Cold treatments (CoolSculpting).These employ temperatures cold enough to kill fat cells but not damage your skin. A device pulls portions of skin in by suction, then cools it to destroy the fat underneath for a set amount of time. You can use this procedure on many body parts including the chin, arms, abdomen, love handles and thighs. It’s safe for most patients. However, those who have a vascular condition that makes them extra sensitive to cold temperatures (Raynaud’s syndrome, for instance) should not use this treatment.
"Be aware that we live in a very competitive environment whereby youth is king and people are looking for less-invasive procedures, and these procedures are now for the first time being directly marketed by the manufacturer in consumer magazines," points out session moderator Franklin L. DiSpaltro, MD, a plastic surgeon in West Orange, N.J., and a past president of ASAPS.
SOURCES: American Society of Plastic Surgeons web site. Frances Kuffel, author, Passing For Thin. J. Peter Rubin, MD, director, Life After Weight Loss Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Stephen Colon, MD, chief, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey; Nolan Karp, MD, associate professor of plastic surgery, NYU School of Medicine, New York. WebMD Medical News: "Body Contouring OK after Big Weight Loss." Plastic Surgery Statistics, American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Here’s another way to look at it: Our fat calls are basically our microscopic safe-deposit boxes where we store fat, which is the body’s reserve source of fuel and energy. Remember, we have evolved over many thousands of years to survive prolonged periods of starvation. So our bodies are brilliantly programmed to convert any excess calories we eat into fat, and store it in our fat cells. Unlike the safe-deposit boxes you find at the bank, which are made of steel, fat cells are amazingly flexible. They grow bigger and bigger when excess fat is deposited into them, such as after a rich meal. And they shrink down to near-nothingness when we aren’t eating enough calories and so we make ‘withdrawals’ of fat to help feed the body.