CoolSculpting® (Zeltiq) Procedure: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a new, non-invasive treatment to gently reduce fat in targeted areas of the body using advanced cooling technology to eliminate fat cells, resulting in a noticeable, natural-looking fat reduction in the treated areas.

Q: Does it work?

Yes. Our own clinical experience and reports from leading physicians around the world show that CoolSculpting gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer in specific areas of the body after a single procedure. Published clinical study results indicate an average fat layer reduction of 22% after a single Coolsculpting treatment.

Q: Why choose Union Square Laser Dermatology for CoolSculpting?

Our physicians have extensive clinical experience with CoolSculpting, with Dr. Chapas and Dr. MacGregor being part of the clinical trials that led to the approval of CoolSculpting in the U.S. We continue to work with Zeltiq, CoolSculpting’s manufacturer, on refining treatment protocols, and thus our patients get the benefit of the latest treatment protocols, CoolSculpting applicators and software upgrades. In many situations CoolSculpting works best in combination with other treatments, and our comprehensive range of non-surgical body contouring devices and our expertise in administering these treatments allows us to design the best personalized non-surgical body contouring plan for each patient.

Q: What is the science behind CoolSculpting?

The science behind the Coolsculpting procedure is called Cryolipolysis, which was developed by world-renowned dermatologists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Their research showed that fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other surrounding tissue and structures and that fat cells exposed to precisely controlled cooling can be safely eliminated without harming the skin. This discovery led to the development of the Coolsculpting procedure.

Q: How does CoolSculpting work?

During the procedure, a non-invasive applicator is placed on the patient, and the tissue being treated is brought into contact with cooling panels on the applicator. The Coolsculpting system delivers precisely controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells in specific body areas, such as the abdomen, love handles and the back. The fat is cooled over a period up to 1 hourper application site while the patient is sitting comfortably in the office.

Q: Are there any side effects and will patients experience frost bite from the cooling?

The Coolsculpting procedure is totally non-invasive and we have not observed any long-term or significant side effects. There may be some redness in the treated area which can last fromfew minutes to a few hours. Some localized bruising may occur, which typically clears in a few minutes to a few hours. Numbness and mild cramping can occur up to 2 weeks following the treatment. The procedure is designed to deliver precise and controlled cooling to the fat cells below the skin layer without harming the skin.

Q: Are there any clinical studies to support its safety and efficacy?

Clinical studies show that, for properly selected patients, the Coolsculpting procedure is a safe and effective way to reduce the fat layer, without the pain, risk, and recovery time of invasive procedures. The result is a noticeable, natural-looking fat reduction in the treated areas 2 to 4 months after a single Coolsculpting procedure. Better results can be obtained with a second procedure performed 2 months after the first. A multi-center clinical study in the U.S. in which Dr. Chapas and Dr. MacGregor were clinical investigators enrolled hundreds of patients and found that 84% of patients showed noticeable improvement after one procedure over a four month period. Ultrasound images indicated an average fat layer reduction of 22.4%. There were no significant changes to lipid blood levels or liver function during the post procedure period.

Q: What is the cost of the procedure? How many treatments are needed?

The cost varies depending on the areas to be treated and one to three areas can typically be treated in one visit.
A noticeable, measureable fat reduction is typically seen two to four months after a single CoolSculpting procedure. At that point patients can be evaluated to see if they are good candidates for second treatments to achieve further results.

Q: How long before you see the results?

A noticeable, measureable fat reduction is typically seen two to four months after a single coolsculpting procedure.

Q: What types of patients will benefit from the procedure?

Ideal patients are relatively fit, but have some modest-size fat bulges that are not easily reduced by diet or exercise. The Coolsculpting procedure is for spot fat reduction. It is not a way to lose weight, treat obesity or serve as a substitute for invasive or surgical methods like liposuction or tummy tucks.

Q: Is Coolsculpting FDA approved?

The Coolsculpting device is cleared by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of the flanks (love handles) and abdomen.

Q: Does it hurt? What does it feel like?

Our patients find the procedure to be gentle and easy to tolerate. Anesthesia and pain medication are not needed so patients can read a book, listen to music, work on their laptop or just relax during the procedure. When the applicator is placed on the skin, patients feel a pulling from the vacuum pressure that brings the skin into contact with the cooling panels. When the procedure begins, patients feel a cooling sensation that goes away after a few minutes as the cooling produces an anesthetic effect. After the procedure, there is no downtime and patients can resume their normal activities the same day, including work and exercise.

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