There are so many different options for banishing fat from your body and so much noise about them in the marketplace—it’s enough to make your head spin. From the many variations of liposuction to less-invasive techniques like laser therapy (said to liquefy fat) and injections (that claim to dissolve it), it’s increasingly difficult to separate fat, er, fact, from fiction.
Now there’s a new device that claims to melt away pockets of stubborn body fat with a completely different approach called CoolSculptingTM. The manufacturer, located in aptly named Pleasanton, Calif., is ZELTIQ®, a medical device company. The technique, termed CryolipolysisTM, or cold lipolysis, was developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. And ZELTIQ’s new approach was given the thumbs up for fat reduction by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just a few days ago.
So, why make note of yet another option for, as a Memphis plastic surgeon put it, “separating people from their hard earned money by separating them from SOME of their fat?” In short, CoolSculpting seems to work. According to ZELTIQ’s press release dated September 8, 2010, fat cells are susceptible to extreme cold and are destroyed, painlessly and permanently, through the new technology. Results emerge over a period of two to four months, according to the company.
CoolSculpting uses a hand-held applicator to deliver controlled cooling through surface skin to the fat cells underneath. A few weeks after treatment, which lasts about two hours, fat cells begin the process of natural cell death called “apoptosis.” In securing FDA approval, ZELTIQ submitted multiple studies performed in a variety of settings to show the technology’s effectiveness.
ZELTIQ says its new technology is particularly well suited for treating love handles. The company claims the CoolSculpting procedure eliminates around 20 percent of the fat from a targeted area with no risks or downtime.
Because the technology is relatively new, there are just limited patient and doctor experiences to report.