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Cryolipolysis for buttocks: Is it effective, or is it just a scam?

If you don’t know the name cryolipolysis then perhaps you have heard of CoolSculpting or fat freezing instead.


Fat freezing is the regular term given to cryolipolysis and is a non-invasive and non-surgical method to reduce fat in the body by literally freezing the cells. This is a non-surgical procedure with minimal risks unlike other methods traditionally used such as liposuction.

What is cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis works by using a vacuum applicator on the skin to vacuum the skin and cool the fat cells under the surface. Patients say they feel a cooling sensation and a numbness like anesthetic during the process. The treatment lasts for between half an hour and an hour depending on the area being treated. Abdomens or stomach areas take longer than a double chin for example.

After the fat cells have frozen they will start to die. The body eliminates and metabolizes these cells and they are removed from the body over time. It takes a few weeks for the patient to see the full effects and it is advised they wait until undergoing another session.

What areas is it used to treat?

The treatment can be used on a variety of body areas and is FDA approved. It is typically used to reduce double chins, remove problem bulges and areas of stubborn fat that exercise and diet have failed to shift. It can be used on the abdomen for belly fat, thighs, arms, chin, shoulders, back and buttocks to remove the dreaded banana roll.

 Are you telling me I can literally freeze my butt off?

Wel, yes, in a way. Cryolipolysis can be an effective way to remove excess fat in the buttock area. It should be made clear though that cryolipolysis is not a weight loss method. It is a way to remove problem fat and improve the appearance of the patient.

The term banana roll refers to the area of fat on the lower buttocks and thighs. It is a very common area to retain fat especially in women. Some people find this area embarrassing and even though they exercise regularly they are unable to achieve the results they require.

If you were looking to reduce fat in your buttocks then cryolipolysis could be an effective way to do this. Your consultant will still stress the need for exercise and eating a healthy diet but combined with fat freezing you could achieve the results you need perhaps in one session.

Is it effective at what it claims to do?

Cryolipolysis reduces fat in treated areas by up to 25%. Studies have shown its effectiveness at anywhere from around 11% to over 25% with most being in the region of 15-25%. The effects are permanent and leave the patient with a toned area although it might take more than one session to achieve the results wanted. It can take up to 12 weeks for the full effects to become clear so it is important to be patient during this period.

What is the recovery time?

There is no recovery time with cryolipolysis. Because there is no anesthesia or surgery involved the technique is non-invasive. Patients can undergo a fat freezing session at a local clinic and drive themselves home and go straight back to work. After having buttock cryolipolysis treatment there is no reason why a patient cannot resume their regular activities such as sports or other exercises.

There are a limited amount of side effects that can affect some people Studies have shown less than 1% of patients have reported side effects. These include redness, swelling, tugging sensation and numbness. Compared to invasive surgical methods of fat removal such as liposuction the risks and recovery time for cryolipolysis are minimal.

How often can you have this treatment?

It is best to wait for a minimum of 1 month before returning for a second session and sometimes up to four months for your body to fully rid itself of the fat cells and the effects to show. If you return too early and have treatment in the same area you may just end up re-freezing the same dead cells from the previous session.

How many sessions would it take to treat the fat on the thigh and buttock area?

To treat the buttocks would very often only take one fat freezing session. If there was excessive fat in the thigh and buttock area then it might take more than one session. A professional practitioner will be happy to discuss your needs and answer all your questions. Perfect candidates for cryolipolysis are within 15% of their ideal weight before having the treatment. Cryolipolysis should never be seen as a magical way to lose weight.

What can you do to help the process be more effective?

Ideally if you smoke you will stop one week before the treatment as this makes the body able to process the fat quicker after the treatment. Leading an active lifestyle and exercising will help you to keep the results as will eating a healthy balanced diet. It is important to remember that though the effects are permanent that fat can still develop in other areas if you eat fatty foods and lead a sedentary lifestyle undoing all the work from the treatment.


Although cryolipolysis is still relatively new it is becoming very popular as the most non-invasive FDA approved method of fat removal. There are other non-surgical methods of removing fat on the market such as red light therapy, ultrasound, laser fat removal and radiofrequency treatments that use magnetic waves to melt the fat cells.

All of the non-surgical methods are effective at removing fat cells from the body and they have different benefits from each other. Some are better suited to different body areas than others and a consultation with a local practitioner should help you to choose which method suits you best. Fat freezing is certainly an option to look at when you are considering your thigh and buttock area or indeed any other bulges or excess fat.

Written by Monella

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