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CoolSculpting® Nonsurgical Fat Reduction (Cryolysis) - San Francisco, CA

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Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kathleen Welsh introduced the CoolSculpting procedure into her San Francisco practice in December of 2009, becoming the first doctor in Northern California to offer this non-invasive solution for fat reduction. Due to the overwhelming popularity and consistently impressive results of this procedure, Dr. Welsh added a second CoolSculpting machine in May of 2012, allowing our patients to have two areas treated simultaneously. Fast forward to today - we now have five CoolSculpting machines, a dedicated body sculpting clinic and are the #1 CoolSculpting provider in San Francisco! 

Our body sculpting clinic, Bay Area Body, is conveniently located on the same floor as Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology in Suite 304. Dr. Welsh and her staff at Bay Area Body are leaders in the CoolSculpting industry, having performed over 10,000 treatments - more than any other provider of this treatment ever. We know you have many options when it comes to CoolSculpting providers, but you will not find any provider with more experience than our team. 

Our Body Sculpting Specialists provide complimentary consultations and tailor your treatment plan to address your needs with the fewest number of treatments and most aesthetically pleasing result. When it comes to your body, experience and expertise matter.

WHAT IS CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that freezes stubborn fat that has previously not responded to diet and exercise. CoolSculpting technology utilizes cryolipolysis, a non-invasive cooling of adipose tissue to induce lipolysis – the breaking down of fat cells – effectively reducing body fat without damaging other tissues.

This is accomplished by:

  • Exposing the treatment area to cooling via energy extraction causes fat cell apoptosis – a natural, controlled cell death, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators that gradually eliminate the affected cells.
  • Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the procedure, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
  • Lipids from the fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed and eliminated, much like that of fat from food.

CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared to eliminate stubborn fat in nine treatment areas including: abdomen, flanks/sides (also called “love handles” or “muffin tops”), double chin, inner thighs, outer thighs, and upper arms.


Most people are candidates for CoolSculpting but the following are contraindications. Not all of these contraindications exclude you from treatment, but if any of these apply to you, please notify us of prior to treatment.

  • Cold urticaria
  • Areas of impaired peripheral circulation
  • Reynaud’s disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Scar tissue or extensive skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis at the area of intended treatment
  • Impaired skin sensation
  • Open or infected wounds
  • Areas of recent bleeding or hemorrhage
  • History of abdominal hernias

CoolSculpting is only effective on subcutaneous (pinchable) fat, not visceral fat, and it is not meant to be a weight loss solution in overweight or obese patients. During your complimentary body sculpting consultation, one of our  Body Sculpting Specialists will look at the areas you would like to treat and determine if you are a candidate for treatment.

What SHOULD I Expect

  • Our Body Sculpting specialist will assess the area to be treated and determine which CoolSculpting handpiece will give you the best results. Because our team has been treating patients since 2009 we have more experience actually analyzing individual silhouettes and placing handpieces than almost anyone in the industry. We are experts in working with your natural body shape whether that means chiseling a waistline or enhancing an hourglass figure.  
  • Before treatment we will take photos of the area you plan to CoolSculpt. Because results happen gradually and naturally over the course of several months, it is crucial for both patient and provider to have quality before and after photos.
  • Your specialist will then make you comfortable in the treatment chair and a cold gel pad will be placed across the treatment area to protect your skin during the CoolSculpting procedure. The applicator cup of the handpiece will be placed on the area and a gentle vacuum pressure will be applied to draw the tissue between the cooling panels. The applicator will remain on the skin for 35-60 minutes depending on the handpiece used. During this time you are free to relax, read, use one of our tablets to browse your favorite magazines or log on to our wireless internet. Some patients even fall asleep!
  • Once the cycle has completed, your specialist will return to remove the applicator and use a ZWave Pro on the treated area to help break up the treated fat in its crystallized state. Bay Area Body is the only office in the San Francisco area combining CoolSculpting and ZWave Pro technologies vs manual massage. Our patients love their results!


The results achieved through CoolSculpting happen gradually over the two months following treatment. This allows for a very natural looking fat reduction. Some patients will begin to notice results as early as two to three weeks post-treatment, with most dramatic and visible results after two months. It is well worth the wait.


Some patients will be satisfied after one treatment while others may want to be more aggressive and retreat one to two additional times to achieve further reduction. Our Body Sculpting Specialists will work with you to to determine how many treatments are necessary to meet your personal goals.


Preparation for a CoolSculpting treatment is minimal, however, the following tips will ensure you are most comfortable for the duration of your visit:

  • Eat a meal before treatment. CoolSculpting on an empty stomach can lead to nausea and lightheadedness. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing you won’t mind getting gel on. You'll be sitting in the same position for at least half an hour, and sometimes our gel pads can leak onto clothing. We recommend yoga or sweatpants, a t-shirt, and some comfy socks. We'll keep you warm with cozy blankets, pillows, and robes. 
  • Feel free to bring your laptop, reading materials, etc. We offer complimentary wireless internet access in the office as well as tablets loaded with Netflix, magazines, and games.
  • While not absolutely necessary, if you bruise easily, you may consider reducing blood thinning medications and supplements one to two weeks before your procedure to help reduce the possibility of bruising. These include but are not limited to: Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Omega-3's (fish oil, flax seed oil, etc.), and Vitamin E. Please consult with your physician if you have any questions.

Other Considerations

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive treatment with minimal to no downtime. Most people return to their normal routine immediately following treatment. Normal responses include:

  • Redness in the treatment area (typically resolves within an hour)
  • Swelling (this can last for up to a week)
  • Numbness and tenderness (sometimes lasting up to two weeks)
  • “Pins and Needles” nerve response (sometimes lasting up to two weeks)
  • Mild cramping
  • Possible bruising

There have been numerous studies regarding the results behind cryolipolysis. These studies have proven that after just one treatment, patients may see up to a 20% reduction in fat in as few as three weeks after their procedure. CoolSculpting freezes fat cells, so in the weeks and months following the procedure, the body will naturally process and eliminate these targeted cells to help the patient achieve a slimmer, more sculpted appearance. It is important to note that after CoolSculpting, a patient should practice a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain their results.

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CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that can help you achieve the slimmer body contour you have been unable to achieve through diet and exercise alone. If you have pesky bulges of fat and want to learn more about how CoolSculpting can help you with these problem areas, please call our dermatology office today and schedule your complimentary consultation.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.