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Cyrolipolysis: A new direction in lipo surgery.

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

When it comes to new liposuction research and applications – cryolipolysis is "hot" right off the presses.

This article is going to introduce you to this interesting and promising new technique answering you most basic questions about it.

And then we are going to get into the head of researchers at little bit and see where they hope to take this technology in the coming years...

So, without further ado...

What is cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis is a new, non-invasive treatment for pockets of unwanted fat – particularly around the abdominal, back and thigh regions of the body – using selective cool technology.

Temperatures just over the freezing point for water are applied to the body – no surgery required. Patients lie prone on a table with a cooling device centered over the treatment area.

Application times can range from 45 – 60 minutes per session.

During treatment the slow cooling process causes the lipids to crystallize inside the living fat cell. Fat cells can't withstand the stress, rupture and then die. And the body's natural "clean up" mechanism – namely phagocytosis – occurs progressively afterwards. It can take up to two months for patients to see final results from treatment.

So results are not immediate.

Remarkably enough surrounding tissues are not affected negatively in the long term.

Who is the ideal patient for the procedure?

Cryolipo works best for fairly athletic individuals – at their ideal body weight – who have pockets of excess fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. If you are someone who has love-handles that repeated abdominal crunches won't touch – then perhaps you might consider chill-killing your fat...

This procedure doesn't work well for overweight individuals.

Does it replace conventional liposuction surgery?

Cryolipolysis doesn't replace conventional liposuction surgery for a couple of reasons.

  1. Liposuction surgery is deliberate and specifically applied change. But the application of the chilling device for cryolipo falls on larger areas of the body in a less defined way. How each individual's body removes injured fat cells is also not controllable. Therefore doctors can never truly determine what contour your final result will assume.

    On the other hand, a qualified liposuction surgeon directs and applies surgical instrumentation in a very deliberate way. Thereby is able to sculpt and really create your final results.

  2. Results from cryolipo cannot be visualized immediately.

    Liposuction will remove the fat immediately from the treatment area. The cryo technique relies on the body's natural processes to remove fat cells over an extended period of time.

There is a real difference between the two procedures. You can think of cryolipolysis as "generalized" fat reduction. While liposuction surgery is more of a refined contouring and shaping process.

Who is best suited for this technique?

An individual in good physical condition who is within a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) is well suited for this procedure – particularly if they have extra fat around abdominal, back, waist and hip region of the body...

People looking for fine-tuning in delicate areas of the body (i.e. face, neck, upper arms, calves etc.) will be better served by a more targeted technique.

What are some of the risks involved?

To date there have been few long-term side-effects to cryolipolysis.

The following list of risks includes but is not limited to:

  1. Erythema (redness of the skin).
  2. Skin sensitivity.
  3. Some pain.
  4. Bruising.
  5. Temporary numbness at the treatment site.

Again, these are self-limiting and usually fade within 1 week after treatment.

In Conclusion:

The new lipo these days is definitely cryolipolysis. It's fresh, exciting, and seemingly easy...

However, it is important to understand that liposuction surgery is NOT replaced with this procedure. Many people may find that the specific results they were looking for cannot be achieved with the cryo technique alone.

But for those who are intimidated by surgery – AND who are willing to except a gentler, less specific fat reduction – cryolipo may be right for you. Whichever category of potential patient you find yourself in it is really important to choose a qualified professional to advise you.

As always best of luck.

This is a really helpful video..

Dr. Tanzi of Washington DC answers questions about cryolipolysis.

Article References:

  • Avram, M.M., and R.S. Harry. "Cryolipo. for subcutaneous fat layer reduction." Lasers Surg. Med. vol. 41.10 (Dec 2009): 703-708. PubMed (20 Jun 2011).

  • Zelickson, B. et al. "Cryo-lipo. for noninvasive fat cell destruction: initial results from a pig model." Dermatol. Surg. vol. 35.10 (Oct 2009): 1462-70. Epub (13 Jul 2009).

  • Klein, KB et al. "Non-invasive cryolipo. for subcutaneous fat reduction does not affect serum lipid levels or liver function test." Lasers Surg. Med. vol 41.10 (Dec 2009): 785-90. PubMed (May 2011).

  • Nelson, A.A., et al. "Cryolipolysis for reduction of excess adipose tissue." Semin. Cutan. Med. Surg. vol. 28.4 (Dec 2009): 244-9. PubMed (May 2011).

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