Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive procedure to reduce fat tissue. Cryolipolysis was first used in 2009 as part of a clinical trial conducted by Zeltiq Aesthetics.
Cryolipolysis can be used to treat the following fat deposits: Abdomen, lateral chest and back (bra fat rolls), hips, thighs, riding breeches, neck (double chin), buttocks and upper arms.
In cryolipolysis, a circumscribed area of the body is exposed to a temperature of four to ten degrees Celsius. The treated body part is aspirated with a negative pressure of twenty to twenty-eight millimeters of mercury. The treatment lasts from thirty to sixty minutes. There are no restrictions after the treatment. You can then go about your usual daily activities.
Cryolipolysis results in a progressive reduction of fat tissue over three months. After six weeks, the result can be seen. Fat cells are very sensitive to cold. Cryolipolysis causes permanent, specific damage to fat cells. The lower the temperature and the longer the cells are exposed to cold, the faster the fat cells die. White blood cells and phagocytes take care of the breakdown of the dead cells.
This inflammatory reaction begins after two to fourteen days and lasts for four months. Cryolipolysis is considered a safe procedure. Cryolipolysis must not be performed in case of cold allergy (cryoglobulinemia, cold urticaria), a rare hereditary disease of the hematopoietic stem cells (paroxysmal hemoglobinuria) or local skin lesions.
There are many different devices offered for cryolipolysis: Coolsculptin® Company Zeltiq Aesthetics (Pleasanton, CA, USA), KryoShape® Company Medical Shape GmbH (Basel, Switzerland), CryoSlim® (BFP Electronique, Montrodat, France), Coolsculptin® has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Cryolipolysis is generally very well tolerated. A temporary feeling of numbness and redness of the treated skin areas must be expected. Mild side effects such as increased sensitivity of the treated areas occur occasionally. Contradictory adipose tissue cell proliferation (in English “paradoxical adipose hyperplasia”, PAH) is a rare side effect (0.025% or one in four thousand cases). In these cases, there is a localized increase in fatty tissue in the treated areas three to six months after treatment. The negative pressure during cryolipolysis probably triggers growth of fat tissue in certain patients. Cryolipolysis is contraindicated in people with cold-sensitive conditions such as Raynaud’s syndrome or a disease related to cryoglobulinemia. The literature also mentions some other diseases with a positive rheumatoid factor (Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C).