Forget fad diets, cancel your gym membership, these days the easiest way to lose inches off your waist and hips is to have them frozen off in a revolutionary new treatment that is proving to be hugely popular. Known as CoolSculpting, the treatment is non-invasive and practitioners say that it can remove around 20 to 25 per cent of fat in targeted areas such as the stomach or buttocks.
First tested in the US, where obesity is a growing concern with over two thirds of the population classified as obese, thousands of Americans are now turning to this new treatment, known also as cryolipolysis, in an attempt to help them loose weight in notoriously difficult to shift fatty areas.
The sessions cost upwards of $750 and New York City-based dermatologist Dr Michele Green says she has noticed a surge in demand for the non-invasive procedure, especially at this time of year. In an interview with the MailOnline, she said: “CoolSculpting is an easy in-office procedure and freeze away that bulge in their stomach or love handles. It is especially popular after the holidays when we have all eaten too much.”
The way CoolSculpting works is that a frozen gel patch is clamped on to the targeted area and freezes fat cells beneath the skin. As would normally happen if skin cells would come into contact with sub-zero temperatures, the fat cells then die. They are then flushed away by the body over the next few months. The skin and muscle tissue is unaffected by the procedure because fat freezes at a higher temperature than other cells. Apparently the treatment is relatively painfree, apart from some mild discomfort from the sub zero temperature, and takes anything from one to several hours. The patients do not have to be anaesthetised and can carry on working or watch movies throughout the procedure.
And most surprisingly, according to the Daily Telegraph, the treatment is proving particularly popular with men, who typically do not have as many cosmetic procedures as women, and tend to shy away from certain ones such as liposuction. At Marina Plastic Surgery, which has clinics in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, they concur, as men make up 45 per cent of the CoolSculpting patients. With other procedures, just 13 per cent of patients are male. Men apparently like to have their love handle treated, according to plastic surgeon Dr Grant Stevens: “The other place is the tummy, and they also have their man boobs done. Women go for love handles, muffin tops, the thighs and arms.”
It appears that the procedure is pretty much a permanent one as Mitchell Levinson, Zeltiq’s founder, said that trial patients had been monitored for three years without the fat returning. And another plus point to mention is that you don’t typically need multiple sessions for the treatment to work. Ususally one or two are enough. A single treatment is usually enough for each love handle, but if you are sporting a larger beer belly or a set of bingo wings then you may need two treatments.
The treatment is best suited to those who need a little bit of fat removal, and is not a cure all for the obese. And it will not prevent fat from building up in another areas in the future.
Dr Stevens warns: “If you eat a lot you’ll gain weight in other places, so you need to keep going to the gym and watching your diet,” he added: “The procedure will not replace proper diet and exercise.” Dr Green agreed: “The ideal candidate is someone in good shape who simply has a bulge that they cannot reduce either through diet or exercise but they are physically fit,” she said.