Would you like to remove fat on certain areas of the body without hitting the gym or getting cosmetic surgery? If you’re interested in non-surgical fat reduction, you have probably heard about CoolSculpting or fat freezing.
So, is CoolSculpting effective? Freezing fat with CoolSculpting is FDA approved to work. Clinical trials have shown that the treatment removes up to 20% of fat cells in the treated area. Patients across the world have seen impressive results since the early 2000s, and the device continues to be popular today.
Let’s talk about the company’s history to discover more about who invented CoolSculpting, the leading fat freezing technology in the world.
How does CoolSculpting work?
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved medical device that destroys fat cells with a process called cryolipolysis. It works by positioning a section of fatty skin between two cold paddles that work below the skin surface to freeze fat cells without harming skin, thanks to controlled cooling. It takes about 30 minutes for the device per area to work.
Once the fat cells freeze, they die permanently. Over the next few months, the dead cells are flushed from the body by the liver. As the cells are excreted, the treated area will appear slimmer, giving patients more thin and defined body contours.
The device is designed for body contouring, and is not meant for general weight loss. It works best to refine stubborn trouble spots that the patient cannot get rid of, particularly when diet and exercise have failed to give the desired result.
What areas can be treated with fat freezing?
Many areas of the body can have CoolSculpting treatments done to reduce fat in the treated area. Virtually anywhere you can grab a roll of fat, the procedure can treat. There are some exceptions, which we’ll talk about in the next section.
The upper arms are a body part that is known to store excess fat. The sides and back of arms can be a real trouble spot, especially for women since they tend to have less arm muscle than men. You don’t have to be overweight to have pudgy arms. In fact, even thin women may have a jiggle of skin as they hold their arm out to wave hello. CoolSculpting can easily treat this area, giving remarkable results in about 3 months.
Putting on a few pounds almost always shows on the tummy first. Belly fat can be hard to get rid of. Whether it’s a small pinch of skin or a jelly roll, CoolSculpting works to treat stubborn belly fat. The roll of fat will be placed between two cold paddles and in less than an hour, the treatment is done. Full effects take a few months to see.
Flanks aka “love handles”
Many men and women store fat in the flanks. The flanks are on the side of the body, located between the lower rib cage and hip. It is also known as the lumbar region, or “love handles”. Many patients with love handles would love to see them go away for good. Hips store fat more than other areas of the body, so unfortunately it’s a common problem.
Working out and eating right can help you lose fat all over, but the love handles may have stubborn fat that just won’t go away no matter what you do. The pinch of fat on the side of the body near the hip bone can cause “muffin top”. That is a roll of fat that bulges out along the waist line, usually when wearing tight pants. CoolSculpting love handles makes the hips look thinner and more attractive.
Back fat can affect anyone. The back covers a large area, so it’s no surprise that fatty tissue stores up easily here. For women, their choice of clothing and undergarments can make back fat more obvious.
Many women of all ages complain of “bra bulge”. That happens because bras are designed to fit snugly in order to give support to the breasts. The bra band digs into skin as a result. Even thin patients can have bra bulge. It is easy to spot under tight clothing or shirts made of thin materials. Many women are self conscious about it and seek CoolSculpting treatment for this area.
Everyone wants long, lean legs. Knee fat gets in the way of that. Knee fat can be unsightly and make walking uncomfortable. Knees rubbing together when you walk can cause skin irritation and chafing. Fat knees are also a problem from an aesthetic standpoint. Many patients interested in fat reduction would love to have less fat on their knees. Wearing long pants all year to cover up the knee area is not always practical, especially in the summer heat. CoolSculpting can help treat knee fat.
Inner thigh fat
If you have knee fat, it’s almost a certainty that inner thigh fat goes along with it. Thighs cover a large area. There is a lot of adipose tissue in the thighs. For people who work a desk job all day, thick thighs can seem to grow bigger by the day. Genetics also play a role in inner thigh fat. For these patients, no matter how much they diet or exercise, fat thighs never seem to go away. Fat freezing is perfect for slimmer thighs by treating the inner thigh area.
Outer thigh fat can be caused by aging, weight gain and genetics. Women are more likely to have outer thigh fat than men since women’s bodies have a different distribution of fat. Luckily, CoolSculpting can help. CoolSculpting thighs makes the outer thighs look thinner, giving patients a big boost in confidence and more attractive legs.
Also known as “banana rolls”, the area where the buttocks meets the top of the thigh is prone to weight gain and sagging skin. This causes a crescent-shaped area of fat located just below the buttocks. Aging, genetics, weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle are all contributing factors. CoolSculpting saddle bags can slim the area, though repeat treatments will likely be needed to achieve the desired result.
What areas can’t be treated with CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting can’t treat small areas like the neck or a double chin. That is because the paddles are simply too large to position such a small area of fat between them. It is unfortunate because many women who have a double chin would do anything to make it go away. A double chin is commonly caused by aging and genetics. It can be a real blow to the patient’s self confidence, not to mention making the patient look older than he or she really is.
However, newer fat-melting technology like TruSculpt ID works well on small areas like the neck with ease. That’s because TruSculpt has smaller paddles that can treat large and small areas alike. Unlike fat freezing, TruSculpt uses fat melting to kill fat cells permanently with gentle heat. Fat melting is a good alternative for patients who do not wish to have a neck lift, neck liposuction or cosmetic injectables for double chin.
Heavy upper eyelids is another small area that CoolSculpting can’t treat. Over time, the skin below the brow can droop and sag. In severe cases, sagging brows can causes a hooded eyelid. That is when part of the upper eyelid is covered by hanging skin. Patients with sagging brows look old and tired, no matter how much sleep they got the night before.
Severe hooded eyelids can be dangerous. It can even cause accidents when driving or walking since the hanging skin may partially block the patient’s peripheral vision. Most patients with drooping brows simply want to look better.
Unfortunately, CoolSculpting won’t work on such a small and delicate area. There are better alternatives, however. A brow lift (aka blepharoplasty) can make eyes appear fresher and more awake for a more youthful appearance.
Who invented CoolSculpting?
Zeltiq Aesthetics is a leader in fat freezing technology. The company created CoolSculpting to help patients lose unwanted fat with non-surgical body contouring. Known as cryolipolysis, this is the medical term for killing fat cells with extreme cold temperatures. Zeltiq is the maker of CoolSculpting, one of the biggest revolutions in non-surgical fat reduction to date.
What is CoolSculpting?
While today there are newer and more modern fat-busting technologies that improve upon CoolSculpting in many ways, CoolSculpting earned a prestigious reputation by pioneering the field of non-invasive fat reduction. The company certainly deserves recognition for its achievements. CoolSculpting and newer alternatives are popular for removing fat without surgery in as little as 3 months.
How Zeltiq got its start
Zeltiq is best known for its developing the world’s most popular fat freeing technology, CoolSculpting.
It all began in 2005 when the company was founded as Juniper Medical by Mitchell Levinson. Levinson is considered Zeltiq Aesthetics’ founder. He was previously the head of Thermage, a cosmetic technology company that created skin tightening devices powered by radio frequency. In 2005, he introduced a new company called Juniper Medical.
In 2007, Juniper Medical changed its name to Zeltiq Aesthetics. Its work on developing fat freezing technology was the first of its kind.
Zeltiq is now a subsidiary of Allergan, which acquired the company in 2017. Many people know Allergan as a household name. It is a company that specializes in aesthetic medical devices and some of the world’s most popular cosmetic injectables.
Meet Dr. Anderson and Dr. Manstein, who invented CoolSculpting
Dr. Richard Rox Anderson, Dr. Dieter Manstein and their colleagues at Juniper Medical developed and licensed CoolSculpting, a non-invasive medical device for permanent fat removal that uses extreme cold temperatures to freeze and permanently destroy fat cells.
Dr. Anderson is a graduate of MIT and Harvard Medical School, a dermatologist and an entrepreneur. Dr. Manstein of Massachusetts General Hospital graduated from the University of Munster in Germany. Maintain is a dermatologist with a special interest in emerging technology. In addition to their work on CoolSculpting, the pair also also helped develop Fraxel skin rejuvenation.
While CoolSculpting is known as a fat removal device, that’s not how it started. In 2009, the team at Juniper Medical created a freezing device prototype that was clinically tested on pigs to numb the skin with cold temperatures prior to dermatological procedures. This was to be developed as an alternative to topical anesthetics for reducing pain during minimally-invasive procedures.
The team quickly noticed that the device worked well for fat removal as well,. They soon switched gears and began talking about their new fat-freezing device in the media. The device was the first of its kind to use selective cryolipolysis for targeting fat cells alone. The team worked on improving the device and submitted it to clinical trials. Finally, CoolSculpting was born.
Doctors around the world began purchasing the machine for “off label” body contouring use to reduce stubborn fat in certain parts of the body. The company raised a reported $75 million in sales by 2010.
The CoolSculpting investors were determined to prove the device’s effectiveness. In September 2010, CoolSculpting received FDA approval for fat removal on the love handles. In 2012, it was approved for use on belly fat. Patients around the world were loving the results. It became popular in the United States in 2011, the same year the company went public.
The inventors of the CoolSculpting procedure did not rest. They continued improving the technology further. In 2014, they introduced a new version that used suction cups rather than paddles, which the FDA approved for use on inner thigh fat. As a leader in non-invasive fat removal, Allergan purchased Zeltiq for a reported $2.48 billion.
About Zeltiq today
Zeltiq’s headquarters are based in Pleasanton, California. The current CEO is Mark J. Foley, who has held the position since August 2012. Zeltiq Aesthetics is still owned by Allergan. Today, Zeltiq continues to manufacture and sell CoolSculpting devices worldwide.