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Beauty Tech Review: Body Contouring - CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

Cryolipolysis: In a huge switch from the lasers which melt fat - CoolSculpting freezes it - and without surgery.

Although there have been significant advances in liposuction modalities, especially in the last few years, fat reduction is still a surgical procedure. For many, surgery simply isn't an option so new, completely non-invasive fat reduction procedures have been developed. CoolSculpting doesn't require any cutting, any recovery, or any pain. All it needs is an hour and some patience.

CoolSculpting uses cold therapy, or cryolipolysis to affect the fat. "Cryolipolysis is different than traditional liposuction because this is actually a non-invasive way of destroying fat cells in your body. It's actually extracting heat from the fat cells and your bodyís natural reaction to the inflammation that's created to slowly dissolve those fat cells over time," says Dr. Lori Brightman, Board Certified Dermatologist of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.

Dr. Rox Anderson, President of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), did some of the initial work with the Zeltiq device. He describes how it works, "there's a very rare condition where newborn children who are accidentally exposed to cold will suffer injury, and what's interesting is only the fat will die and regress. The kids are fine, but you end up with skinny kids in the area that's been contacted with cold and we got very curious, once I started thinking about fat, well what is that, how does it work? And is it only in babies or can you make it work in adults? It turns out that we understand the process now."
zeltiq before and after
Images Courtesy of Dr. Christopher Zachary


Dr. Anderson says the cold causes the adipose, or fatty tissue, to crystallize, causing the cell to die. "The fat will crystallize, the best analogy is a stick of butter that has a lot of fat in it. If you leave it out at room temperature for a while, it spreads easily and you can easily butter your toast with it, but when you first get it out of the refrigerator, it's pretty solid. When you look at, let's say the milk in your refrigerator, it doesn't do that. What's going on with a stick of butter is that the fat molecules crystallize, they 'freeze' if you will at a much higher temperature than water does. In your body, fat is by far the richest lipid tissue and it undergoes the same transition."

One limitation of Zeltiq is the areas that it can treat, largely due to the current hand piece. "This is a good treatment for love handles, back fat, little lower poochey belly," says Dr. Brightman. Also, it takes around 4 months to see results, and the results aren't as dramatic as with a surgical procedure, and it's not meant for treating large areas. "You're seeing this localized spot of fat reduced over time because itís your bodyís natural response to the inflammation thatís created, so youíll see a slow resolution of that pocket of fat."
Dr Lori Brightman Zeltiq before and after
4 Months Post Treatment, 2 Applications per Flank


Dr. Henry Chan, an honorary professor of the University of Hong Kong a faculty member of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Harvard Medical School has had experience with Zeltiq in Hong Kong. He says that patients are thrilled with the results and there are few side effects. "Our 11 month experience using Zeltiq - we find it to be very effective, especially treating localized areas such as the love handles, abdomen, back fat. To the extent that some people now become Zeltiq addicts. They are addicted to the procedure, they keep on asking for more procedures, so that's one issue we need to resolve. In terms of the side effects of Zeltiq, besides bruises which really resolve within 17 or 14 days, some patients complain of numbness and slight discomfort. All sensations, or abnormal sensations, resolve within a couple of weeks so it's not a major problem."

Dr. Chan also stated that he has seen significant improvement in his patients. "We did a study for Zeltiq, and that was a study supported by the company. We looked at 22 subjects, and they pay $600 USD per treatment cycle. Then we took their photograph and then assessed the degree of satisfaction and we also looked at the photograph, and as the treating physician I also assess if there was any degree of improvement. Overall, the degree of satisfaction was quite high, about 80%. In terms of degree of improvement, I did manage to notice some degree of improvement in most patients. And I would concur with previous published literature that the degree of improvement is about 20% after one single treatment."

dr. rox anderson
Dr. Rox Anderson
Dr. Rox Anderson graduated from MIT, then received his MD degree magna cum laude from the joint MIT-Harvard medical program, Health Sciences and Technology. After completing his residency in dermatology and research fellowships at Harvard, he joined the faculty there, where he is a Professor in dermatology, Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine; and a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT. In addition to research at the Wellman Center, Dr. Anderson practices dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches at Harvard and MIT. Dr. Anderson has been awarded over 50 national and international patents.





dr. lori brightman
Dr. Lori Brightman
Dr. Lori Brightman, a Board Certified Dermatologist, completed her residency training at Boston University /Tufts New England Medical Center combined program. She continued her training in Skin Oncology at Boston University as well as Mohs micrographic surgery and procedural dermatology at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. Dr. Brightman is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Lasers in Medicine & Surgery, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American Medical Association. Her current research involves the use of laser and light devices in the treatment of medical and cosmetic conditions.




dr. Henry Chan
Dr. Henry Chan
Dr. Henry Chan, Visiting Clinical Associate Professor and Scientist at the Wellman Center of Photomedicine, received his Bachelor of Medicine and of Surgery from London. He is a master of Clinical Dermatology and and member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians. A Fellow of several international Royal Colleges, Dr. Chan is also a doctor of medicine and philosophy. His practice is based out of Hong Kong.








American Health and Beauty Beauty Tech Review Body Contouring
American Health and Beauty, in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our readers, presents the Beauty Tech Review. The next installment in this ongoing series discusses Body Contouring technology. Join American Health and Beauty editor, Keith Veseleny, as he speaks with leading physicians who share their knowledge on each body contouring platform.

The Beauty Tech Review: Body Contouring - will include: Dr. Mark Schusterman on Traditional Liposuction, Dr. Thomas Barnes on Laser Lipolysis, Dr. Jeffrey Hall and Dr. Victoria Falcone on Tickle Lipo, Dr. David Broadway on Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction, Dr. Todd Malan on {!Water Assisted Liposuction | Body-Jet}, Drs. Rox Anderson, Henry Chan and Lori Brightman on Zeltiq, Dr. Elizabeth VanderVeer on Injection Lipolysis, and Dr. Thomas Barnes and Dr. Richard D'Amico on Radio Frequency Liposuction.

Previous Beauty Tech Reviews have included the following topics: Laser Lipoloysis and Fractional Resurfacing.