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Cryolipolysis, often known by its brand name CoolSculpting, is one of the cosmetic fat-reducing treatments that burns excess fat in problematic regions. It functions by killing and destroying fat cells by freezing.

As a non-invasive process, cryolipolysis doesn’t require cuts, anesthesia, or the insertion of instruments into the body. In 2018, it was the most popular body contouring technique in the US.

Cryolipolysis is the process of reducing fat cells by exposing them to extreme cold. Cryolipolysis, sometimes known as the “fat freezing procedure,” has been empirically demonstrated to reduce stubborn fat deposits that are refractory to exercise and diet. Compared to conventional fat-reduction techniques like liposuction, it poses fewer risks. Although it is generally safe, users should be aware of certain potential negative effects. Cryolipolysis produces long-lasting, natural-looking results, which offers a solution for infamous issue regions like belly fat.

The process of cryolipolysis is thoroughly examined in this article, along with its benefits, drawbacks, risks, and effectiveness.

CoolSculpting is a brand name for the cryolipolysis process of fat reduction. It is one of the common cosmetic fat freezing treatments. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

By now you might be thinking about the commonly asked question “What is the fat freezing treatment?” Fat freezing treatment is any medical or cosmetic treatment that uses cool temperatures to freeze body tissues. Cryolipolysis was first discovered at Harvard. R. Rox Anderson, MD, and Dieter Manstein, MD, two doctors, started working on the concept after observing decreased cheek fat in kids who sucked on popsicles, a condition known as popsicle panniculitis. In Allure magazine, Dr. Manstein describes the Cryolipolysis procedure in more detail. He mentions that the fat freezes at a temperature higher than water does. In the refrigerator, water and butter both become solid, yet the latter remains liquid. Cryotherapy for fat loss is now a commonly employed treatment all across the globe.

In accordance with this theory, the researchers created a procedure that subjects fat cells to high temperatures in order to freeze away obstinate bulges without endangering the skin tissue directly beneath. This is conceivable since skin cells freeze at far lower temperatures than fat cells because they are primarily made of water.

It uses freezing temperatures to destroy fat cells, just like other types of fat freezing cryolipolysis. Compared to other cells, fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures. This indicates that the skin or underlying tissue is not harmed by the cold.

The practitioner cools the fat cells by vacuuming the skin that is above the fatty tissue during the process. The cold numbs the area, and some people say they sense a cooling effect.

Cryolipolysis is not a method of weight loss. If you have tried exercise and diet but weren’t able to dispose of certain fat bulges, your doctor might recommend it.

Based on the region being treated, cryolipolysis procedures typically last 35 to 60 minutes. Since there is no tissue or skin damage, there is no downtime.

Some people claim that the area of cryolipolysis is sore, much to how they might feel after a strenuous workout or a small muscular injury. Others describe itching, stinging, hardness, light discoloration, swelling, and firmness.

The removal of fat cells from a person’s body after the treatment could take 4-6 months. The region of fat will typically shrink by 20 percent throughout that time.

Additionally, you should prevent cryolipolysis if you have:

  • Loose skin
  • Skin tone problems
  • Cryoglobulinemia (a disease with abnormal proteins in the blood that thicken when exposed to cold temperatures)
  • Cold urticaria (a skin disorder that causes hives on the skin when exposed to cold temperatures)
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (a certain type of anemia in which red blood cells are destroyed at cold temperatures)
  • Raynaud’s disease

The body’s resistant fat deposits are successfully reduced via cryolipolysis. Compared to other skin cells, fat cells are more vulnerable to cooling. The body’s fat cells are destroyed when cold temperatures are delivered precisely. This causes an inflammatory response and sluggish digestion of the waste by the adjacent white blood cells.

Simply put: Cryolipolysis isolates a fat cell using an applicator and exposes it to carefully controlled temperatures which are fairly cold to freeze the subcutaneous fat layer but never the tissue above it. The cell membrane splits as a result of these “frozen” fat cells crystallizing.

They can no longer accumulate fat if the fat cells themselves are destroyed. Additionally, it tells the body’s lymphatic system to gather the dead cells by sending a signal to it. The culmination of this weekly-long natural process occurs when the fat cells depart the body as trash.

The fundamental similarity between liposuction and cryolipolysis is that both techniques eliminate fat cells from the body. The primary distinction between both is that Cryolipolysis triggers the body’s natural metabolic processes to remove dead fat cells. A tube is used in liposuction to remove fat cells from the body.

Cryolipolysis (Fat Freezing) Treatment Steps

The following are the four main steps in cryolipolysis treatment:

  • Caliper measurement of the fat layer
  • Use of a cold-protection cloth
  • Using an applicator on a specific part of the body
  • At a temperature below the freezing point, a cryolipolysis applicator sucking in the fat tissue cools the tissue for roughly 70 minutes.

A cryolipolysis professional will mark the treatment areas in consultation with the patient at the commencement of the operation. Ankles, thighs, love handles, saddle bags, and chins are among the body parts that fat freezing can be used to reduce size. Cryoprotectant gel towels will be used to protect the skin from harm during the procedure. After that, a cup-shaped applicator is applied to the treated part of the body, and the fat tissue beneath it is vacuumed out. It is common for patients to feel a slight tugging feeling that fades within 10 minutes. After that, a gradual decrease in temperature to near or below freezing begins. Around 70 minutes later, the cooling process continues.

While the cryolipolysis gadget is treating fat cells, patients can do anything from reading, listening to music, surfing online, making phone calls, sleeping, or watching a movie. It will take anywhere from four to twelve weeks for the results of cryolipolysis to become apparent.

As with other cosmetic treatments, the success of cryolipolysis for the general public isn’t as clear-cut as the commercials would have you believe.

Cryolipolysis has a high percentage of success and patient satisfaction. However, it’s important to note that the treatment’s effects only apply to the areas that were specifically targeted and cryolipolysis results are highly dependent on the region to which this fat freezing treatment is applied. It also doesn’t cause the skin to get tighter.

As a result, the method doesn’t work for everyone. It’s most effective on those who are at or near their target body weight, with only a small amount of pinchable fat remaining in troublesome regions. People with lower body mass were found to benefit the most from the therapy.

Cryolipolysis is safe and effective in lowering the fat layer and enhancing body contouring, as per a 2018 study. This study was partially supported by a company that manufactures cryolipolysis product, which should be taken into consideration. Cryolipolysis was found to be beneficial by 77% in a minor trial in 2016. However, a maker of cryolipolysis products helped fund this study.

Cryolipolysis appears to be fairly effective, according to a 2014 study that was not supported by any cryolipolysis manufacturing companies. 86% in several tests saw benefits.

But the authors note that “body contouring studies,” because of the great diversity in participants and fat loss, aren’t that straightforward to carry out. Even while cryolipolysis isn’t totally effective all the time, it’s a good option for most people.

Make sure to keep an eye out for individual “effective” standards regarding the amount of fat you lose. Additionally, a person’s way of life and other variables may have an impact. An unhealthy way of living cannot be reversed with cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is less effective if the patient continues to eat an unhealthy diet and remains inactive.

Cryolipolysis has numerous advantages. Here are a few examples:

  • No surgical incisions are required.
  • It is a procedure with low risk. There is no infection risk.
  • The procedure can be done without the need for hospitalization.
  • The technique can be performed without the patient being sedated or anesthetized.
  • In a single sitting, more than one part of the body can be treated.
  • Most patients are able to return to their normal routines shortly after the following therapy.
  • People of all ages can benefit from this surgery.
  • It does not harm blood vessels, nerve fibers, muscles, or the skin in the treatment region.
  • Damaged or destroyed fat cells are eliminated from the body permanently.
  • Patients may feel better about themselves because they look better.

Cryolipolysis has a number of drawbacks, some of which are as follows:

  • Only those who are in good health, free of neurologic or orthopedic issues, and searching for “spot” fat removal in specific places of the body are eligible for the procedure.
  • Overweight or obese patients are not recommended to undergo cryolipolysis.
  • After healing, the skin’s surface may be uneven or unevenly smooth.
  • It’s possible that a person will require more than one session to see the desired outcomes.
  • It is not possible to do the second treatment session until 6 to 8 weeks following the first one if it is necessary. As a result, it might take up to a year for the body to rid itself of the damaged fat cells.
  • Results aren’t always apparent right away. It can take up to six months to get the best results, as fat cells are eliminated gradually from the body.
  • Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is an uncommon yet serious adverse effect. After cryolipolysis, the volume of fat cells rises in this unusual syndrome. It is more common among men and those of Hispanic descent.
  • It is possible to gain weight following cryolipolysis. Other parts of the body may be affected by the accumulation of fat.

With some exceptions, cryolipolysis is best suited for people with the following:

Someone with a few fat pockets

Patients who are within 10 to 15 pounds of their target weight are great candidates for cryolipolysis. Someone who has a tiny amount of stubborn fat in the area of concern is the ideal candidate for cryolipolysis treatment. You may refer to it as “that one region that never goes away.” Additionally, the area in concern should be able to be squeezed or gripped and be mushy rather than firm. Because of this, her preferred cryolipolysis location is the lower abdomen.

An individual who has reasonable goals

It’s not as straightforward as a one-time operation to get rid of excess body fat. In order to be a good candidate for cryolipolysis, you need to be ready to commit to a long-term course of treatment. We expect a 20–25 percent reduction in pinchable fat each time we execute a cryolipolysis treatment. For most patients, it’s not a one-and-done procedure. In order to get outcomes comparable to those of liposuction, cryolipolysis requires a patient’s cooperation. Not only that, but it may take several months for the complete effects of cryolipolysis to become apparent.

Those who desire a more sculpted physique

As we’ll explain in a moment, cryogenic lipolysis is not a weight-loss strategy, but rather a treatment for patients who want to get a more sculpted appearance. If you are looking for a non-invasive way to sculpt your physique, cryolipolysis may be a viable option for you (versus a huge transformation).

With a few exceptions, people with the following features should not undergo cryolipolysis treatment:

Someone who has a lot of skin laxity.

You may not be a suitable candidate for Cryolipolysis if your skin is crepey, lax, or slack in certain regions. Cryolipolysis will not be an option for someone with severe skin laxity, such as someone who has shed 100 pounds in a short period of time. Skin will remain sag even if fat is removed. That doesn’t imply, though, that you can’t give it a second thought. Combined with a skin-tightening therapy like microneedling with radiofrequency or ultrasound, cryolipolysis can be used for mild to severe skin laxity. It’s possible that a variety of therapy approaches will yield the best results.

A person who wants to lose weight

The ideal patient should expect (and require) merely body shaping, not weight loss. Cryolipolysis isn’t the greatest option for people who have greater pockets of fat. Outpatient tumescent liposuction is a better option for larger areas of excess fat, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks than inpatient liposuction. Also, dense and hard regions of fat are less likely to respond to treatment. Cryolipolysis is a fantastic option for people who are already at a healthy weight.

A person who carries fat around their muscles

The greatest candidates for Cryolipolysis have subcutaneous fat that is soft and pinchable. Achieving good outcomes necessitates doing so. Internal and intra-abdominal fat cannot be reduced with any approach, surgical or non-surgical. You can’t pinch that fat since it’s under the muscle. The applicator for Cryolipolysis cannot reach it because it is too deep. Diet and exercise are the only ways to adjust the body’s metabolism and achieve this.

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