The Cooltech fat cooling procedure is a non-invasive way to gently and effectively reduce the fatty content of targeted stubborn areas of your body such as the stomach, love-handles and back resulting in an enhancement in the treated areas. Being totally non-invasive, this means there are no needles, scalpels or incisions required. Furthermore there is no need for anaesthesia or pain medications and effectively there is no down or recovery time.
The principle behind this device is called Cryolipolysis. This literally means breakdown or destruction of fat (lipolysis) through the application of cooling (cryo). It uses controlled cold exposure, to produce non-invasive, effective, and selective damage to fat cells.The whole concept is based on the premise that there is a difference in fat’s susceptibility to the cold as compared to the skin. It has been proven that fat freezes at a higher temperature than the rest of the skin does. Therefore at a certain temperature you can freeze the fat, but not harm the skin.
The science behind cryolipolysis is not new. In fact it was inspired by the observation that children who habitually sucked on popsicles developed cheek dimples, presumably as a result of loss of fatty tissue from their cheeks. This condition was coined “popsicle panniculitis”, and it was here that it was noted that this was due to a localised inflammatory process that was taking place within the fat cells as a result of the cooling effect of the popsicle. This ultimately leads to the localised destruction of the fat in the cheek, and the cause of the dimple.
Although we do not understand completely all the steps that lead to fat destruction as a result of cooling, we do know that the exposure to cooling causes a localised inflammatory response in the fat cells (called Panniculitis) within the treated area, which in turn will damage the fat cells by rupturing them, thereby releasing their contents (fat by-products). These contents are then naturally flushed away from your body, via its own mechanisms, in the ensuing two months. This of course ultimately leads to a gradual reduction of the thickness of the fat layer which in turn reduces the visible bulges within two to four months. There is also no evidence that the procedure has any adverse effects on levels of liver enzymes or blood fats (such as cholesterol). Moreover, as the number of fat cells in our body is fixed after our birth, new fat cells will not be reproduced and therefore there is no chance of these fat cells returning. However you must understand that existing fat cells left behind can compensate and increase in size if your diet needs are excessive and therefore eat more calories than you burn! So a sensible lifestyle, which includes exercise and a healthy diet, is mandatory after any such treatment if you want to maintain the effects.
Cryolipolysis has been proven to be a safe technique in a number of peer reviewed clinical studies. As the treated region is carefully monitored to ensure precise temperature control throughout, a very controlled environment is created. Extensive testing has shown that the cooling only damages the fat cells. Other tissues, such as the skin tissues are not harmed in any long lasting way. The dead fat cells and their contents are swept away and discarded by the body’s normal metabolic processes.
The Cooltech procedure is primarily meant for stubborn pockets of fat situated on the abdomen, love handles and back rolls. This is because the current design characteristics of the device allow it to comfortably deal mainly with fatty bulges predominately in these regions. Although other areas may be treated, such as i.e. the back of the arms, this will be determined by the amount of fat and its suitability with respect to how it conforms to the Cooltech device cup characteristics.
The Cooltech is a non surgical procedure to reduce fat through the use of cooling. The only other device that uses a similar technology is the Zeltiq Coolsculpting.In comparison, the different forms of Lipoplasty procedures (i.e. Liposuction, Power assisted Lipo, Vaser, Smart Lipo, Body jet) are surgical procedures that require different degrees of invasiveness to suction, destroy and extract fat cells. Any form of Lipoplasty does carry with it possible surgical risks and will be associated with its respective down time in terms of healing.
During the procedure your practitioner will identify the fatty area to be treated and cover it with a cool gel pad in order to protect the skin. A large cup like applicator will then be applied over the area to be treated. A vacuum is then applied through this cup applicator, which ultimately sucks in the roll of fat that will be treated. You will thus feel a firm pulling sensation during this action, pretty similarly to the application of a vacuum seal and may also feel mild cold in the treated area.In the first ten minutes the temperature within the cup will then gradually be lowered until it gets to a predetermined temperature of about -7 or -8 degrees Celsius, thereby slowly freezing the fat cells within the roll of fat. The cup applicator will remain in contact, via the suction process, with the treated roll of fat for 1 hour. During the treatment, you can relax, listen to some music, read, use a computer, or watch a movie while the device gently cools your treatment area.
The Cooltech procedure is comfortable for most patients. Although in the first 10 minutes a few patients will describe the initial cooling and suction as mild to moderately uncomfortable, the majority find it quite tolerable. No anaesthesia or pain relief is therefore needed and typically patients are comfortable enough to read, work on their laptop computers, listen to music, or just relax during the procedure.
Each area that is treated with any single cup applicator will require 60 minutes of cooling. The Cooltech has two cup applicators and therefore two areas (i.e. both love handles) can be treated simultaneously provided the areas are suitable. During your initial consultation, we will discuss how long your procedure will take and how much time you should allow for your visit.
After 60 minutes of cooling in any given area, the cup applicator is removed. You will probably experience a slight burning sensation to the region as the temperature in that area returns to normal. Once the applicator is removed you will notice that the area is somewhat deformed and possibly bruised, which of course is the expected consequence of just having your treated area of fat squeezed and stuck in a vacuumed cup for an hour! Your practitioner will then massage this back flat and into a more normal appearance. Any redness will settle in the ensuing few minutes to hours afterwards. Any localized bruising, if it occurs, usually clears within a few weeks. Many patients usually experience a temporary dulling of sensation or numbness in the treated area lasting one to eight weeks.
As there are no scalpels, needles, anaesthetics or sedation used, there is no recovery time and therefore patients can drive themselves home on the day of the procedure. There is no ‘down time’ associated with the procedure. Patients can return to work immediately and resume their exercise routines immediately after the treatment. No compression or surgical garment is needed after the procedure. Neither are there any restrictions or limitations imposed following the treatment.
Cooling of fat to reduce fatty volume has been proved to be a safe procedure. It is not associated with any long term complications. It is not invasive, and unlike i.e. liposuction, cannot remove more than 20 to 25% of the fat from any given area after one treatment Therefore over removal or emptying of a given area does not occur. There is always enough fat still present to buffer and smoothen the outer edges of a treated area- this is therefore unlike liposuction, that if not feathered enough, can leave a depression. Some people however may need adjacent areas treated, as fat cooling is designed for specific areas and not whole body contour reduction.
In the appropriately selected patient, after a single treatment of fat cooling, studies have shown there is usually approximately a 20% reduction in the volume of the treated area. After the initial treatment, you can attain further reductions with an additional treatment session. Many patients however find that one treatment fully addresses their goals. We will of course discuss this with you and design a plan that suits you best.
Due to the fact that the inflammatory process, introduced by the cooling to the fat cells, is not immediate it will take between 2-3 months to see the full effect of the fat reduction. However, from about 4 weeks you will start to see a noticeable improvement which will only be fully completed after 3 months.
With each treatment session you typically see about a 20% reduction in the treated area. Whether this is enough to satisfy any individual will largely be determined by that individual’s size and fatty bulge. If the area of excess fat is relatively small and the individual is thin then only one treatment may only be needed. However in someone with a larger amount of fat, 2 or even 3 treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired result. To some extent therefore, the amount of fat reduction needed overall, will determine the number of treatments necessary. Although one accepted protocol is to repeat the treatment at about two month intervals, many patients are happy to have another session at about 6 weeks, while others repeat it at four or more months, depending on their results. A follow-up visit will be scheduled a few weeks after your procedure to assess your cosmetic improvement and consider additional sessions to achieve further fat reduction.
In medicine there is no such thing as a guarantee. In fact there is no treatment in any corner of medicine that is guaranteed to work on absolutely everyone. This is because we are all different and our bodies and constitutions are of course also different. Indeed our fatty compositions can differ with some patients having a higher proportion of more “grisly” or fibrous fat than others. This could affect how the fat responds to cooling. Unfortunately it is not possible to know ones composition of fat without actually sampling this by way of a more invasive procedure such as a biopsy. As a result there will always be a small proportion of people who may not respond to fat cooling as anticipated. This is probably of the magnitude of about 1 or 2 in 10 people.
The results of fat cooling are not as rapid or dramatic as invasive procedures such as lipoplasty/suction.Of course like any surgical procedure there are possible risks and side effects associated with these. Furthermore there is inevitably also more down time and recovery with the surgical procedures.Therefore, if you feel you do not want to expose yourself to the possible side effects, risks and recovery with the more invasive surgical procedures, and at the same time are prepared to accept a less spectacular or dramatic result, then fat reduction through cooling with the Cooltech device may be the preferred option for you.
This treatment is suitable for patients from above 18 years of age. With respect to an upper age limit however this will depend. Just as the 30 year old abdomen comes in many shapes and sizes, so does it with someone who is 60 or 65 years of age. There are many elder individuals with great skin tone and muscle who can be good candidates for this treatment. Therefore, a proper assessment is required to examine every individual’s skin characteristics and fatty content irrespective of their age. Cooling of the fat will not affect the skin or muscle and therefore good results may also be seen in the appropriate candidate who is over 60 or 65 years of age.
Provided you maintain the same weight and eating habits, you should not regain the lost fat layer. However if you increase your caloric intake after the procedure, your remaining fat cells will enlarge and you may notice OL-TECH cryolipolysis.