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.
Fat-dissolving and skin-tightening procedures for body contouring that are less invasive can seem oh-so-appealing when weighed against other options, such as liposuction. Some of the latest innovations include mesotherapy (lipodissolve), which involves the injection of various cocktails into the skin to dissolve fat, Thermage (also known as Thermacool or Thermalift), which uses radiofrequency to tighten facial skin for a "nonsurgical" face-lift, and LipoSonix, which uses high-intensity ultrasound to target and destroy fat cells.
The AccuSculpt procedure starts with a physician consultation to outline the areas of concern and discuss expected results. After a small amount of local anesthesia numbs the treatment areas, your physician will make very small incisions at the edge of each treatment area. He or she will then treat the areas with the AccuSculpt laser contouring system to liquefy controlled amounts of fat. Once all treatment areas have been addressed and the fat has been removed, the entry incisions are closed with a small suture.
Every person’s body shape and structure is different. Hence, the treatment also varies from patient to patient. The number of sessions a patient as to undergo depends on several factors but the end goal always remain in achieving the desired body shape and tone for you. For instance, if you’re looking to remove just one pocket of fat, then one session of non-invasive treatment should be sufficient to take care of your needs. One session has been shown to reduce 20-25% of fat. On the contrary, if you have multiple pockets of fat that needs to be removed, it might take three to five treatment sessions administered over a six week long period.
ASAPS formed an ad hoc committee to further investigate the pros and cons of mesotherapy, he says. "We don't know whether it works or not because it is used by a lot of people who inject all kinds of chemicals into the skin," Fodor explains. "Our committee looked at the literature and we found no uniformity to what is being used, how much is being injected, and where it is being injected, so we could not draw any conclusions," he says. That's why ASAPS is conducting a clinical trial at five centers to definitively answer questions about mesotherapy. "We will do some studies with an exact and rigid protocol so we can compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges," he says.