What is Coolsculpting?
Editor's note: This blog post was written by Niki Bryn, APRN, DCNP, a member of the NP Society of the Dermatology Nurses' Association.
Coolsculpting is an innovative method of noninvasive fat removal. Coolsculpting, with the trade name Zeltiq, was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital by two dermatologists, Dieter Manstein and Rox Anderson. This procedure has proven to be promising when appropriate candidates are selected. Results have shown a 20% reduction of underlying fat tissue.
The procedure is intended for patients who are at or close to ideal body weight with an area that doesn't respond to diet and exercise. The area to be treated needs to be "pinchable." Common treatment sites include upper and lower abdomen ("love handles"), back fat, upper arms, outer thighs and buttocks.
After written consent, the area is marked by the provider. It is then treated with a medical device and the appropriately sized handle, which provides a gentle suction between two cooling plates. The targeted area is cooled for 1 hour, providing controlled cryolypolysis of underlying fat tissue with little alteration to the integrity of the skin. In 1 to 4 months, the body's immune system eliminates the fat cells that have undergone apoptosis. The skin becomes transiently erythematous, with the possibility of minor bruising and short-term numbness.
As I said before, results are promising with appropriate candidates. However, I have treated many patients who are more overweight than recommended for the procedure and still achieve great results and satisfied clients. There are two keys to obtaining good results and happy patients. First, the appropriate patients must be selected for the procedure. The second key is ensuring that the patient has been properly educated about the procedure and realistic results. The most common side effects of coolsculpting include bruising and a transient sensation of numbness and bloating, typically lasting about 1 week. In rare cases, patients have experienced an intense cramping feeling and a burning pain and that lasts anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.
Coolsculpting is one more treatment we can offer our patients. It has been easily integrated into our practice, which primarily provides medical dermatology.
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