Non-invasive fat reduction kills the fat cells inside the targeted area of the body using various techniques that do not require surgery. Without making an incision, the surgeon can permanently remove a pocket of unwanted fat. Non-invasive fat removal can be used on just about any area of the body. The belly, flanks (love handles), thighs, chin, neck, back, upper arms, and knees are all treatable. Because non-invasive fat removal kills some fat cells, the targeted cells are gone forever.
Non-invasive fat reduction is a new approach for removing excess, unwanted fat without an invasive surgery. Non-invasive fat reduction is a safe, effective technique that can help people in getting rid of love handles, bulging tummy and other places where the stubborn fat is located.
Non-invasive fat reduction has gained popularity amongst patients who want to reduce fat but do not wish to go under the knife. It is a viable technique that shows positive results.
Cryolipolysis, commonly referred to as fat freezing, is a nonsurgical fat reduction procedure that uses cold temperature to reduce fat deposits in certain areas of the body. The procedure is designed to reduce localized fat deposits or bulges that do not respond to diet and exercise. It is not intended for people who are obese or significantly overweight.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved cryolipolysis to treat fat deposits beneath the chin, upper arms, inner and outer thighs, abdomen, hip/flank (“love handles”), upper back (“brassiere rolls”), lower back, and underneath the buttocks.
The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. The size and shape of the fatty deposit is assessed and the area to be treated is outlined with a skin-marking pencil. Patients are awake during the procedure.
A handheld device called an applicator is used to freeze the layer of fat cells (adipocytes) underneath the skin. First, a gel pad is applied to the area to protect the skin. Next, the fatty bulge is suctioned or vacuumed into the applicator’s hallow opening. You will feel a tugging or pulling sensation as suction is applied. These sensations, intense cold plus other possible sensations – tingling, stinging, aching, cramping – lessen after 5 to 10 minutes as the area becomes numb during the cooling down process. The fat layer is gradually cooled to the target temperature of between 30.2 and 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
The technique is based on the finding that fat cells are more susceptible to damage from cold temperatures than other cells, such as skin cells. The cold temperature injures the fat cells. The injury triggers an inflammatory response by the body, which results in the death of the fat cells. Macrophages, a type of white blood cells and part of the body’s immune system, is “called to the injury location,” to rid the dead fat cells and debris from the body.
Studies have shown an average fat reduction of between 15 and 28 percent at around 4 months after initial treatment. However, you may begin to notice changes as early as 3 weeks after treatment. Dramatic improvement is noticed after about 2 months.
There are many advantages to cryolipolysis:
- No surgical incision is required.
- It is a low risk procedure. There is no risk of infection.
- The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis.
- Patients do not need to be sedated or anesthetized before undergoing the procedure.
- More than one area of the body may be treated in a single session.
- Most people can resume their normal daily activities immediately after treatment.
- The procedure can be performed on people of all ages.
- There is no damage to nerve fibers, blood vessels, muscles, or lasting damaging to skin in the treatment area.
- Fat cells that have been damaged or destroyed are permanently removed from the body.
- Patients may experience an increase in self-esteem due to an improvement in their appearance.
Temporary side effects for the areas that are treated may include:
- Pain or aches
- Stinging or tingling of the skin
- Skin discoloration or bruising
- Skin sensitivity or numbness
Side effects may persist for a few days to a few weeks after treatment. Your doctor may recommend that you take an analgesic medication to relieve pain or other discomfort.