How does CoolSculpting work?

For the past several decades, liposuction has been the gold standard of plastic surgery and body contouring. It was one of the only successful strategies capable of removing fat in order to create a slimmer or more attractively shaped by.

While it remains one of the most successful forms of body contouring, it is also still surgery, and no matter how much you want to shape your body, not everyone is willing to go through the risks of surgery or the long recovery time. Surgery can be scary, and the recovery time significant.

CoolSculpting Provides the Results of Liposuction Without Surgery

Many liposuction alternatives exist, including UV and laser lipo. But these alternatives do not appear to have anything near the success rate of CoolSculpting, which numerous scientific studies have shown is one of the only single treatment, successful strategies for eliminating body fat and contouring the body without surgery.

The Science if CoolSculpting

The scientific origin of CoolSculpting dates back many decades from an unrelated medical diagnosis. There is a medical condition known as “cool panniculitis” that occurs when fat and tissues are exposed to extreme cold.

Occasionally doctors would see adults and children that appeared to have unexplained redness and inflammation that resembled a rash, and found that it was due to exposure to the cold. This diagnosis was often used on children that were fed a lot of popsicles. Children would suck on the popsicles, and their cheeks would become inflamed.

It’s what happened afterwards that started to fascinate researchers. When exposed to cold, the fat cells appeared to crystallize and become damaged. They would then slowly die off, and the body would remove them. Children that experienced popsicle panniculitis would often have dimples, which were created by the body removing crystallized fat from the cheeks.

Perhaps more importantly, all other tissues and cells were unaffected. Only fat cells were removed.

The Origin of Cryolipolysis

Scientists started to study whether or not the effects of cold panniculitis could be created in a lab setting intentionally as a way to remove fat. Using special machines that cooled the fat to a specific temperature just above freezing, they were able to mimic cold panniculitis and crystallize fat cells without damaging other cells.

They called the mechanical version of this process “cryolipolysis,” which is a combination of the words:

  • Cryogenic – Producing very low temperatures in a controlled environment.
  • Lipolysis – The breakdown of fat cells in the body.

After testing on both humans and animals, they were able to confirm that at the right temperature, it was possible to crystallize and freeze fat, initiate fat loss, and change the appearance of the body without harming any other cells or creating any long term side effects.

Zeltiq’s Harnessing of Cryolipolysis

With the technology harnessed, a company in California called Zeltiq created technology known as CoolSculpting, that could freeze pockets of fat cells in the body and cause the body to melt them away over time. The effects were similar to liposuction, focused on areas of the body like the abdomen and love handles and eliminating fat in order to contour the body effectively.

Since then, Zeltiq has created several different applicators to address other areas of the body – including some that are trouble for liposuction, such as the inner thighs and neck – in order to create a contoured body without any surgery or known long term risks. If you’d like to learn more about CoolSculpting in Newport Beach, or you’re ready to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 949-644-2442.


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