Zeltiq Cool Sculpting Gets FDA Approval
by Edie Pastis
Fat reduction and body contouring patients now have access to a unique, non-surgical treatment for reducing their dreaded "belly pooch" and "love handles". ZELTIQ™, a growing medical device company, received FDA approval in September of 2010 for its innovative CoolSculpting™ procedure. Unlike other currently existing liposuction and body contouring methods, Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting utilizes "cryolipolysis," aka "fat-freezing" technology to non-invasively target and reduce small fat deposits on the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks and elsewhere!
But how exactly does Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting work? And what are doctors and patients saying about CoolSculpting’s effectiveness and its safety where fat reduction is concerned?
How Does Zeltiq Work?
Zeltiq treatments were actually FDA cleared years ago, but for cooling and numbing patients’ skin prior to dermatologic treatments, not for fat reduction.
The secret behind CoolSculpting for fat reduction is its use of cryolipolysis. By applying near-freezing temperatures to unwanted fat areas, Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting will reportedly freeze fat cell lipids, causing a natural fat cell death and harmless reabsorption of the dead cell material. The CoolSculpting technique is truly one-of-a-kind compared with other current liposuction alternatives like Zerona, which uses thermal laser energy to achieve fat lipolysis.
During a typical CoolSculpting treatment, the patient and the Zeltiq provider will first pinpoint the treatment area. Then, the selected skin area will be placed between two "cooling panels" and firmly held in place, creating a slight tugging sensation. For the first few minutes, patients will feel intense cold on the treated areas but this usually dissipates quickly. A regular Zeltiq CoolSculpting session may last between 1-3 hours.
Who’s a Candidate for Zeltiq?
Zeltiq is not recommended for extremely obese patients or for those who desire substantial weight loss. The ideal Zeltiq CoolSculpting patient is within a healthy weight range, but can’t seem to get rid of small areas of stubborn fat. Zeltiq may be helpful for fat tissue that hasn’t been eliminated through consistent exercise and dieting.
Other than weight class specifications, there aren’t many disqualifying factors for Zeltiq; mostly because Zeltiq CoolSculpting is generally considered very safe and low-risk.
What Kind of Zeltiq Results Can I Expect?
CoolSculpting results can vary from patient to patient. According to the Zeltiq website, patients can experience a 20% reduction of their fat layer post treatments. For some patients, Zeltiq results may yield up to a 40% fat layer reduction!
Some Zeltiq CoolSculpting results may first be noticed at three weeks after treatment begins. The most impressive Zeltiq results may develop at roughly two months post initial Zeltiq treatment. CoolSculpting treatment information also states that the body should continue to rid itself of fat cells for up to four months after treatment begins!
The cost of Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure will vary based on individual provider fees and the number of CoolSculpting treatments patients get. On average, CoolSculpting can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000.
Keep in mind that most patients won’t experience results above the average, and that continuing to eat healthy and exercise in conjunction with CoolSculpting will enhance results even further.
Other Non-Surgical Body Contouring Solutions
Zeltiq and CoolSculpting have been getting lots of attention lately, however there are several other non-surgical body contouring procedures offered today as well.
Zerona: Zerona laser body contouring was also newly FDA approved in 2010. As opposed to freezing the fat, Zerona melts unwanted fat cells using laser energy. Due to its specific laser setting, Zerona technology can liquefy subdermal fat cells without burning the skin surface.
Endermologie: Often associated with cellulite treatment, Endermologie is a completely non-invasive body contouring procedure that utilizes mechanical tissue stimulation to massage and redistribute fat cells for a more uniform and toned body appearance.
VelaShape: VelaShape, formerly VelaSmooth, had become one of the top non-invasive body contouring treatments in recent years. With its combination of infrared light energy and radio frequencies, VelaShape works to break down fat cells while stimulating skin regeneration.
LipoDissolve: An injectable fat-removing treatment, LipoDissolve involves injecting a concentrated solution of proteins and amino acids into treatable areas and letting the solution’s compounds literally break down cellulite and/or excess fat cells.
Mesotherapy: Similar to LipoDissolve, Mesotherapy is an injectable fat removal treatment that is purported to reduce or remove stubborn excess fat cells.
B.E.A.M.: A form of muscle stimulation, B.E.A.M. essentially mimics the effects of real exercise by sending electrical signals to your brain to motivate muscle response. This form of recreated exercise can help patients build muscle and burn fat simultaneously.
Is Zeltiq Right for Me?
With so many body contouring choices available, it may be difficult to say if Zeltiq and CoolSculpting will prove to be the best treatment option for you. However, if you’re a man or woman in a healthy weight range, who has just a little pouch of stubborn fat to get rid of, Zeltiq may be just what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking to remove more significant amounts of unwanted fat, your doctor may advise liposuction surgery as the best means of achieving the desired results. In the long run, only you and your cosmetic specialist can decide which option is best for you.
By meeting with a qualified, licensed body contouring specialist for a consultation appointment, patients can get specific recommendations for body shaping treatments, as well as receive Zeltiq cost information and learn more about Zeltiq recovery and risks.
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