CoolSculpting™ Frequently Asked Questions
To answer some of the most commonly asked questions, please review the topics below.
What will the results be?
The CoolSculpting™ procedure can reduce the fat layer by 20 to 40%.* Scientific testing has found an average reduction of 20%. If the patient’s treatment plan calls for an additional procedure to get rid of love handles or back fat, this will be done after two to four months, depending on the doctor’s advice. An additional 20% reduction can be experienced, resulting in a total fat loss of 40%.* Final losses may be more or less, depending on the case.
What happens during the procedure?
The patient and doctor first select the area(s) to be treated. For instance, if your goal is to reduce your love handles, the doctor will position the system on your side. The device then draws the bulge up between two cooling panels. The sensation is a firm tug and pull – enough of a pull to ensure the tissue will be cooled most efficiently.
What does it feel like?
As the panels go to work in the first few minutes, the patient feels a sensation of intense cold. This soon dissipates. The patient is seated comfortably or lying down during the one- to three-hour procedure. Many people spend this time reading, working on their laptop, or even taking a nap.
Can the patient return to normal activities after the procedure?
Yes. The CoolSculpting™ procedure is completely non-invasive, so the patient can return to normal activities immediately. Some patients experience redness, minor bruising, tingling, or numbness in the treated area, but this is temporary.*
When will the patient see results?
Patients may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks after their treatment, and will experience the most dramatic results after two months.* But the body is still flushing fat cells, and will continue doing so for up to four months.
Are the results permanent?
During the CoolSculpting™ procedure, the treated fat cells are eliminated. As long as the patient maintains his or her weight with diet and exercise, long-term results should remain stable.*
Ask for an assessment to determine if you qualify for CoolSculpting™.
What is Cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis is the non-invasive cooling of adipose tissue to induce lipolysis (breaking down fat cells) without damage to other tissues. The result over two to four months is a noticeable, natural-looking reduction in fat.*
How does Cryolipolysis work?
Cryolipolysis is based on the principle that fat cells are more vulnerable to energy extraction (cooling) than surrounding tissues. A non-invasive applicator is attached to the targeted procedure area to extract energy from the underlying fat tissue, while protecting the skin, nerves, muscles and other tissue. The cooled fat cells undergo apoptosis (controlled cell death) and are gradually eliminated, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
What happens to the fat cells?
During the Procedure, exposure to cooling causes fat cell apoptosis, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the Procedure. Lipids from the fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed, much like fat from food.
How cold is “cold?”
Lipids in fat cells crystallize at warmer temperatures than other water-containing cells. This is how Cryolipolysis targets only fat cells for destruction and spares other tissue such as skin, muscle, and nerves. The CoolSculpting™ system controls the rate of energy extraction or cooling during the Procedure.
Who developed Cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis was discovered by dermatologists Dieter Manstein, MD, and R. Rox Anderson, MD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
Drs. Manstein and Anderson and their research team proved that, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, subcutaneous fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other surrounding tissues. Their initial evidence, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in November 2008, concluded that prolonged, controlled local tissue cooling can induce selective fat cell reduction and subsequent loss of subcutaneous fat without damaging the overlying skin.1 This discovery, called “selective cryolysis,” led to the development of the patented technology behind the non-invasive CoolSculpting™ Procedure.
Who is ZELTIQ?
ZELTIQ is a science-based medical device company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has licensed the commercial rights to Cryolipolysis from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as a non-invasive method of reducing fat, the science behind the CoolSculpting™ Procedure. ZELTIQ is advancing the basic science, clinical evaluation, and commercial development of this technology.
About the CoolSculpting™ Procedure
What is the CoolSculpting™ Procedure?
The CoolSculpting™ Procedure is a new non-invasive method clinical proven to reduce fat. A CoolSculpting™ Procedure can reduce the fat layer by 20 to 40%.* Fat is uniquely susceptible to cold while sparing all other tissue. The mechanism of action is Cryolipolysis.
Who developed the CoolSculpting™ Procedure?
The science behind the CoolSculpting™ Procedure, called Cryolipolysis, was discovered by physicians Dieter Manstein, MD, and R. Rox Anderson, MD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
Drs. Manstein and Anderson and their team conducted research demonstrating that, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, subcutaneous fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other surrounding tissues. Their initial work, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in November 2008, concluded that prolonged, controlled, local tissue cooling can induce selective fat cell reduction and subsequent loss of subcutaneous fat without damaging the overlying skin.1 This discovery, called “selective cryolysis,” led to the development of the patented technology behind the non-invasive CoolSculpting™ Procedure.
How is the cooling delivered to the fat layer?
The ZELTIQ system includes a selection of non-invasive, tissue-cooling applicators controlled by a precisely engineered monitoring system. To perform the CoolSculpting™ Procedure, the physician attaches an applicator to the targeted procedure area to extract energy (cooling) from the underlying fat tissue. The specially designed vacuum applicator draws tissue into the applicator cup and gently holds it between two cooling panels, extracting heat according to the selected procedure profile. Sensors embedded in the applicator monitor the skin during the Procedure to ensure a consistent and uniform procedure. The sensors are linked to the control console to continuously monitor and adjust cooling throughout the CoolSculpting™ Procedure and provide continuous feedback to the physician. A paging system automatically alerts the physician of any device or patient issues that need attention and notifies him or her when the CoolSculpting™ Procedure is complete.
What are the results?
Clinical studies demonstrate that the CoolSculpting™ Procedure provides noticeable, measurable fat reduction in properly selected patients over the course of two to four months after the Procedure. Additional procedures may be administered two to four months after the initial procedure to achieve greater fat reduction.
How long do the results last?
Patients experiencing fat layer reduction show persistent results at least six months after the CoolSculpting™ Procedure. Longer term studies have not yet been completed. It is known that the exposure to cooling causes the fat cells to begin a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The fat cells in the treated area are gently eliminated through the body’s normal metabolism process, like fat from food. The elimination of fat cells as a result of the CoolSculpting™ Procedure is expected to last about as long as fat cells removed by invasive procedures such as liposuction.
How do the results compare with invasive procedures such as liposuction?
The results of the CoolSculpting™ Procedure are not as rapid or dramatic as invasive procedures such as liposuction. However, for patients who wish to avoid the pain, risk and recovery time associated with surgical procedures, the CoolSculpting™ Procedure may be the preferred option.
What are common effects after the Procedure?
The CoolSculpting™ Procedure is completely non-invasive, which allows immediate return to normal activities such as work or exercise. Redness may appear in the treated area, and may last from a few minutes to a few hours. Some localized bruising may occur, which clears within a few weeks. Many patients experience a temporary dulling of sensation in the treated area, lasting one to eight weeks.*
Which patients are the best candidates?
Ideal candidates for the CoolSculpting™ Procedure are relatively fit, but have some modest-size fat bulges that are not easily reduced through diet and exercise. They are seeking spot reduction for specific areas of fat, but are not considering a surgical procedure. The CoolSculpting™ Procedure is not intended for weight loss or obesity, and it is not a substitute for invasive methods such as liposuction.
How is the CoolSculpting™ Procedure different from other procedures?
The controlled cooling of the CoolSculpting™ Procedure targets and eliminates only fat cells. Other treatment modalities, such as lasers, radiofrequency and focused ultrasound, affect fat cells and may affect other adjacent tissue in a way that is not comparable to the CoolSculpting™ method of Cryolipolysis.
Is the CoolSculpting™ Procedure recommended for cellulite?
Well-controlled studies to determine whether the fat-reducing effects of the CoolSculpting™ Procedure will result in the improved appearance of cellulite have not been completed. ZELTIQ does not recommend the CoolSculpting™ Procedure using the current applicators for cellulite at this time.
In what countries is the CoolSculpting™ Procedure currently available?
The CoolSculpting™ Procedure for non-invasive fat layer reduction is available worldwide.
- Manstein D, Laubach H, Watanabe K, Farinelli W, Zurakowski D, Anderson R. Selective cryolysis: a novel method of non-invasive fat removal. Laser Surg Med. 2008,40:595-604.
- Manstein D, Laubach H, Watanabe K, Anderson R. A novel cryotherapy method of non-invasive, selective lipolysis. Abstract presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery; April 2-6, 2008; Orlando, Fla.
- Zelickson B, Egbert BM, Preciado J, Allison J, Springer K, Manstein D. Cryolipolysis for noninvasive fat cell destruction: initial results from a pig model. Poster presented at 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; November 6-9 2008; Orlando, Fla.
- Dover J, Burns J, Coleman S, et al. A prospective clinical study of noninvasive Cryolipolysis for subcutaneous fat layer reduction: interim report of available subject data. Prospective poster presented at 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; November 6-9, 2008; Orlando, Fla.
- Riopelle J, Tsai M, Kovach B. Lipid and liver function effects of the Cryolipolysis Procedure in a study of male love handle reduction. Abstract accepted for the 29th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery; April 1-5, 2009; Washington, D.C.
- Clinical data on file. ZELTIQ, Inc. Pleasanton, Calif.