BodyWise 360 Physician Journal Notes

Some of our plastic surgeons are sharing their journal notes as they take the CoolSculpting BodyWise 360 challenge. As doctors and patients receiving treatment, they offer a truly unique perspective. 

A Physician's 'Challenge' to Himself

Jeffrey M. Kenkel, M.D., is Professor and Interim Chair of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In this journal, he chronicles his personal experiences while undergoing a new body-sculpting treatment offered at UTSW and discusses his healthy lifestyle regimen in support of the procedure.

Before Treatment – Feb. 11, 2013

I’m lucky; I’m not overweight. When I was younger I didn’t have to watch my weight, but now I do. I eat pretty well but have my weaknesses like most of us. I do exercise often, choosing CrossFit. It’s infectious and I’ve been addicted for three years. I feel like I’m in my best shape in 25 years. Nonetheless, I still feel like I have some fullness in my “love handles,” most noticeable while wearing my bathing suit.

At the Clinical Center for Cosmetic Treatment here at UT Southwestern, we’re always bombarded with opportunities from medical supply companies to buy the latest miracle device. We read the literature and even try some of them. After nearly two years of watching and waiting, our department finally felt that the CoolSculpting device had the scientific data objectively confirming its efficacy.

We feel strongly that using a device such as this requires a partnership with our patients. There’s no question that the best results will be achieved not only from the device but a firm commitment to eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a general well-being. Our “Body Wise 360 Challenge” attempts to do just that.

This journal will chronicle not only my personal experience with the CoolSculpting device but also provide important information about nutrition, fitness, and staying mentally and physically healthy. What better way to learn about “The Challenge” than to do it myself? Follow my experience right here!

Treatment – Feb. 12, 2013

Today I had my “love handles” treated. I wasn’t nervous – just curious and unsure. The treatments take place in our Medallion Guest Suites. This place is fantastic. We send all our post-op patients here for excellent nursing care and comfort – for themselves and their families. I knew my biggest challenge was not going to be “tolerating” the treatment but rather trying to sit still for two consecutive one-hour sessions. Ask my wife; she’s been trying to deal with this deficiency of mine for a quarter of a century!

I put on my shorts and lay on my side in the bed. The nurses carefully marked me and determined which CoolSculpting head would fit my love handles. They put a cold gel pad on my skin to protect it. Once in place, the machine’s suction was turned on and I experienced a “tightness” and “pulling” in this region. It didn’t hurt; it just felt tight. Once in place, they turned on the cold. I felt it initially and then felt nothing.

I experienced no pain during the hour-long treatment on my left side.

The machine automatically told the nurses when we were done. They came in and removed the CoolSculpting head.  The skin that was treated was pink and firm – some would say frozen! The nurses then massaged it for about a minute. It was not painful but rather a bit sore while doing this. It felt like I just worked that side of my body at the gym for about a day!

The treatment was then repeated on the right side.

Depending on what you have treated, bring a book or watch TV. It was hard to work on my laptop but I could answer emails on my phone. Taking a nap is also an option!

After Treatment

Feb. 12, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

I’m not in any pain; just feel slightly numb. I have two large “hickeys” on my flanks. I’m at CrossFit and going to work out. I’m a little paranoid because while doing my “exercises” my shirt moves and you can see the marks and redness. I’m sure people are saying, “What the heck did that ‘old guy’ do?” I love CrossFit. They have workouts that are really hard that are named after women. Today was “Jackie.” She had us do a 1,000-meters row; 50 thrusters (squatting with the bar and standing up, pushing it over your head) at 45 lbs. (weight of barbell); and 30 pull-ups for time. I finished in 9:53 and was exhausted. My love handles didn’t bother me at all; I just couldn’t breathe!

Feb. 13, 2013

Absolutely no discomfort; just some numbness. I’m not sore at all and feel like I could do anything. I’m getting ready to travel to Miami for a medical symposium, so I’m sure I won’t exercise much and will eat poorly. Back on track next week!

Feb. 18, 2013

Worked out with the 6:30 a.m. group today. I feel good. My hickey is almost gone but I still have some numbness. It’s not restrictive at all. Going to work on eating right and exercising this week.

Feb. 21, 2013

Nine days out. I feel great; the treatment hasn’t slowed me down one bit. I’ve been able to work out as I usually do. The numbness is slowly getting better.

I wasn't great with my diet last night; had some brownies!!!! I’ll get back on track again. No workout today, though – resting and no time.

We have our first patient seminar tonight, and we’re introducing the BodyWise 360 Challenge. This program stresses the importance of eating right, exercise, and well-being as a complement to the CoolSculpting treatment.

We have some wonderful coaches who will be working with us on this project. If you missed this first seminar, be on the lookout for the next one at the end of March.

March 5, 2013

Three weeks out!

I feel great. I still have some numbness, but it’s getting better every day and doesn't bother me at all. I’ve survived two birthdays (wife and daughter's) and the associated cakes, with reasonable portions for a change. My activity level is good. I’m maintaining a healthy diet 80 percent of the time and exercising regularly. 

We’re very excited about our BodyWise 360 Challenge program. Next Tuesday, March 12, at 5:30 p.m., in our office we’re going to have Lona Sandon as a guest speaker. She’s one of our nutrition experts here at UTSW. Lona is going to enlighten us on how to eat to improve body shape. Should be excellent! Hope you can make it.

March 27, 2013

It's been 6 weeks out from the CoolSculpting treatment of my hips. I took my photos at one month out and definitely see a change. My numbness resolved in about one month's time.

I am trying to embrace an even healthier diet and exercise program and have been pretty successful. I am always intrigued by diets and with my latest one, I am reading a book called "Wheat Belly." It reiterates the importance of what we eat.

We have another CoolSculpting event on March 28, and on Tuesday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m., Tyler Nicholson will be speaking about fitness and how working out can help you maintain and improve your shape. We hope to see you there.