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Forget melting away love handles- it’s time to freeze them! Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive alternative to liposuction and laser lipo, which involves the localised application of a low temperature device to kill off subcutaneous (below the skin) fat cells. What makes cryolipolysis different (other than the chill factor) is that the treatment can be carried out whilst preserving the surrounding skin.
Unlike conventional liposuction, cryolipolysis doesn’t involve the surgeon making any incisions and doesn’t damage the skin near the treatment area in any way. In the same way that laser lipo eliminates fat cells by causing them to heat up, swell and burst, cryolipolysis lowers their temperature, damaging their structure and causing them to wither and die.
The temperature which fat cells need to reach in order for them to be damaged is not as low as that which harms skin cells and other tissue types. This means that localised below body temperature cooling of problem areas effectively wipes out only the unwanted fat deposits and leaves everything else untouched. Brrrrilliant.
Typically, a pair of special plates attached to a cooling machine are placed on the skin and are used to target fatty areas. Lovehandles (for example) would be sandwiched between the two plates during treatment, with the patient laying on their side for a couple of hours whilst the ‘freezing’ takes place. After the session, the patient’s body then works to remove the crystallised fat cells, causing them to initially shrink and break down before being absorbed completely over a period of two to four months.
If you are looking for a treatment that blitzes away considerable amounts of fat yet enables you to get on with your normal day to day activities immediately after the procedure, then cryolipolysis may be for you.
Due to the non-invasive and non-damaging nature of the therapy, exercise (which will help keep the fat off in the long term) is permitted as soon as you step outside the door of the clinic (although we’d advise gradually building up to a full regime if you’re a little new to intense training...)
Although cryolipolysis physically removes fat cells, it can’t prevent their return. As with all weight loss surgery, diet and physical activity are the key to keeping the bulge at bay post-procedure. If you are considering cryolipolysis, consult your GP who will assess whether you’re a suitable candidate and decide whether to refer you to a specialist centre.
Crylipolosis was developed in the US by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University.