Liposuction has been the most prominent cosmetic procedure when it comes to removing unwanted body fat. Lately, alternatives such as the use of laser technology like Zerona has also gained some popularity for patients who wish to get rid of excess fatty tissues. These procedures involve the use of heat energy to melt away fat cells.
Using focused heat energy makes a lot of sense since people naturally lose weight by ‘burning’ fat and calories through exercise. But now, a new technology called zeltiq cryolipolysis is defying common logic. Instead of melting away fat, this new method actually freezes away fat.
What is zeltiq cryolipolysis?
The technology used for cryolipolysis has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for cooling the skin, and for use in certain procedures due to its anesthetic effect. The technique is limited to these uses in the United States. Elsewhere in Europe and in some parts of Canada, however, zeltiq technology is now being used for fat removal.
It was first developed by Dr. Rox Anderson and his team at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine. Dr. Anderson, a Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, has been doing research on photomedicine which is a study that incorporates the use of light energy in conventional medicine.
In the US, zeltiq is being clinically tested as a fat removal method before its commercial release. Internationally, cryolipolysis technology has gained the CE Mark of approval, guaranteeing the public that the product is up to par with EU consumer standards.
How freezing fat works
A significant change in body temperature actually causes the cells to react a certain way. This medical fact is what cryolipolysis technology operates on. Applying a cooling device to the skin causes body temperature to drop. And lowered body temperature triggers a metabolic process called ‘apoptosis’.
Apoptosis is a natural mechanism of the human body wherein cells are actually meant to self-terminate (scientifically referred to as programmed cell death, or PCD). Cells need to die so that new cells can be generated. This is the process by which the body continues to grow and heal itself. An average person usually loses 50 to 70 billion cells every day.
The idea of destroying cells (fatty cells and tissues in particular) is nothing new when it comes to cosmetic fat removal. Conventional liposuction involves the break down of fatty cells so that it can be extracted from the patients body. What is disadvantageous of such a fat removal procedure is that destroying large amounts of cells at a time can be harmful to the patient’s health.
But since zeltiq cryolipolysis triggers a natural and gradual process that terminates cells, one can say that it is indeed a safer and more organic method.
Another advantage of using the zeltiq method is that it requires no anesthsia, and it involves no recovery time at all. On average, a session could cost around $2,000 to $3,000.