CoolSculpting is making waves as a new trend in fat reduction that’s become recently popular in many countries and has recently made its way to Singapore. But what exactly is it and how does it work? What are its side effects? And more importantly, is it for you? These are the questions we’re going to answer here, and more.
Below are all the things you need to know to get you started.
What is CoolSculpting?
Coolsculpting, manufactured and sold by ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., is marketed as a non-invasive alternative to liposuction that uses extremely low temperatures to kill the fat cells without damaging the skin. These dead cells are then removed naturally through the liver.
How does cryolipolysis work?
A vacuum device is placed on the targeted area/s and exposes them to just above freezing temperature for up to an hour. Fat cells are cooled to near 4 degrees Celsius, which selectively destroys them while keeping damage to surrounding skin, nerves, vessels, and muscles to a minimum.
The low temperature constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow. The vacuum then pulls blood flow along with inflammatory cells to the subcutaneous layers of the skin.
Decreases in fat bulges usually take multiple treatment sessions and two to four months. This is because fat-containing body tissue is more vulnerable to cold-injury than the surrounding water-rich tissue. Cooling causes fat cells to undergo cell death, a processed called apoptosis. Apoptosis releases inflammatory molecules around the treatment area, which is our body’s way of “cleaning up” dead debris.
Some of the common side effects that you can experience after the Singapore zeltiq fat removal treatment include redness, numbness, and even bruising, which lasts for a few hours. Patients are usually able to resume all regular activities after the treatment.
The end result is a reduction in the thickness of the fat layer. During this period when fat cells gradually disappear, there is no change in liver enzymes or any increase of fat in the blood. This makes researchers believe that cryolipolysis is a safe process of metabolism.
Why Choose CoolSculpting?
Fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than other types of surrounding body cells. This observation comes from a medical phenomenon where young children get swelling and redness in their cheeks for several hours, or even develop dimples, after sucking on something cold, like a Popsicle or an ice cube.
However, this is unlikely to happen in adults, because they only have fewer fatty acids in their cheeks. Two dermatologists at Massachusetts General Hospital began experimenting on applying cool treatments to pigs, which eventually led to the idea of “CoolSculpting”.
It’s assumed that over 2-4 months following treatment, our body naturally processes the dead cells, transporting them through the lymphatic system, eventually eliminating them.
Is CoolSculpting a weight loss treatment?
No. The procedure is for reducing smaller areas of fat closer to the skin. CoolSculpting will not, and should not, completely replace liposuction.
It is a purely cosmetic procedure that does little to improve your health. Because of its relatively new standing as a cosmetic practice, there is little information available on its long term effectiveness and safety.
Who should sign up for CoolSculpting?
Since cryolipolysis only treats a small area at a time, it is should not be used for complete weight loss.
This procedure is ideally for people who are already relatively fit but have fat deposits that don’t go away with diet and exercise – it is body contouring in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or less for removing limited visible fat bulges in these areas:
• Around the bra straps
• Underneath the buttocks
Cryolipolysis could also be used for other areas such as the lower back, hip rolls, inner thighs, inner knees, arms and ankles. Some practitioners might even use cryolipolysis for treating cellulite, though long-term clinical studies, especially those in Singapore, have yet to yield results and guarantees of safety.
Can cryolipolysis replace liposuction?
No. Liposuction is still an extensive, as well as expensive, medical and cosmetic process that reaches deep into the body to extract fat cells in critical areas, such as those next to internal organs.
Tumescent liposuction involves injecting a fluid to constrict the blood vessels and inserting a suction tube to suck the fat. In powered liposuction, the tube vibrates rapidly back and forth. Laser-assisted liposuction is exactly what it sounds.
Use of liposuction has become widespread. According to a 2011 International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) survey, well over a million liposuctions were performed worldwide. In Singapore alone, over a dozen people undergo liposuction treatments every day.
How effective and safe is cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis should not have any long-lasting serious effects given the procedure is performed correctly. But more studies are needed to determine the possibility of long-term effects of fat broken down this way to be processed by the liver, and whether the fat travelling to different parts of the body could cause problems.
Cosmetic procedures depend heavily on the people doing the procedure. Skilled and closely observed physicians performed the procedure under controlled settings prior to FDA approval. Now that the procedure is widely available, so are more reports of misuse and post-procedural damage. Remember to choose your doctor carefully.
How long does fat reduction last?
The duration varies depending on the person undergoing the treatment. Since the procedure has only been recently made available to the public, more studies are needed to establish how permanent the effects may be.