Zeltiq Aesthetics, a medical device company based in Massachusetts, is developing a non-invasive fat-reduction technique called Cryolipolysis™. This patented procedure, now being marketed as Coolsculpting, takes a unique approach to lipolysis (the breakdown of fat): It destroys the targeted fat cells by freezing them—a process that apparently leaves surrounding skin and other tissue unharmed. The science behind this unique concept originated at Harvard by Drs. Dieter Manstein and Rox Anderson, pioneers in the field of medical device development.
Although results from animal studies have been encouraging, the technique is not yet FDA approved. Clinical trials are now underway.
Cryolipolysis appears to be most effective on thick areas of body fat.
The Coolsculpting Procedure
After being given a local anesthesia, a small metal plate is placed on the skin and then quickly cooled. In animal studies, fat cells began to shrink when the plate reached a temperature of about minus 1° C (33° F) and after it had been on the skin for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.