CoolSculpting by Zeltiq Offers Spot Fat Reduction Without Liposuction. Who amongst us doesn’t have that little problem area? You know the one. It can be that little “pouch” below the belly button or the dreaded “muffin top.” It may be that annoying extra roll above the bra line that shows up in a tight fitting tee shirt. It’s often the first thing you notice when looking in the mirror, and no matter how much you diet or exercise, it just won’t go away. It’s not a big enough problem to consider surgery and even targeted liposuction seems too invasive.
In response to the demand for more non-invasive options for spot fat reduction, Zeltiq sought and received FDA approval for its CoolSculpting system in September 2010, which promises to reduce unwanted bulge by freezing the treated fat cells.
How does Zeltiq work?
Zeltiq was originally developed as a way to cool and numb the skin during dermatologic procedures, but doctors began to notice that the device was also causing the fat layer to shrink. The science behind the results is actually quite simple. When fat cells get cold enough, they freeze and crystallize. This causes them to die and to be reabsorbed by the body and eventually flushed out over a period of time.
A gel pack is placed over the problem area and two applicator arms gently pinch the unwanted layer of fat. This applicator then cools the area for about 60 minutes. Some patients report moderate results immediately with most seeing full benefits over the course of two months. Zeltiq reports that the procedure can eliminate up to 20 percent of the treated fat layer, with higher percentages being achieved with more sessions.
Who is a good candidate for Zeltiq? Are people happy with the results?
If you answer yes to at least four of the following questions, you may be a good candidate for the procedure:
1. Are you of average weight? Within 10 or 15 pounds of your ideal body weight?
2. Do you have small areas of concern such as rolls or bumps that are noticeable?
3. Will you be satisfied with subtle or natural results?
4. Are you unable or unwilling to receive anesthesia?
5. Do you require a treatment without downtime?
6. Do you prefer treatments free of drugs, chemicals, or surgery?
According to the cosmetic procedure community web site, RealSelf.com, 82 percent of the 56 posted reviews say that Zeltiq was worth it. Eight reviewers said Zeltiq was not worth it and 12 reported “not sure.”(as of February 9, 2011)
What do independent doctors say about Zeltiq?
Zeltiq was featured on Good Morning America on September 15, 2010, and plastic surgeon Lawrence Bass said during his appearance, “This is a big deal. It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a non-invasive fat-reduction technology. They certainly don’t replace diet and exercise, but they’re another option for a subset of patients that just need to take a little bit off.”
Is Zeltiq painful? How much does Zeltiq cost?
Patients will experience an intense feeling of cold for the first few minutes of the session, which goes away as the treated area goes numb. Most patients also report a minor “pulling” sensation due to the lifting and gentle pinching of the fat.
Treatments range from $500 to $2,500 and are often sold in packaged treatments of several sessions.
As always, before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, inform yourself about all the risks and benefits associated it and find a qualified and trusted professional to administer the treatment.
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