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Freezing the Fat Away: Study Suggests Cryolipolysis is Safe and Effective

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
August 5, 2013

More than 500 patients treated with CoolSculpting were recently studied in the largest, most comprehensive review of cryolipolysis to date.

Plastic surgeons led by Grant Stevens, M.D., of Marina Del Rey, Calif., found that cryolipolysis was highly effective at reducing subcutaneous fat volume and was associated with few adverse events. Only three cases of mild or moderate pain/neuralgia were noted, all of which rapidly resolved. They also found that the popularity of the procedure grew dramatically over the study period from January 2010 to December 2012, with 823% more treatment cycles delivered in 2012 than in 2010. The complete findings appeared in the August 2013 issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

"Our review showed that cryolipolysis is not only safe and effective for nonsurgical, localized fat removal, but also provides high patient satisfaction levels," Dr. Stevens said. "With careful treatment planning, proper applicator placement and multiple treatment cycles, cryolipolysis can produce results comparable to those of liposuction."

Of the 528 patients who participated in the study, 76% were women and 24% were men. Over the course of the study period, the male patient population grew in response to targeted advertising, ultimately comprising 42% of the patient population in the last quarter of the study. The mean patient age was 46 years (with a range of 18-79 years) and a similar age distribution was seen among men and women.

The primary treatments sites were the lower abdomen, upper abdomen, flanks, inner thigh, back and outer thigh. Two-thirds of patients were new to the practice and presented specifically for CoolSculpting (manufactured by Zeltiq). 62% had not previously undergone any type of cosmetic procedure. 40% of the new patients became established patients, later undergoing additional procedures such as cosmetic surgery, injectable treatment, skin care, laser hair removal and skin resurfacing.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 313,011 liposuction procedures were performed last year. Liposuction was the top cosmetic surgery procedure for men in 2012.

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