We’re in the midst of our usual sticky Atlanta summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put some unwanted fat in the deep freeze at Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery with a little CoolSculpting®.
You’ve probably heard of CoolSculpting®, the non-invasive procedure where fat cells are frozen and they die, slimming the contour in the treated area. Although much of our practice focuses on facial plastic surgery, Dr. Beaty likes to offer this revolutionary fat freezing option for his patients.
Would CoolSculpting work for me?
Pretty much everyone has pockets of fat that seem to be unassailable. No matter how much you exercise, and no matter how much you try and cut your calorie intake, these pockets remain. CoolSculpting® isn’t a weight loss procedure; it’s a fat removal procedure. And unless you run a marathon every week or two, you probably have a couple areas where you’d like to get rid of the fat, areas such as the waist, the love handles, the upper thighs, and even under the chin.
It started with popsicles
CoolSculpting® wasn’t the original intention when two scientists studied the effects of freezing on the cheek area. Two doctors at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Drs. Dieter Manstein and R. Rox Anderson, were doing a study that theorized children who ate lots of popsicles growing up developed dimples in their cheeks more than children who didn’t eat lots of popsicles. Dimples form in the cheeks where the muscle isn’t covered with much fat, so when the muscle contracts a dimple forms. The idea was that the cold in the popsicles somehow affected the fat cells in the cheeks. The doctors called this Popsicle Panniculitis.
Based on what they thought could be happening in the cheeks, the two doctors further theorized that the same process/result could happen elsewhere. So, they investigated selectively freezing fat cells in a process they called cryolipolysis. The end result of those studies was CoolSculpting®.
How it works
To achieve cryolipolysis, CoolSculpting® involves a three-step process. First, a cooling panel uses suction to pull the target area skin into solid contact with the cooling plates. Then the cooling is directed downward into the skin. The temperature is precisely equal to the freezing point of fat cells, while not freezing adjacent tissue cells that freeze at a higher temperature. Exposure to this freezing causes fat cell apoptosis (a natural, controlled cell death). The body sends cytokines and other inflammatory mediators to the area to gradually digest the dead fat cells in the weeks following the CoolSculpting® session. Lipids from the dead fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed and eliminated from the body, in the same manner that fat in food is eliminated. It takes anywhere from three to 12 weeks for the body to permanently remove the dead fat cells.
The result? A 20 to 23% decrease in fat cells in the treatment area over the months following your CoolSculpting session at Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery.