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What is Cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive treatment that destroys fat cells. The procedure—a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction—removes certain areas of body fat immediately under the skin to reshape body contours. Cryoliopolysis chills fat cells to eliminate fat while leaving the overlying skin undamaged.

What is it commonly used for?

Treatment of excessive fat of the abdomen, back of the legs, and flanks, as well as excessive enlargement of male breasts.

How does it work?

Based on the premise that fat cells are more easily damaged by cooling than skin cells, cryolipolysis was developed to apply low temperatures to tissue via thermal conduction. Fatty tissue that is cooled below body temperature but above freezing undergoes localized cell death followed by a local inflammatory response that gradually, over the course of several months, results in a reduction of the fatty tissue layer.

Specifically, one part of the device is a cup-shaped applicator with two cooling panels that is applied to the treatment area. The tissue is drawn into the hand piece under moderate vacuum and the selected temperature is modulated by thermoelectric elements and controlled by sensors that monitor the heat flux out of the tissue. Each area is treated for approximately 45 minutes and should be massaged for two minutes upon completion to improve the clinical outcome. The patient is then discharged home and is free to resume normal activities immediately after treatment.

The number of treatment cycles needed depends on the treatment area. While good results at the flanks can usually be achieved with only one treatment, the back and the inner and outer thighs often require more than two treatments. Repeated treatment sessions should be spaced eight weeks apart to allow the inflammatory process to resolve.

What are the benefits of Cryolipolysis?

  • Non-invasive fat reduction
  • Targets stubborn areas of fat
  • Little to no downtime
  • Fast treatment time (Generally between 45 to 60 minutes per site)

Updated March 3, 2016

Cryolipolysis for the Treatment of Male Pseudogynecomastia
Girish S. Munavalli, MD, MHS talks about cryolipolysis for the treatment of male pseudogynecomastia (breast enlargement).

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