coolsculpting for arms

​Does CoolSculpting Work for Your Arms?

Personal wellness spending in the United States is in the billions of dollars, and much more worldwide. Personal wellness includes the entire human body, of course. Within the body are many individual parts, some of which are easily overlooked. For instance, many people, men, and women, fit and unfit, feel uncomfortable with the saggy flab of their upper arms.

Flabby upper arms, as even those who train daily will tell you, are notable for their failure to respond to traditional diet and exercise. Unfortunately, weight loss is also no indicator as to whether your upper arms are going to be less flabby. Something else needs to be done to get the sleek image you’re seeking. In today’s world, the answer should be natural and non-invasive. Medical technology has reached the point that this is possible.


CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared, non-surgical approach to reducing body fat. However, until recently this medical technology was applied only to the flanks (love handles), thighs and abdomen. Now, as of February 2017, this treatment is available for the upper arms, too. Zeltiq, the creator of CoolSculpting, has released a new, specialized treatment applicator designed specifically for the upper arm region. According to Zeltiq’s surveys, around 1/3 of respondents expressed interest in reducing upper arm fat and flabbiness.

There is a distinct difference between fat reduction and weight loss. The CoolSculpting process provides actual fat reduction. With weight loss, the fat cells shrink, but the number of fat cells stays the same. Those fat cells can regain their fat. This is why that weight always seems to come back. Fat reduction eliminates fat cells, reducing the total number of fat cells so that they can’t fill up with fat again. CoolSculpting provides fat reduction. That’s a big difference.

How CoolSculpting Works

Fat cells are sensitive to the cold. If you chill them, they react differently than other types of cells. The fat reduction works by lowering the temperature of the fat cells in the location of the CoolSculpting applicator. Reducing the fat cells’ temperature begins a process called “cryolipolysis.” Cryolipolysis causes the fat cells to release the fat contained within them. The released fat is then metabolized and purged from the body. The empty cells shrink up to a fraction of their former size, making the area smaller. Then they, too, are eliminated through the body’s natural cleansing process. Each CoolSculpting treatment cycle reduces the fat by 10%-20%, with an overall loss of about 25%.

Note that this procedure is not like liposuction, where fat is suctioned out and removed, an invasive procedure involving inserting a cannula into the body. CoolSculpting is entirely non-invasive; no needles or probes injected into your skin.

Upper Arm Treatments

The typical upper arm treatment lasts around 35 minutes, and the cost will vary depending on the doctor you visit. If you’re thinking about CoolSculpting for your upper arms, please contact The Baltimore Center today to find out more.

There are pros and cons to CoolSculpting, just as there are to any medical procedure, so it is always recommended that you choose a qualified professional to handle the treatment.

So is CoolSculpting right for you?

Here are some things to consider in your decision-making process:

  • Harvard scientists investigated the basic science behind the CoolSculpting technology.
  • If you have good to great skin tone, with mild to moderate fatty deposits, CoolSculpting is likely an excellent choice.
  • For the severely overweight, surgery may outperform CoolSculpting as an option.
  • If you have mild or moderate skin laxity, you may have more success with a more traditional arm lift operation.
  • As with any fat loss or fat reduction program, the remaining skin may sag where the fat has been eliminated. Additional procedures to correct this condition may also be necessary.
  • It usually takes three to four weeks to notice any changes in the affected areas after a CoolSculpting treatment. Full results are not evident for three to six months. The reason is that it takes time for the body to process the fat removal and the cell disposal.

Possible Side Effects

As with almost every medical procedure, there may — and probably will — be some swelling associated with the process. Swelling slows down the visual effect of your progress, but it will lessen over time.

Multiple treatments may be required for satisfactory results, depending on your personal situation. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on this.

Gravity affects the upper arm tissue and pulls it down towards the ground. It can take a few months for the skin to tighten, resisting the pull of the gravity. New collagen must form which also helps to firm up the area. Again, this process can take time and patience in your recovery is often advised.

CoolSculpting Recovery

Continue whatever workout regime you keep as you pursue your CoolSculpting schedule. If you do not workout, you should at least exercise the upper arms to tone and firm the muscles. Performing stretching or light weight lifts with your arms will help define and shape your limbs to the profile you want. A consistent workout makes the muscles more contoured and thinner. Exercise is also known to have a pleasant, calming effect, and can keep your spirits up while you patiently wait for your results to show.

To keep your spirits up, take pre- and post-treatment photographs of the treated areas. Your upper arms will certainly look different before and after the CoolSculpting process!

We at The Baltimore Center for Plastic Surgery specialize in CoolSculpting treatments in the upper arms, as well as other areas of the body. If you’re thinking about CoolSculpting, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Founded and directed by Johns Hopkins faculty Dr. Randolph Capone, the Baltimore Center is a premier plastic surgery practice dedicated exclusively to providing state of the art care for individuals desiring body enhancement, rejuvenation, or repair. The Baltimore Center for Plastic Surgery was founded for one purpose: to combat the signs of aging and deformity.

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