What cryolipolysis can do for you. Patients who wish to reduce a localized fat bulge that has persisted despite diet and exercise may be interested in cryolipolysis.
What does cryolipolysis do? The goal of cryolipolysis is to reduce the volume of fat in a fatty bulge. Some patients may opt to have more than one area treated or to retreat an area more than once.
Cryolipolysis procedure. After an assessment of the dimensions and shape of the fatty bulge to be treated, an applicator of the appropriate size and curvature is chosen. The area of concern is marked to identify the site for applicator placement. A gel pad is placed to protect the skin. During the 45 minute procedure, the applicator is applied with the bulge being vacuumed into the hollow of the applicator. The temperature inside the applicator drops, and as it does so, the area numbs. Patients sometimes experience discomfort from the vacuums pull on their tissue, but this resolves within minutes, once the area is numb. Patients typically watch TV, use their smart phone or read during the procedure. After the hour-long treatment, the vacuum turns off, the applicator is removed and the area is massaged, which may improve the final results.
Does cryolipolysis require anesthesia? This procedure is done without anesthesia.
Who is not a candidate for cryolipolysis? Patients with cold-related conditions, like cryoglobulinemia, cold urticaris and paroxysmal cold hemoglobulinuria should not have cryolipolysis.
What are the risks of cryolipolysis? The complication rate is low and the satisfaction rate is high. There is a risk of surface irregularities and asymmetry. Patients may not get the result they'd hoped for. Rarely, in less than 1 percent, patients may have paradoxical fat hyperplasia, which is an unexpected increase in the number of fat cells. This is three times more likely in men than in women and is seen more in those of Hispanic or Latino descent.
Recovering from cryolipolysis. There are no activity restrictions. Patients sometimes feel sore, as if they had worked out. Rarely do patients experience pain.
What are the results of cryolipolysis? The injured fat cells are gradually eliminated by the body over 2 to 6 months. During that time the fatty bulge decreases in size, with an average fat reduction of about 20 percent.