People dissatisfied with their appearance have long tried to eliminate unwanted fat for aesthetic reasons, doing everything from strict exercise and diet regimens to fat removal via liposuction. CoolSculpting® is a more recent fat-reduction method to appear on the scene, but it’s quickly become a popular choice for people looking to eliminate some stubborn fat deposits that dieting won’t touch, while avoiding the invasive nature of surgical options.
In mid-November, CoolSculpting’s parent company, ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., announced that it had been ranked at the top of a list of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and clean technology companies in North America.
The list, known as Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, has been ranking companies for more than 20 years in a variety of categories. ZELTIQ was the sector leader for medical devices, showing a 6,934 percent increase in revenue growth from 2009 to 2013. (The average growth of all companies on the list was 1,640 percent.)
CoolSculpting® was ZELTIQ’s first commercial product. The company began in 2005, and its initial technology has been the subject of more than 30 published articles and 120 podium presentations. The accolades and recognition it’s received since its FDA approval for fat removal in 2010 go to show how prevalent the procedure has become.
Part of its popularity is due to the fact that it’s not a surgical operation, so downtime and recuperation are minimal. While liposuction involves the physical insertion of a tube to vacuum out fatty tissue, CoolSculpting® doesn’t even break the skin in any way. A doctor will move a device over the area to be treated, selectively freezing only the fat cells beneath in a process known as cryolipolysis. This precision targeting ensures that only fat cells are impacted and killed by the procedure.
In the days and weeks following a CoolSculpting® session, the effected fat cells will be naturally processed by the body and permanently eliminated. This is a key difference from weight loss, since diet and exercise reduce the size of large fat cells, while CoolSculpting® actually reduces the number of fat cells in the body.
The overall fat-elimination process may take some time, so patients who opt for the freezing method are choosing its ease and convenience over the instant benefits of liposuction. Results from CoolSculpting® may be visible as soon as three weeks, but the biggest difference in appearance will come after about two months. The body will continue processing and eliminating dead fat cells for up to half a year after the procedure. This is known as apoptosis.
CoolSculpting® does have something in common with liposuction: Both are recommended as shaping procedures, not a means of losing weight. Fat removal by suction or freezing is not a solution to obesity, but works to refine problem areas that aren’t responding to weight-loss attempts.
The FDA has approved this procedure for use on love handles (technically referred to as the “flank”), as well as bulging fat deposits on the abdomen and thighs. Its impact on those areas alone has made CoolSculpting® such a popular choice, it’s been performed more than a million times around the world.
Mark Foley, president and chief executive officer of ZELTIQ, reported that 150,000 patients will experience CoolSculpting® for themselves this year alone. He attributed the company’s chart-topping success directly to the fat-freezing technology, calling non-invasive body contouring “the fastest-growing segment in aesthetics.”
Dr. Pramit Malhotra offers CoolSculpting® at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery in Michigan, where he recommends it as a safe alternative for eliminating fat—though he notes that it’s not an option for reducing the appearance of fat on or around the face or neck.
The ideal candidate for a CoolSculpting® procedure is one who understands that it’s for contouring, not for getting rid of large amounts of fat. Patients should be healthy—both physically and mentally—with a good grasp of what aesthetic results they’re hoping to achieve with the procedure.
If the current status of CoolSculpting® is any indication, the procedure will continue to grow in popularity around the world with people who know exactly what they’re looking for and exactly what they’re going to get when they come in for a session.
Learn more about CoolSculpting® from Dr. Malhotra by calling (734) 913-5100, or visit his website and set up a consultation to explore all of the aesthetic options available.