Coolsculpting And The Diabetic Patient: What To Expect

Posted on: 27 November 2017

After spending more than a year adjusting to an entirely different diet for your diabetes, you have lost a lot of weight. While that is a positive to being diagnosed with this disorder, you may feel as though your efforts have fallen short because of the extra fat pockets around your midsection. If you are looking around for non-surgical solutions to the problem, you should consider coolsculpting.

This is an ideal cosmetic procedure for diabetics as there are no incisions, no downtime, and no extensive healing periods. Here is what you can expect if you finally decide to go through with the coolsculpting procedure as a diabetic.

The Procedure

The fat pockets that you want to eliminate are placed between two metal plates. The fat area is then squeezed as flat as comfortably possible. The plates then begin to slowly drop in temperature, bringing the flesh in between down in temperature as well. The fat cells closest to the surface of the plates are the first to "die." As the cooling process continues, fat cells a little deeper than that are also destroyed.

If you were hesitant to do this procedure before, chances are that you thought the fat and flesh were blasted with liquid nitrogen or some other ultra-cold freezing medium. That is not what happens at all! If the process involved any freezing chemicals, it would not be safe for diabetics because it would create ulcers in the skin that would take forever to heal. Since that is not how this procedure works, it is safe for diabetics and insulin-dependent diabetics, too.

Possible Side Effects for Diabetics

Everyone who goes through the procedure experiences some tingling in the treated areas afterward. This is just the flesh warming back up and the body starting to process the destroyed fat cells. The sensation usually goes away an hour or two after the procedure is complete.

However, diabetics, especially those with neuropathy, may experience this situation on a stronger level. It will not be painful, but because of how the nerves are affected by diabetes, your tingling sensation will be a little more intense. It may also last a little bit longer than a patient who does not have diabetes. Only in the rarest of cases do diabetic patients experience an ongoing issue with the post-procedure tingling sensation. (If you experience this sensation for more than a few hours, call your plastic surgeon and/or your diabetic specialist.)

Nerve Damage

Patients who already have extensive nerve damage in the areas where the patients want coolsculpting treatments may be denied. The procedure itself does not cause nerve damage, but if you already have some nerve damage in these areas, the pain could intensify, or you could feel nothing at all. If you feel nothing at all because of the nerve damage, you would not be able to recognize the early warning signs that something has gone awry. While this is rare, it is still important that patients be in the best of health, including their nerves and nervous system as it relates to this cosmetic procedure and their diabetes.

Blood Flow and Skin Damage

Additionally, the areas to be treated need to have adequate blood supply. Scar tissue usually makes blood supply to these areas difficult. The blood flow in diabetics is already compromised, which is why you heal so slowly. The skin and tissues need adequate blood flow so that A) the destroyed fat cells can be processed properly and flushed from body effectively, and B) the skin on the treated areas can fully recover from the cold applied. If you have any questions about scar tissue and blood flow to the areas you want treated, talk to a cosmetic surgeon at facilities like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center about it during your initial evaluation for the procedure.