Cryolipolysis is the non-invasive cooling of adipose tissue to induce lipolysis – the breaking down of fat cells – to reduce body fat without damage to other tissues. The scientific principles of Cryolipolysis were discovered by dermatologists Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD and R. Rox Anderson, MD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
The physicians and their team conducted research that demonstrated that under carefully controlled conditions, subcutaneous fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other surrounding tissue. Their initial work, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in November 2008, showed that:
- Exposure to cooling via energy extraction causes fat cell apoptosis – a natural, controlled cell death, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators that gradually eliminate the affected cells.
- Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the procedure, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
- Lipids from the fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed and eliminated, much like that of fat from food.
- Based on their research findings, the investigators concluded “prolonged, controlled local tissue cooling can induce selective fat cell reduction and subsequent loss of subcutaneous fat, without damaging the overlying skin.” This discovery, called “selective Cryolipolysis,” led to the development of the patented technology behind the non-invasive CoolSculpting procedure.
HOW NON-INVASIVE CRYOLIPOLYSIS® WORKS
Some stubborn fat are immune to diet and exercise
CoolSculpting targets and cools fat cells to temperatures that trigger fat cell apoptosis
No damage to nerves or other tissues beacuse lipids in fat crystallize at the warmer temperature than water in other cell types
Following treatment, fat cells enter an apoptotic death sequence and are gradually removed in the next few weeks and months by the immune system
Fat layer thickness significantly reduced
Fat layer reduction in targeted area leads to an improvement flank appearance
What is the CoolSculpting procedure?
The CoolSculpting procedure is a new non-invasive method clinically proven to reduce fat. CoolSculpting is clinically proven to reduce the fat layer. Fat is uniquely susceptible to cold while sparing all other tissue. The mechanism of action is Cryolipolysis.
How is the cooling delivered to the fat layer?
The CoolSculpting system includes a selection of non-invasive, tissue-cooling applicators controlled by a precisely engineered monitoring system. To perform the CoolSculpting procedure, the physician attaches an applicator to the targeted procedure area to extract energy (cooling) from the underlying fat tissue. The specially designed vacuum applicator draws tissue into the applicator cup and gently holds it between two cooling panels, extracting heat according to the selected procedure profile. Sensors embedded in the applicator monitor the skin during the procedure to ensure a consistent and uniform procedure. The sensors are linked to the control console to continuously monitor and adjust cooling throughout the CoolSculpting procedure and provide continuous feedback to the physician. A paging system automatically alerts the physician of any device or patient issues that need attention and notifies him or her when the CoolSculpting procedure is complete.
How long do the results last?
Patients experiencing fat layer reduction show persistent results at least six months after the CoolSculpting treatment. Longer-term studies have not yet been completed. It is known that the exposure to cooling causes the fat cells to begin a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The fat cells in the treated area are gently eliminated through the body’s normal metabolism process, like fat from food. The elimination of fat cells as a result of the CoolSculpting procedure is expected to last about as long as fat cells removed by invasive procedures such as liposuction.
How do the results compare with invasive procedures such as liposuction?
The results of the CoolSculpting procedure are not as rapid or dramatic as invasive procedures such as liposuction. However, for patients who wish to avoid the pain, risk and recovery time associated with surgical procedures, the CoolSculpting procedure may be the preferred option.
What are common effects after the procedure?
The CoolSculpting procedure is completely non-invasive, which allows immediate return to normal activities such as work or exercise. Redness may appear in the treated area, and may last from a few minutes to a few hours. Some localized bruising or swelling may occur, which clears within a few weeks. Many patients experience a temporary dulling of sensation in the treated area, lasting one to eight weeks.
What are the results?
Clinical studies demonstrate that the CoolSculpting Procedure provides noticeable, measurable fat reduction in properly selected patients over the course of two to four months after the procedure. Additional procedures may be administered two to four months after the initial procedure to achieve greater fat reduction.
Which patients are the best candidates?
Ideal candidates for the CoolSculpting procedure are relatively fit, but have some modest-size fat bulges that are not easily reduced through diet and exercise. They are seeking spot reduction for specific areas of fat, but are not considering a surgical procedure. The CoolSculpting procedure is not intended for weight loss or obesity, and it is not a substitute for invasive methods such as liposuction.
Is the CoolSculpting procedure recommended for cellulite?
Well-controlled studies to determine whether the fat-reducing effects of the CoolSculpting procedure will result in the improved appearance of cellulite have not been completed.