell you everything there is to know about this procedure.


1 what is fat freezing


What Is Fat Freezing?

Fat freezing is exactly what its name suggests. This is a procedure that allows you to bid adieu to stubborn fat simply by freezing it off. Yes, you read it right. You can get rid of fat by freezing it. Also known as cryolipolysis, fat freezing is a treatment based on the natural response of fat cells towards extreme cold. It might sound painful and uncomfortable. But trust us, it is not.


Popular amongst celebs including Gemma Collins and Khloe Kardashian, fat freezing uses extremely cold temperatures to deep freeze the fat cells. Consequently, these previously stubborn fat cells die and are eventually eliminated by the body through the lymphatic system.


This procedure was developed based on the research done on the effects of frostbite. The fat cells are present in the subcutaneous layer that lies just below the skin. It was found that these fat cells experience the cold before the skin can. Thus, fat freezing was developed to target, kill, and eliminate the fat cells and yield a toned body.

The fat freezing treatment is non-invasive. This means it does not require any surgery which is one of its many plus points. It is a relatively new procedure that arrived on the scene in 2010. It is said to permanently remove about 25 percent of fat in the area targeted during the procedure.


Check out our guide to find out the details of how to get rid of armpit fat. From natural processes to the pros and cons of each process, we have captured everything in detail.


2 process


How Is Fat Freezing Done—The Process In Detail

This procedure is done by trained professionals. Before making your appointment, make sure that you have done your research. Find out the details about the procedure, whether you are an ideal candidate, the qualifications, and reviews of the professional you choose among other things. Always consult a certified professional specifically trained to perform cryolipolysis. 

The process involved in fat freezing treatment is rather simple. It freezes off the fat and kills it. These dead fat cells are later removed by the body through its natural elimination process.

  • First, an anti-freeze pad will be placed on the targeted area.
  • Next, an applicator is placed on the anti-freeze pad to suck the targeted area just like a vacuum cleaner.
  • This sucked part of the skin would next be treated with a temperature so cold that it freezes the fat cells. The professional would control the suction and cold while moving the applicator over the targeted area until the fat cells are put in a deep freeze.
  • As the last step, they will massage the area just treated to ensure that the dead fat cells get readily absorbed by the body.

Cryolipolysis is performed over several sessions to completely reduce the fat. One session can last anywhere between 1 and 3 hours depending upon the area targeted. This treatment allows for a controlled and natural fat reduction. You will feel some tugging and pinching during the procedure. But it is normal to feel so. The process is neither painful nor uncomfortable as the cold makes the area numb. However, a few people have found the massage to be an unpleasant experience.

Since fat freezing uses the body’s natural response, you will not see immediate results. The changes will begin appearing after a few weeks and a complete transformation would be visible after about 3 months. Cryolipolysis gives natural results and does not require any recovery time. You can get back to your daily routine immediately after the procedure.  

Check out our guide on brachioplasty to find out how to get rid of excess fats in the arms quickly. This has been gaining popularity and has been trending this year as its been increasing used for removing excess fat.


3 areas targeted


What Areas Are Targeted?

Following areas are the ones that are most commonly treated through cryolipolysis:

  • Double chin
  • Upper arm
  • Abdomen and love handles
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • The area underneath the butt
  • Bra and back fat


Who Is A Good Candidate?

Fat freezing or Cryolipolysis is a procedure meant for fat reduction. It is not for weight loss. Thus, the ideal candidate for this procedure is the healthy one and almost near their ideal weight. It treats the stubborn fat pockets that are difficult to remove through diet and exercise only. Fat freezing targets specific areas and not larger ones. Thus, it is not suitable for very obese or overweight people.

4 Benefits


Benefits Of Fat Freezing

Following are some of the top fat freezing benefits:

  • Non-surgical
  • Low risk
  • A painless alternative to liposuction
  • Safe and natural
  • Does not require anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Suitable for people of all ages
  • Does not damage skin or nerves
  • Permanent

Cryolipolysis provides a permanent solution to fat reduction but its effect can get overshadowed by weight gained through an unhealthy lifestyle followed after the procedure. It takes a few weeks to show the results. Other disadvantages include its price and unsuitability for larger areas of fat.


5 Is it safe


Is Fat Freezing Safe?      

Yes, fat freezing or cryolipolysis is a safe procedure with minimal risks and side effects. Its brand name CoolSculpting was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012. It is non-surgical, non-invasive, and does not require anesthesia. About 8 million procedures have been performed worldwide till now and have shown this to be a safe procedure.

You can also check our guide on the top exercises to reduce belly fat as we have covered all the popular ones in detail to get rid of the stubborn belly fat naturally.


6 side effects


Risks And Side Effects Of Fat Freezing

The most common fat freezing side effect  include:

  • Redness
  •  Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Tingling
  • Numbness and tenderness
  • Darkening of the treated area

These side effects barely occur and even if they do, they generally go away over a few weeks. Based on the results of clinical trials and real-time patient experience, side effects of fat freezing “occur less than 1% of the time”.

Fat freezing might pose a risk for some people and they are recommended to not undergo the same. These people include those having the following conditions:

  • Abnormal sensitivity or intolerance to cold
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria
  • Cold urticaria
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Nerve disorders
  • Inflammatory skin disorders
  • Other skin conditions such as eczema

Thus, it is important to have a detailed conversation with your professional to certify that you are a good candidate for this procedure.


Fat Freezing Cost

The average fat freezing cost ranges between $2000 and $4000. This cost depends on multiple factors including the area to be treated. The fat freezing cost is not covered by insurance because it is a cosmetic procedure.

7 Difference


How Is Fat Freezing Different?

Fat freezing often gets confused with other fat-reducing procedures. It might have some similar characteristics with them but it is different too.  Let’s have a look at those differences.


Fat Freezing vs Liposuction - What's The Difference?

  • Fat freezing in non-surgical and non-invasive whereas liposuction is an invasive and surgical procedure
  • Fat freezing is also known as cryolipolysis and does not use anesthesia. Liposuction is a surgical procedure, hence, involves the use of general anesthesia
  • Fat freezing uses cold temperatures to eliminate the fat cells underneath the skin's surface. In liposuction, an incision is made out of which the fat is sucked using a suction tool
  • Fat freezing requires no recovery time but liposuction needs about three weeks for recovery
  • Fat freezing takes about an hour and requires many sessions while liposuction is performed in one session and can take one to two hours.


Cryolipolysis vs CoolSculpting – What’s The Difference?

There is no such difference between Cryolipolysis and CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is the patented brand whereas cryolipolysis is the science behind it. Consider the time when you get your prescription filled. You get asked if you would like the branded ones or the generic alternative that has a similar formulation. CoolSculpting is the brand and cryolipolysis is the basic version.




Frequently Asked Questions On Fat Freezing



Q. What is the difference between CoolSculpting and Cryolipolysis?

CoolSculpting and cryolipolysis are similar procedures. Cryolipolysis is the technique used while CoolSculpting is the patented brand that uses this technique.


Q. How does fat freezing work?

Fat freezing targets fat cells and kills them off by freezing them. These dead fat cells are then removed by the body through its natural elimination process.


Q. Is fat freezing safe?

Yes, fat freezing is a safe procedure with rare and minimal side effects.


Q. Is fat freezing at home possible?

Fat freezing must be done only by a professional. In the past, people have tried to replicate the effects of fat freezing at home with ice and other frozen objects. But, this is ineffective and potentially risky. Fat freezing can be performed at home only through special devices like the Isavera fat freezing belt.


Q. What is Isavera fat freezing?

The Isavera fat freezing system allows you to freeze fat at home. It comes in the form of a belt that uses cryolipolysis technology to freeze and eliminate fat.