A non-invasive option for fat removal is gaining in popularity. It's called CoolSculpting, or cryolipolisis. "Never before do I remember a process that can make the contouring process as easy as cryolipolisis does," says board-certified plastic surgeon Louis P. Bucky, who recently added the fat-freezing device to his Philadelphia practice. ThePlasticSurgeryChannel.com
Body-contouring devices help men and women lose bulges of fat that resist diet and exercise, plastic surgeon Grant Stevens says. About 43% of Stevens' body-contouring patients are men who want to get rid of fat in the chest or waist, and a recent study found many body-contouring patients return to their plastic surgeon for other cosmetic procedures. Different devices use ultrasound, radio frequency, extreme cold or heat, or laser light to diminish fat.
Sonterra Laser Med Spa in San Antonio is promoting its new fat-freeze treatment, the Cool Sculpting technique, which chills fat cells so they disappear, without the downtime or risk of surgery. Sonterra charges between $600 and $1,500 for the procedure.
Undergoing low-level laser therapy six times in two weeks helped participants with voluminous fat deposits in the waist, hips and thighs attain a circumferential mean reduction of 3.27 inches one week after the treatment, researchers reported in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.
Devices from Erchonia Medical and Zeltiq Aesthetics, which rely on lasers and controlled cooling respectively, might allow doctors to attack fatty trouble spots without the need of more invasive procedures such as liposuction. Both companies have submitted data to the FDA, but neither system has received approval for use in fat reduction. However, doctors are permitted to use devices for off-label uses, and in the case of these, many already have begun using them for such procedures. A plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, who hasn't used either device, said after reviewing Erchonia's clinical study, he has concerns with the methodology.