Plastic Surgery 101

Love handles may lighten from fat-freezing procedure

Q. My friend just told me he did coolsculpting. He told me that he did this to get rid of his love handles and that he did it with no anesthesia and that it worked. Is it possible to do that?

In a short answer yes , but let me explain.

Coolsculpting is a relatively new technique that allows fat to be frozen and then “melt” away. When subcutaneous fat is exposed to extreme cold it becomes inflamed, which allows the body to absorb the broken down cells safely with no perceptible rise in blood lipid levels.

It has been reported, in the original studies, that you can show an average of 25 percent fat reduction per treated area with one treatment. The treatment appears to be persistent with no rebound (recurring fat deposits) if a patient gains weight). Coolsculpting is the only cooling technology approved by the FDA for non-surgical, non-invasive long lasting fat reduction in the anterior abdomen and flanks.

As usual, there are other areas that are being “cooled’’ that are not FDA approved with positive results.

The procedure starts by determining if you are a candidate using the pinch test. Once your doctor determines that you are a good candidate you can proceed with Coolsculpting.

The procedure starts when tissue is drawn into the applicator with suctioning and then cooled rapidly to a level that doesn’t injure the skin (the skin is less sensitive to cooling). Most people feel very minimal discomfort that subsides within a few minutes.

The treatment time is approximately one hour per area. Patients may need multiple treatments to achieve their desired body contouring.

Depending on which protocol your doctor uses, you may be able to do them with in days or months of each other. After Coolsculpting there may be some discomfort and tenderness, which resolves after a few days. Patients may also feel numbness or tingling for a few weeks while bruising is uncommon. There is no down time with this procedure and reported satisfaction rates between 90 percent to 95 percent in well-selected patients.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsur

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