People can diet and exercise to their heart’s content, but as any fitness expert will attest, ‘spot reduction’ is a myth. Until recently, in fact, the only sure way to remove that extra fat was through surgery, liposuction or a tummy tuck. Enter, Zeltiq, a non-invasive (FDA approved) cool sculpting procedure, is showing promise in the treatment of love handles, back fat, and belly bulges.
During treatment, the doctor places the device over the area to be treated where it pulls the bulge into place and administers a dose of fat-freezing cold; a treatment lasts about an hour. Zeltiq is relatively painless, other than an initial feeling of cold air and a slight tugging sensation, patients are very comfortable. The procedure induces a chemical process called cryolipolysis which breaks up and kills fat cells inside the body without damaging nearby tissue.
“Zeltiq is one of the most exciting new innovations in cosmetic dermatology in years,” according to New York dermatologist Dr. Melanie Grossman, one of a select group of physicians offering CoolSculpting. One thing it is not is a weight loss tool. “The ideal candidates are people who are in the best shape they can be but no matter how hard they exercise they still have resistant bulges,” explains Dr. Grossman.
|Dr. Gerald Imber|
|Dr. Melanie Grossman|
There are no associated side effects, other than some possible redness and minimal bruising which disappear quickly. Dr. Gerald Imber, cosmetic surgeon and author of “The New Youth Corridor,” expresses some concerns about the results. Since only one area can be treated at a time it will require the patience of the patient where there are multiple areas to be treated. “The treatment is not refined enough, the results are going to be different with everyone, advises Dr. Imber, with regard to aesthetics and symmetry. “I’m sure it will be a great tool, I’m not sure it is now,” says Dr. Imber. “It offers a non invasive way to remove excess fatty tissue without any anesthesia, needles or downtime, you can go right back to work or school after the treatment,” says Dr. Grossman. Clinical studies have shown that Zeltiq can reduce the fat layer thickness by up to 22.4% within two to four months post-procedure after a single treatment.