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Fat freezing (cryolipolysis)
CAPE TOWN/SIMON’S TOWN & SWELLENDAM
What is cryolipolysis (fat freezing)?
Cryolipolysis (fat freezing) also known as a coolsculpting or cryotechnology is a FDA approved non-invasive procedure alternative to liposuction aiming at reduction of stubborn fat deposits resistant to diet and exercise. Cryolipolysis uses a device which freezes and destroys fat under the skin while the surrounding tissue remains intact. The common areas of treatment are abdomen, thighs, love handlers, back, knees as well as arms. Cryolipolysis has a very high patient satisfaction, with pleasing results in up to 90% of patients.
How does cryolipolysis (fat freezing) work?
During the fat freezing procedure a cooling handle is applied to the area to be treated. The device creates a vacuum which “sucks in” the skin with the underlying fat tissue. These tissues are isolated for the period of the procedure. Thanks to the vacuum effect the blood flow is decreased while the treated area gets a controlled cooling effect.
The cold penetrates about 2 cm below the skin surface. The untreated tissues remain untouched. The freezing cold temperature triggers apoptosis (natural death) of the fat cells. Their remnants are gradually removed through metabolic processes. The temperature used during the fat freezing procedure varies for each patient and depends on the fat percentage of the individual. Usually temperatures are between -4 to -8 Celsius degrees.
Is fat freezing a painful procedure?
The fat freezing procedure is usually described by patients as relatively pain-free. A certain degree of discomfort, pressure, suction and cooling sensations are experienced during the treatment. Mild pain may occur during the first 10 minutes of the procedure.
How long is the procedure?
The procedure takes about 60 minutes, during that time the patient can read or just relax.
What are the results after cryolipolysis (fat freezing)?
One can achieve up to 25 percent fat reduction in the treated area. Already after one treatment results are visible but often more than one treatment is needed to achieve the optimum outcome. The results after cryolipolysis (fat freezing) are individual and vary from person to person.
Are the results permanent?
Yes, the frozen fat is destroyed permanently, but one needs to control the body weight otherwise remaining fat tissue will increase in size and erase the achieved outcome.
How soon after cryolipolysis (fat freezing) are the results seen?
The results are not seen straight after the treatment; usually it takes 8-12 weeks for the improvement to be clearly apparent.
How many treatments are needed to achieve optimum results?
Depending on the thickness of the treated fat up to 3 treatments might be needed.
How often one can repeat the treatment of cryolipolysis (fat freezing)?
Treatments can be repeated every 6 weeks.
Will cryolipolysis (fat freezing) help to lose weight?
No. Fat freezing is not a procedure for weight loss. Obese people are not good candidates. Cryolipolysis targets isolated, resistant fat deposits in some body areas. It is not designed to shed kilograms. One will fit clothes better and might even drop one or two sizes in clothing; the body will look more shaped and proportional.
How safe is cryolipolysis (fat freezing)?
Cryolipolysis is considered to be a safe procedure with very low health risks. No effects on lipids (fats) or liver markers levels in the bloodstream were observed after the treatment.
Possible side effects:
- temporary redness (erythema) of the treated area lasting anything from minutes to few hours
- localized bruising of the treated area
- paraesthesia (sensations of “pins and needles”, numbness) may occur in the treated area and lasts up to 8 weeks
- pain during the procedure, usually mild and mostly during the first 10 minutes
- mild pain and swelling after the procedure, lasting up to 10 days
There is no-downtime and one can continue with regular activities straight away.
What are the benefits of fat freezing (cryolipolysis)?
- Non-invasive procedure
- Significant and permanent reduction of fat deposits
- No anaesthesia needed
- No scars on the skin
- No downtime
- Minimal side effects
- Only a mild pain during the procedure
What are the contraindications for fat freezing (cryolipolysis)?
- Cold induced urticaria
- Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria
- Severe varicose veins
How to prepare for fat freezing procedure?
Although the procedure will work without a special diet and/or exercise it is a good idea to start a healthy life style (moderate exercises and healthy diet) already before the treatment. A week prior to the procedure it is recommended to drink about 8 cups of water daily and to avoid alcoholic drinks. Good hydration will help the body to process the metabolic reactions which occur after the treatment as well as will aid the body in elimination of the degradation products of freezing. It is also recommended to stop tanning as this will make the skin more sensitive to the treatment. Patients who follow these recommendations will achieve best results.
Can fat freezing be combined with other procedures?
Yes. There is a synergistic effect of combined cryolipolysis treatment with ultrasound cavitation and radiofrequency procedures. This combination leads to programmed death and resorption of the damaged fat cells as well as to an improvement of the appearance of cellulite.
Ultrasound cavitation is a non-invasive and pain free fat reduction procedure using low frequency ultra-sonic waves. This used alone can decrease the body contour up to 1.5 cm already after one session. It is one of the most effective treatments for cellulite (orange-peel skin) reduction.
Radiofrequency is a technology used for nonsurgical body contouring and especially very effective in tightening the skin.
The combination of fat freezing with ultrasonic cavitation and radiofrequency offers the most comprehensive technology which is available for the treatment of localized fat, cellulite and skin laxity of the body.