Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive body contouring treatment used to reduce fat cell volume by freezing. The method involves controlled application of the temperature range of +5 to -11 ° C for the non-invasive, localized reduction of fat deposits, intending to reshape the contours of the body. The degree of exposure to cooling causes the death of subcutaneous fat tissue, without apparent damage to the overlying skin. The method has a low rate of complications, and is estimated to be safe and effective for certain body sites. As a medical procedure, cryolipolysis is a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. Etymologically, the term cryolipolysis (freezing of fat) is derived from the Greek roots cryo, meaning cold; lipo, meaning fat; and lysis, meaning dissolution or loosening. Cryolipolysis is used in aesthetic clinics and spas with the technology used exclusively in CoolSculpting branded devices. Zeltiq, purchased by Allergan in 2017, is the exclusive licensee to the patents relating to cryolipolysis that are owned by Massachusetts General Hospital.

Cryolipolysis is used for removing certain areas of body fat that are just under the skin to contour a person. Evidence supports its effectiveness at three to four months. It is primarily applicable to limited discrete fat bulges. According to a 2015 review, it shows with the average fat reduction, measured by calipers of about 20 percent. With the small number of people treated, clinical data remain scarce, thus it is not known how long the treatment will last, or when and if later treatments would be necessary to maintain the result.

Side effect data is based on a limited experience. Transient local redness, bruising and numbness of the skin are common side effects of the treatment and are expected to subside. Typically sensory deficits will subside within a month. The effect on peripheral nerves was investigated and failed to show permanent detrimental results. No serious long-lasting side effects have been observed during follow-up time of six months.

Lipolysis procedures attempt to “dissolve” fat cells by nonsurgical means. A number of methods have been attempted, including the use of laser, ultrasound, and radio frequency current. Popsicle panniculitis is a dermatologic condition that shows that exposure to low temperatures. Based on the premise that the cells are more likely to be damaged by thermal conduction. In order to avoid frostbite, a specific temperature level and exposure is determined, such as 60 minutes at. Initial studies to establish cryolipolysis methods have been performed on pigs. While the process is not fully understood, it appears that localized cell localization followed by a local inflammatory response called local panniculitis that gradually over the course of several months results in a reduction of the fatty tissue layer. When exposed to cold, the body’s normal response is to restrict circulation to the core of the body at the correct temperature.

Typical cost per treatment area varies depending on location. Price in the US ranges from $ 750 to $ 1500, with £ 750 per area to be treated. Treatment time for general use / application is 35-60 minutes per site, depending on the applicator used.

In September 2000, Zeltiq received EU CE Mark approval for their cryolipolysis device. In June 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the cryolipolysis device for interstate commerce. In the US, the CoolSculpting procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with fat bra, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of the tissue with submental area treatments.

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