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September 15, 2010

New procedure targets the most stubborn fat

Those who are basically in shape but just can’t seem to lose that love handle or saddle bag may be interested in a new treatment recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It’s called CoolSculpting by its maker Zeltiq, a medical device company, and it doesn’t require the needles, anesthesia or downtime that liposuction may necessitate. Other countries in Europe and Canada have already approved the procedure.

The company says it can eliminate an average of 20 percent of the fat in a treated area. The technology was developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Craig A. Vander Kolk, a cosmetic surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, has seen a demonstration and believes it will be a good tool for doctors and their patients. He consults for Faces Med Spa in Timonium, which will offer the procedure, and he may buy an $80,000 machine to use at Mercy, too.

He said that it works by painlessly cooling underlying fat over an hour-long session in a process called Cryolipolysis. The process does not harm skin tissue because the fat cells are more sensitive to the cold.  Several sessions may be necessary for the desired effects.

The cooled fat cells begin to die several weeks after a treatment. They shrink and disappear.
Vander Kolk says it’s not for everyone, especially obese people.

“The key with all of this body shaping, contouring and fat treatments is getting the right patient with the right procedure done by the right person,” he said. “You’ll get the best result.”

He said a person who can pinch an inch and a half of fat could see a quarter of it melted away over the sessions – enough to drop a pant size, but not a large amount. Liposuction, by comparison, can take off three quarters of the fat in one sitting.

The four to six treatments are likely to cost $500-$700 for an area. Liposuction is more like $1,000-$1,500.

Whatever the treatment, he said, "the goal is a happy patient."

Photo courtesy of Zeltiq 

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 12:45 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Diet and exercise
        

Comments

Sounds real strange, but this is legit. I've read a number of studies where cold was effective in killing fat cells. This could become widespread.

It's certainly not cheap and I somehow still believe that working out is the best solution (of course if there are no medical contraidications for physical ctivities). I think it has been proven that if you loose your weight without hard work and sweating the new shape is not going to last for a very long time. I think overall you appreciate more when you gain it by hard work. It's just like winning the lottery and spending it all after a year!

It seems great. Are there any real world reviews yet?
If it works it may put lipo out of business.

I have a female friend that is currently undergoing this process.
So far so good. She seems to be enjoying it.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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