Spot fat reduction is a concern for many women and men. Surgery is also a concern however, and many will trade the more dramatic results of cosmetic surgery for a non-surgical liposuction alternative with more slight results. CoolSculpting with Zeltiq doesn't require any cutting, any recovery, or any pain. All it needs is an hour and some patience.
On today's episode of The Doctors, dermatologist Dr. Glynis Ablon explains how it works "The fat is dissolved gradually, so it's not an instantaneous thing," Dr. Ablon says. "No cutting. No surgery. It's great for minor pockets." Dr. Drew Ordon of The Doctors cast says, "This is not classical liposuction. No incisions, no surgery, no anesthesia." He also points out that the results aren't what you might see with liposuction, but there is a definite difference. See Zeltiq vs. Laser Liposuction
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"This is a very very unique device because it's using cold to kill fat cells," says world renowned dermatologist Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, as he describes How Does Coolsculpting by Zeltiq Work?
The treatment is completely painless and is pretty simple. As Dr. Fitzpatrick describes, "We have an applicator cup... with a vacuum and it pulls the skin and fat up into the cup and there are cooling plates on both sides of the cup that drop the temperature down and that controlled drop in temperature freezes the fat cells and actually once we finish we keep them frozen for about an hour; when we take the applicator cup off there's actually like a frozen stick of butter there, the skin is very firm like a little frozen brick and it is red at that point. Now it thaws over period of 5 or 10 minutes or so and then there's some redness that the skin has afterwards which is just related to increased blood flow immediately post treatment. Occasionally the patient will get a bruise much like hickey I mean so that's kind of secondary to the suction of the vacuum. If there is a bruise it will generally fade over a period of about a week or so and as I mentioned if you biopsy the skin a few days after you will see an inflammatory reaction around the fat cells and that is accompanied clinically by just some tenderness in the area."
Zeltiq Results of Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick and Dr. William Groff
Dr. Fitzpatrick says that it is very easy to predict how the fat will be lost and that after the cells die, they are reabsorbed into the body. "You lose that layer of fat cells that's right underneath the surface of the skin. It's a very predictable process, it's good for spot reduction but right underneath the outer layer of the skin, right underneath the dermis there's a layer that will be lost that's about at the most about a half inch in thickness."
Results aren't apparent right away and may take as many as four months to appear. "This is a good treatment for love handles, back fat or a little lower poochey belly." says Dr. Lori Brightman, Board Certified Dermatologist of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. She says that it's important to note that the results aren't as dramatic as with a surgical procedure, and it's not meant for treating large areas. The manufacturer is working on the development of a new larger hand piece that should be able to treat larger pockets of fat. Currently, most patients need to undergo two treatments for the stomach due to the small hand piece.
How much does Coolsculpting cost?