Coolsculpting is a noninvasive technique to permanently reduce unwanted fat. It was FDA approved in 2009 for treatment of the flanks. It has subsequently been FDA approved for abdominal fat and, as of April, 2014, has the indication for treating thighs.
Up until this point, all the handpieces required a suction to adhere to the area that was going to be treated. There needed to be a roll of fat that could be “grabbed” by the suction or the area couldn’t be treated. The development of the newest handpiece, the Coolsmooth, allowed for areas to be treated without the use of the suction, such as the thigh area. It also enabled the person with smaller amounts of fat or tighter skin to be treated. At the present time, each application of the Coolsmooth handpiece requires 2 hours but this will most likely be reduced to 1 hour in the future.
“Treatment to transformation” is a technique whereby multiple applications of the Coolsculpting machine are applied in either one or several sittings. By overlapping areas treated or by treating some areas 2 or 3 times, results are now approaching what liposuction can achieve – without the downtime or risk associated. The technique has been pioneered by Dr. Grant Stevens, from Marina del Ray, California.
Massaging immediately after removal of the handpiece has been shown to increase the fat loss in a recent study. This has been done in our office for at least 4 years.
Although loose skin is a theoretical risk after losing fat underneath it, Dr. Stevens has shown that this is absolutely not the case. He has seen skin contraction with his patients and has not seen cases of excess skin.
A recent study presented at ASLMS 2014 showed effectiveness in patients with gynecomastia. Two treatments were required and most patients were satisfied with their results.
Future handpieces are being developed to work on the neck/chin area, ankles, and one specifically for breast tissue. Cellulite reduction is also being studied and it looks promising. Treatment for uneven results after liposuction seems to be greatly improved with Coolsculpting as well, and the new Coolsmooth handpiece will be a huge advance in this treatment.