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Have you ever considered a cosmetic dermatology procedure, but had a question you couldn’t find the answer to online? Can you really trust the information you find on Yahoo Answers, Twitter or Google? Here’s your chance to ask a cosmetic dermatology expert! Every month, Dr. Zimmet will provide up-date answers to frequently asked skincare & cosmetic dermatology questions submitted to his blog.
This month’s topic is CoolSculpting™.
What is CoolSculpting™ and does it have a long term effect?
CoolSculpting™ is an FDA-approved non-invasive treatment that uses cooling technology to reduce fat from targeted areas such as the abdomen, love handles, and other areas of fat. The affected fat cells are eliminated permanently.
Water freezes at 32º F while fat freezes at a much higher temperature, around 50º F if administered for a long enough period of time. CoolSculpting™ takes advantage of this fact, and thereby provides treatment of fat cells that is very unlikely injure skin and other tissue.
What are the advantage and disadvantages of CoolSculpting?
The advantages are that the treatment is non-invasive and that the impacted fat cells are permanently cleared, with an average reduction of 20% of the fat cells in the treated area with a single one-hour treatment. Treatment of an area can be repeated if desired, but one should wait at least two months in order to obtain maximal improvement from the previous treatment. Areas most commonly treated include abdomen, love handles, back/bra fat, triceps, inner and outer thighs. An applicator must fit the area to be treated.
Results are less dramatic than liposuction, but it is much less invasive, less expensive and lower risk than liposuction.
There is pain, primarily during the first few minutes of the treatment. This quickly numbs. I’ve had several patients snooze during the treatment. I myself had the treatment and during the treatment, I’ve chatted with people, checked email, and browsed the web. The next day, I flew to a meeting in Florida, gave several presentations, and participated in several board meetings without difficulty. I believe it is the most effective non-invasive treatment for localized fat removal currently available. However, it does not replace a healthy lifestyle.
Do you gain the fat back after the Zeltiq (CoolSculpting™) treatment?
If you follow a poor lifestyle and gain weight, existing fat cells can enlarge and/or you can form new fat cells. However, the fat cells that are impacted by CoolSculpting™ are cleared permanently and do not return.
Will my skin sag after Zeltiq (CoolSculpting™)?
Typically the skin re-drapes after elimination of the fat- we have not seen increased skin sagging after CoolSculpting™.
What’s the difference between Zeltiq and Zerona?
That’s a great question. Zeltiq and Zerona are both non-invasive treatments for fat reduction. I evaluated both technologies very carefully before deciding which, if any, to bring into my practice. I studied the science and talked to the major scientific principle for Zerona, and the two main scientists who did the research on which the Zeltiq system is based. The bottom line is that I think Zeltiq (CoolSculpting) offers significantly better long-term results.
Zeltiq is based on solid research, recently highlighted on Good Morning America and Nightline. Dr. Dieter Manstein and Dr. R. Rox Anderson of Massachusetts General Hospital (a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School) invented the patented cooling technology known as CoolSculpting, which takes advantage of the fact that fat cells are much more susceptible to cold than other tissue. Several weeks after the procedure, the cooled fat cells die and are eliminated. On average a single one-hour treatment eliminates about 20% of the fat cells in the treated area.
Zerona generally consists of a series of about 8 treatments done over a couple of weeks time frame. It is a low level laser that is stated to cause shrinkage of the fat cells. The results to date have only been reported at two weeks. There is no evidence of any long-term benefit, and rather inconclusive evidence in my opinion of real short-term benefit.
After Coolsculpting™, how long does my skin stay red?
The skin is usually red after treatment, but normally clears within a few hours. Other side effects include temporary bruising, tingling, tenderness, and temporary numbing in the area.
Is tingling normal after Coolsculpting™?
Numbness and tingling of the treated area is common after CoolSculpting™ . It lasts an average of about 3 1/2 weeks.
Is hyperpigmentation a side effect of Zeltiq?
Hyperpigmentation is a rare side effect of Zeltiq, reported in about 1 in 1000 treatments. To date, hyperpigmentation has resolved in all cases within a few months.
Didn’t get your question answered in today’s post? Post your own question through the “Have a Question?” section of Dr. Zimmet’s homepage. Due to the volume of questions received, it is not possible to answer every inquiry through the blog. However, we make every effort to address multiple questions in a single post.
There have been significant developments in non-invasive fat removal with treatments such as CoolSculpting. Here are some Fat Cell FAQs that many of my patients are asking:
What should I know about fat cells?
Fat cells are not just storage bins for excess calories. They are very active cells that produce a variety of substances that influence your body weight, how many calories you eat, and how those calories are used as a source of energy. Health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer, can arise when these cells begin to secrete too much or too little of these substances.
You are born with a set number of fat cells. If you eat more calories than your body needs, your fat cells stretch to store these extra calories as triglycerides. You can gain new fat cells if the existing cells have enlarged to their maximum size. Once created, fat cells remain in your body forever; they may shrink in size when you lose weight, but they never go away — unless they are removed by CoolSculpting (Zeltiq) or liposuction.
Will the fat cells come back after CoolSculpting by Zeltiq?
The affected fat cells cannot come back. However, if you overeat and/or under exercise you can gain weight, and all body areas will share in the weight gain. However, after CoolSculpting (Zeltiq), the treated areas have a decreased capacity for additional fat because fat cells in those areas have been eliminated. As a result, weight gain after CoolSculpting (Zeltiq) is more likely to be visible in areas where more fat cells exist.
What’s the most important thing I should do after treatment?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle- a healthy diet and exercise program.
What happens if I eat more calories than I expend?
Extra calories will be stored mostly as fat regardless of whether the extra calories come from fats, carbohydrates, or proteins.
What does weight loss do?
Weight loss shrinks fat cells and normalizes their secretions, which can reverse or prevent many of the health conditions associated with obesity.
Call Dr. Zimmet’s office in Austin at 512-485-7700 with other questions or to schedule a CoolSculpting consultation.
Join us for an open house on Saturday November 20th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, featuring
FDA approved ZELTIQ – CoolSculpting®
Non-Invasive Fat Removal
Come watch live demonstrations of this procedure. Our Zeltiq representative will be on hand to answer questions.
Catering by Russell’s Bistro, Live Music by JD Pendley and Dave Biller
•No cutting, no needles, no downtime
•Safe, comfortable, convenient
•Based on research and testing on patients conducted at the famous Wellman Laser Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate for Harvard Medical School.
How does it work?
CoolSculpting is a new, FDA-approved non-invasive treatment to gently and effectively reduce fat in targeted areas of the body to produce noticeable natural-looking fat reduction in the treated areas. It uses advanced cooling technology to selectively target fat bulges and eliminate fat cells through a gradual process that does not harm the surrounding tissues. This procedure can reduce unwanted abdominal fat, love handles (flanks), back, bra fat, saddlebags, and inner and outer thighs.
The fat cells in the treated area are gradually eliminated through the body’s normal metabolic processes, similar to how fat from food is eliminated. The result is a reduction in fat bulges that is visible in most patients in about two to four months.
An In-Office Treatment
During the hour-long procedure, tissue is drawn into a cup with vacuum pressure. Patients may experience some discomfort from the vacuum pressure and cold as the procedure begins, which usually fades after the first 10 minutes. Most patients typically resume their routine activities, including returning to work and exercise regimens the same day as the procedure.
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