Cryolypolysis: removing fat cells by cooling

Cryolipolysis: Fat reduction really gets under the skin.

Cryolipolysis, literally “fat destruction by cooling” is a recent, painless and non-invasive subcutaneous fat reduction technique. Often billed as a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction, the procedure aims at removing fat deposits that neither exercise nor diet can achieve. The technology operates by applying low temperatures to adipose tissue via thermal conduction thus cooling a selected fat zone to -7°C and provoking apoptosis, i.e. slow death of the fat cells, without damaging surrounding tissue.

Based on the Peltier effect: a hollow vacuum applicator is applied to the skin and then cooled to the desired temperature by a small heat exchanger. Maximal inflammation occurs over a two week period that gradually, over the course of several months, results in a reduction of the fatty tissue layer.

Less invasive than methods like liposuction, it reduces trauma and eliminates the risk of harming adjacent tissues in contrast to focused ultrasounds and laser lipolysis. However with the small number of patients treated, clinical data remain scarce, long term effects and results are still unknown.

Revue Pratique du Froid, June 16, 2013