by Suzanne Bruce, MD, from the Spring 2011 issue
CoolSculpting is a new, non-invasive way for women and men to reduce fat using a patented cooling technology called Cryolipolysis™ literally using cold to breakdown fat cells. The procedure is designed to treat and works best on discrete, stubborn bulges on the abdomen, sides and back that diet and exercise just don’t seem to eliminate. The result is noticeable, natural-looking fat reduction in the area(s) treated in two to four months.
The procedure which takes an hour per area (e.g., love handles would take two hours) does not require anesthesia or pain medications. Since it is non-invasive, you can resume your daily activities, including work and exercise, after your treatment. The procedure is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared for the non-invasive reduction of fat. It’s safe, and you can spend the hour or two during treatment reading, listening to your favorite music or podcasts or simply relaxing.
One clinical study involving treatment of flanks (love handles) and back (back fat pads) on 32 subjects resulted in visible contour changes in a majority of subjects, with the best cosmetic results noted in those patients presenting with modest and discrete fat bulges. Ultrasound measurements were taken on a subset of 10 subjects and showed all experienced a fat layer reduction with a 22.4% average reduction 4 months after treatment. No adverse results from the cryolipolysis procedure were reported. In another ten-patient study, 9 were assessed using ultrasound, and the CoolSculpting treatment resulted in a normalized 25.5% fat layer reduction at 6 months post-treatment.
Here’s how CoolSculpting works at our office. To start, Dr. Bruce or April Harrison, PA-C, will consult with you and determine if you are a good candidate, and if so, the treatment area(s) are selected. Let’s say your goal is to reduce “belly pooch”, then at your treatment appointment our practitioner will position the system on the marked area of the lower abdomen. The device then draws the bulge up between two cooling panels, and a precisely controlled cooling begins. By treatment end the fat cells are crystallized without affecting your surface skin tissue. Over the next two to four months, these crystallized fat cells break down and are naturally flushed from your body resulting in a flatter appearing tummy over the next several months. Because the treated fat cells are gone, as long as you maintain your healthy lifestyle, long-term results should remain stable.
You may experience post-procedure redness, minor bruising, tingling or numbness in the treated area, but these conditions are temporary. Traditional liposuction and laser liposuction are invasive surgical procedures that can remove fat. However, CoolSculpting is a new non-invasive alternative that can reduce fat without the potential risks and downtime of these invasive procedures.
Additional treatments of the same area(s) can result in further fat reduction. You can also combine CoolSculpting with its localized area treatment capabilities with our overall fat-reducing Zerona® procedure and body-contouring VelaShape™ and Body by Thermage® therapies.