What is Cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis is a non-surgical fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to target and eliminate stubborn fat. The technology was developed based on the premise that fat cells are more easily damaged by cooling than skin cells. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting.

The term “Cryolipolysis” is derived from the Greek roots cryo, meaning cold, lipo, meaning fat, and lysis, meaning dissolution or loosening. Generally, the process is also known as fat freezing.

The fat-freezing method involves the controlled cooling of subcutaneous fat cells without damaging any surrounding tissue. When subcutaneous fat is cooled below body temperature, but above freezing, the fat undergoes controlled cell death (apoptosis) followed by a local inflammatory response. This localized panniculitis results in a gradual reduction of fat in the treatment area. The dead fat cells are then naturally processed and eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system.

How was Cryolipolysis discovered?

In 2009, a research team created a prototype freezing device for clinical testing on pigs to numb the skin before dermatological procedures. The goal was to develop an alternative to topical anesthetics for reducing pain during minimally invasive procedures. However, the team quickly noticed that the device worked for fat removal as well. They soon switched gears and began improving the device for targeting fat cells.

The results were promising; approximately 1/2 inch reduction in the pig’s fat layer in the treated areas without damaging the overlying skin. By 2010, the first Cryolipolysis technology approved for human use was cleared to treat love handles. Clearance for other parts of the body, including the thighs, belly, bra fat, back, the underside of the buttocks, and chin followed soon after.

How long does a fat-freezing treatment take?

The treatment takes between 35-37 minutes per application, and multiple applications may be necessary to cover an area. For example, to ensure even fat removal from the entire front of the belly, four or more applications may be needed.

So, does freezing fat actually work?

It sure does! Results can be seen as soon as three weeks, with maximum results seen at approximately three months. The average reduction in fat ranges between 18% to 25% per each round of treatment with no evidence of any body-wide side effects. Additional rounds of treatment may be needed, depending on the desired results.

Who’s a good candidate for fat-freezing?

The ideal candidate for Cryolipolysis is already close to their ideal body weight but has areas of stubborn fat that are difficult to get rid of with diet and exercise.

Weight loss or spot reduction?

Cryolipolysis reduces the fat thickness in the limited area that is treated rather than producing overall weight loss. Cryolipolysis does not seem to be effective in obese people, though it may simply be harder to observe the effects. It’s worth noting that Cryolipolysis reduces the fat thickness in people who have a stable weight; in other words, you don’t need to be on a diet for it to work.

Information provided by: The Body Sculpting Institute