What is cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis, uses cold temperature to break down fat cells. The fat cells are particularly susceptible to the effects of cold, unlike other types of cells. While the fat cells freeze, the skin and other structures are spared from injury.
Who is not a candidate for cryolipolysis?
Patients with cold-related conditions, like cryoglobulinemia, cold urticaris and paroxysmal cold hemoglobulinuria should not have cryolipolysis. Patients with loose skin or poor tone may not be suitable candidates for the procedure.
What does cryolipolysis do?
The goal of cryolipolysis is to reduce the volume of fat in a fatty bulge. Some patients may opt to have more than one area treated or to retreat an area more than once.
After an assessment of the dimensions and shape of the fatty bulge to be treated, an applicator of the appropriate size and curvature is chosen. The area of concern is marked to identify the site for applicator placement. A gel pad is placed to protect the skin. The applicator is applied and the bulge is vacuumed into the hollow of the applicator. The temperature inside the applicator drops, and as it does so, the area numbs. Patients sometimes experience discomfort from the vacuum's pull on their tissue, but this resolves within minutes, once the area is numb.
Patients typically watch TV, use their smart phone or read during the procedure. After treatment, the vacuum turns off, the applicator is removed.
What are the results of cryolipolysis?
The injured fat cells are gradually eliminated by the body over 4 to 6 months. During that time the fatty bulge decreases in size, with an average fat reduction of about 20 percent.