Coolsculpting, the Non-Invasive Lipolysis from Harvard Medical School

    What is CoolSculpting

    Coolsculpting is a new liposuction system that is designed to help patients contour their body through fat removal. The device looks like a clamp with metal plates. The skin in the target area is pulled between the two plates by a vacuum, and then clamped.When the machine is turned on, cold water will flow through the plates. This will cause the body fats in our body to freeze and die. They will be removed by the body naturally.

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    The CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure is the only FDA-cleared,* non-surgical fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting—so you’ll look great from every angle.

     

    What are the benefits of CoolSculpting

    Due to its non invasive nature, as far as fat reduction treatments go, Coolsculpting reliefs patients of any surgical pain or after effects such as scarring. Recovery will be rapid as there are no physical wounds that a normal tumescent liposuction surgery will cost. Patients will be able to resume their normal work within the day of the operation.

    How long is the CoolSculpting treatment

    A complete treatment typically comprise two sessions, with each session focusing on one side of the body. A session in turn will need about an hour to perform. Compared to the two three hours of normal liposuction surgery as well as the 1-2 days of hospitalization, the Coolsculpting system seems to be faster and more time saving.

    Non-Invasive ‘Cold’ Technology

    This new, non-invasive technology for improving the body contour called “Cryolipolysis™”. Currently the device is only FDA-approved in the U.S. for skin cooling and anesthetic uses, however is used in Europe and Canada for fat reduction. The technique employs cold to reduce fat cells thereby enhancing the shape of the body. It is based on work originally done by Dr. Rox Anderson’s group at Wellman Labs. The device is currently undergoing rigorous clinical trials to produce quantifiable data prior to commercial launch.

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    How It Works

    The cells in our body react to heat or cold at different temperatures levels. The research performed by Coolsculpting has helped us better understand what these levels are so we can achieve body contouring through fat reduction. It works by pressing the device against the area to be treated and then becoming cold enough to target only the fat cells in that area. The body reacts with an inflammatory response which causes the body to naturally dispose of the damaged fat cells. By doing so we see a significant improvement in the shape of the body.

    The CoolSculpting procedure is performed in a doctor’s office, typically under the supervision of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. There is no anesthesia needed or recovery time. During the procedure, tissue is drawn into a cup with mild vacuum pressure. Patients may also be slightly uncomfortable with the contact of the cold as the procedure begins, which usually goes away after the first 10 minutes or so. If you feel too uncomfortable with the cold, let your doctor know. After the treatment is completed, patients may immediately return to their normal activities including work and exercise.

     

    Results With Coolsculpting

    Several days after the procedure, the cooled fat cells begin a process called “apoptosis” and begin to shrink. These damaged fat cells are slowly digested over several months by our bodies and removed through the liver. Coolsculpting is highly effective and is producing consistent results for local areas of fat like the love-handles or ‘man-boobs’, though larger areas of fat may require more invasive treatments.

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    *Results may vary from person to person.

    Ideal Candidates

    The best candidate for Coolsculpting is someone who is in relatively good shape, but has modest areas of fat bulges that they’d like removed. It’s not an alternative to healthy diet or lifestyle.

    Possible Side Effects

    Side effects are usually mild and related to the cold of the device which subside within 10 minutes. Skin may be red for several minutes to several hours, if this persists for more than that you should contact your doctor. Other side effects may include temporary bruising, tingling, tenderness, temporary dulling of sensation or cramping.

    Beware Copycatting

    Recently there have been some reports about people creating cold “chambers” and placing people entirely in the chamber for a period of time as a treatment for body contouring. They claim this is akin to Cryolipolysis and charge fees to people for this. In my opinion there is no scientifically credible reason to expect this to do anything to your body other than make you very uncomfortable for a period of time.

     

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