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Treating Back Fat With CoolSculpting?


Coolsculpting by Zeltiq may offer patients a non-surgical option to banishing back fat for good.

You've done every exercise possible, you've eaten all the right foods but there are just little stubborn areas of fat the seem resistant to anything you do. One such area is the back - you can be as thin as you ever were and still have back fat. How can this be and more importantly, how can you get rid of back fat if regular exercise and a healthy diet isn't cutting it? The good news is you don't have to go under the knife, there are several new non-invasive procedures, including the Coolsculpting that may help get rid of that stubborn back fat.

coolsculpting zeltiq results
Actual Before and After Photos of CoolSculpting by Dr. Grant Stevens
Patient: 47 yo female, 2 Month Post-Treatment (4 cycles) to Back Fat

As recently seen on The Dr. Oz Show, Coolsculpting basically uses the cold to freeze fat off. Coolsculpting is based on cryolipolysis, in which fat is brought to a near freezing point, causing fat to crystallize and eventually die. According to Los Angeles CoolSculpting surgeon Dr. Grant Stevens of Marina Plastic Surgery Associates, "We have the CoolSculpting by Zeltiq, which we're quite happy with the device and it's results. We use it to primarily treat the abdomen, love handles, bra fat area and the arms."

The human back is overlaid with several different types of muscles: extensor, flexor and oblique, which are large and some may overlap. The reason why back fat occurs is as we age, muscles and skin begin to sag and the pockets in between the muscles begin to fill up with fat which then begins to bulge out. As we all know, exercise cannot reduce fat in one specific spot so previously the only option to remove back fat was through liposuction, which had to be performed carefully as the fat was surrounded by muscle and tissue and that area is prone to scarring.

Coolsculpting by Zeltiq offers patients a non-invasive option that negates any potential of scarring and since it's non-surgical, only the fat is being treated without damage to any surrounding tissue, which makes it ideal for areas such as back fat. The hand-piece is applied directly to the area that needs to be treated and the fat is essentially sucked into the device, after which it is cooled to near freezing.
zeltiq before after
Actual CoolSculpting Results of Dr. Grant Stevens
Patient: 47 yo female, 2 Month Post-Treatment (4 cycles) to Back Fat

According to Dr. Rox Anderson, one of the first to pioneer the development of cryolipolysis, the cold causes the fatty tissue to crystallize and ultimately, the cell dies. "The best analogy is a stick of butter, which has a lot of fat in it. If you leave it out at room temperature for a while, it spreads easily but when you first get it out of the refrigerator, it's pretty solid. 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," describes Dr. Anderson.

After the fat cell has crystallized and dies, the fat is slowly eliminated over the next few months through natural processes. One of the current limitations to Coolsculpting is the device size is pretty much how much fat it can treat in one session which means multiple treatments to treat large areas. However, it appears a solution may soon become available. "Zeltiq is coming out with larger applicators so that the indications will expand," states Dr. Stevens. Larger hand-pieces will benefit patients as it will take less time and larger areas can be treated in one treatment vs. several treatments to address the entire area.

The procedure takes about an hour and several treatments are recommended to get the best results. Since there is no anesthesia required and Coolsculpting is completely non-surgical, there is no downtime and patients can return to normal activities immediately after undergoing the treatment.

Paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you'll be waving good-bye to your back fat in just a few months!