CoolSculpting works by taking advantage of the fact that fat cells are more sensitive to cold than the other cells around them. This basic scientific fact was first discovered in 1970 by doctors observing children who sucked on popsicles for hours, and ended up having first soreness, and later dimples, caused by loss of fat cells! Fast forward about 20 years, and Harvard scientists revisited this fact, and realized that they could turn this science into a system for aesthetic sculpting of fatty bulges. The key was to find the ‘sweet spot’ of time and temperature, which would kill some fat cells but not damage surrounding structures such as skin. They called the public company that makes the systems Zeltiq. The proof of the success of this concept and treatment: Zeltiq was bought out by Allergan in 2016 for whopping 2.5 billion! This was the largest sale of a single medical device company in history.


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Ultrasound energy (UltraShape). This type of treatment uses ultrasound energy to break down fat. It is the most time-intensive of the four types, taking approximately one hour per treatment session. Instead of hooking you up to a machine, a technician will move the device around manually. It uses a mechanical vibration to break down and destroy fat. This works on the abdomen and isn’t meant for other areas, Dr. Khetarpal says. There is no discomfort, she says.
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Fodor is more enthusiastic about the LipoSonix technology. "I am very optimistic," he says." I love the results," he says citing as much as a 7-centimeter reduction in waist circumference seen in clinical trials conducted in Mexico. This technology, which uses high-intensity ultrasound waves, beamed about an inch under the skin to break up fatty tissue, has been studied in both pig models and in 33 people in Mexico, he says. The company has applied for FDA status to begin preclinical studies in the U.S. and expects such trials to begin in 2007.
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