Doing What She Needs to Be Happy*
After decades of feeling stuck with a stubborn tummy, Kara started seeking solutions beyond diet and exercise and looked into CoolSculpting treatments at our Austin practice. Learn about how the process felt and how her results turned out in her own words below.
As long as I can remember, my stomach has been my problem area ... and I literally mean as far back as I can remember! As a younger child, around 4 or 5, I used to puff my belly out from my shirt and giggle. As I got to be 9 or 10, the giggles about by stomach dissipated and I grew very insecure about it. It was the era of biker shorts and crop tops (even though I wasn't biking ... ohhh '80s fashion), and it looked like I was carrying a baby.
By the time I was 15, I was an avid runner with long, lanky legs and arms and barely weighing 100 pounds, yet I still had a protruding, dimply tummy. As an adult, I am very active and eat a clean, gluten-free, and mostly dairy-free diet. I am now 31, have had 2 babies, and still consider myself to be the healthiest I've ever been. Given all the effort that goes into staying healthy, I have been utterly discouraged with the fact that my stomach fat just doesn't seem to budge.
I am a huge advocate of doing what you need to do to be happy with yourself. Several years ago, I had breast implants, and I am so happy that I did. It took one of my major insecurities away, which, as most women know, is a priceless feeling. For my entire adult life, I've contemplated seeking the advice of a cosmetic surgeon on the best way to get rid of my seemingly impossible stomach fat.
After growing a great relationship with Dr. Piazza and his staff at The Piazza Center and doing quite a bit of research, CoolSculpting seemed to be my first and best option. I wanted to take charge of the "situation" under my black, flowy tops. I wanted to feel as good on the outside as I did on the inside. I wanted so badly to be able to wear a 2-piece swimsuit without concern.
It was recommended by Samantha that I have 2 treatments done on my stomach in 4 different areas: 2 large areas on my abdomen and each of my flanks ("love handles"). I was confident in her recommendation. Putting on those surgical panties and having my stomach marked up and put on a rotation platform to have my "before" photos taken was probably the most gut-wrenching thing I've done in long time (pun intended).
Samantha explained to me that I would likely see a 25% reduction in my tummy after my first treatment, and up to a 45% reduction after my second treatment. Really? Sold. Seriously. Those are some really impressive numbers for it being a non-surgical treatment.
When I left that consultation appointment I bawled like a baby, because for the first time, I was actually hopeful that sometime in the near future, I could have significantly reduced stomach fat. It had seemed like such a pipe dream for so long.
I used this opportunity to take a profound, proactive approach to my belly. I was already very active, but really was motivated to get the best possible results and transformation. I kicked up my workouts and did an "ab challenge" to boost my results.
The first treatment itself was nothing that I couldn't handle. The staff made me as comfortable as possible, setting me up with snacks, Netflix, and lunch when it was time. We treated 4 areas that day, for 1 hour each with 2 minutes of kneading and massaging after the vacuum treatment head was removed. That was probably the least comfortable part of the actual treatment, but it lasted only 2 minutes, so certainly nothing I can't handle.
After the treatment, I felt a little tender for about a day or so, and then the treated area got to be very sensitive over the course of a week, almost like a tingly, "my foot fell asleep," pins-and-needles type of feeling. I wore a compression garment and used an aloe/menthol topical gel during that period to reduce the discomfort. I was swollen for about 2 weeks, and then â€” I wasn't. And I could see a difference. I could see it. It was a flicker of hope.
By the time we had my 1-month follow-up appointment, the visible transformation was obvious, especially in side-by-side photos. I continued to work out hard while I watched the CoolSculpting results compound.
I had my second treatment shortly after. This treatment was pretty similar to the first, treating the same 4 areas for 1 hour each, only this time I actually had my eyebrows done at the same time! Nothing like killing 2 birds with 1 stone! My recovery for the second treatment was far easier than the first, though I understand that varies from person to person and treatment area to treatment area.
My abdominal definition is now visible instead of hiding under a thick padding of fat. The side-by-side before-and-after photos are undeniable. (Although I still maintain as a professional boudoir photographer that more flattering poses and lighting should be used for these photos! Ha! Joking ... kind of.) I now have shape to my midsection. I have a bit of an hourglass figure rather than just one big box as I was before. When I turn to the side, you can see my abs. It's kind of baffling for me, someone who has always done anything possible to keep my midriff concealed.
I am wearing tighter clothing, feeling more confident in a swimsuit, and thinking of doing another treatment on my back.
As a woman who has constantly battled crippling insecurity in the tummy region, I can say with conviction that the CoolSculpting treatment (and the motivation it gave me to work even harder) gave me priceless physical and emotional results. I recommend The Piazza Center for just about everything to everyone. Not only are they so knowledgeable and skilled in their art form and the science behind it, but they genuinely are the most caring people to work with.
Thank you, Piazza Center. Truly. Thank you for this gift.
*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
If you are interested in learning more about CoolSculpting at The Piazza Center and how it could benefit you, contact us online or call (512) 551-1067 for a consultation.
Kara's CoolSculpting, Part 1: Planning the Treatment
Kara's CoolSculpting, Part 2: Applying the Gel Pad
Kara's CoolSculpting, Part 3: How Does It Feel?
Kara's CoolSculpting, Part 4: Massage After Treatment