To all of you who eat healthy and proudly exercise, but still battle with those love handles that don’t look as cute as they sound: keep cool! A great technique was invented to solve this problem. It’s called cryolipolysis. Sounds vaguely familiar? Well it’s not about freezing ourselves to immortality like Mel Gibson in Forever Young. But the story that follows still deserves to be read.
Dermatologists have long known that in winter, horseback riders who practice in jeans risk atrophy (reduction in volume) of fatty tissue on the external sides of their thighs. Why specifically those wearing jeans? Because unless they are baggy or boyfriend-jeans, original denims are tighter and their fabric doesn’t stretch like professional horse-riding pants; they hinder blood circulation and hence prevent that part of the body to stay warm when outside temperatures plummet.
This phenomenon sparked Professor Rox Anderson’s (Harvard University of Boston, Dr Polla’s former teacher and mentor) interest as to the reasons for the fat tissue atrophy. His research lead him to draw two conclusions:
- fat cells are more sensitive to cold compared to other cells,
- if an “accident” produces such results, then a controlled cooling of these same fat cells could allow their destruction, without restoring to surgery.
Twenty years after having patented the idea, technological developments allowed the construction of a device capable of extracting enough heat form the skin and its underlying fat tissues to eliminate fat cells in a uniform way, without creating inflammatory responses. The technique was called cryolipolysis (cryo=cold; lipo=fat; lysis=decomposition). Zeltiq was the first brand to launch the “CoolSculpting” device. As always, Forever Laser Institut was the first Swiss medical centre to offer the cryolipolysis technique. Our patients, both male and female, have benefited from this revolution for more than 18 months now, and have all been very pleased with the results.
The great thing about inducing a controlled thermal injury to fat cells (in this case with cold), is that it triggers a process of “programed cell death” with no inflammation. This type of “natural” cell death is called apoptosis (opposite of necrosis). It is the same type of reaction that occurs, for example, when a pulsed dye laser is used to destroy damaged blood vessels in the treatment of rosacea.
It is important to note that during a cryolipolysis procedure, the skin of the treated area is left intact (i.e. it is not damaged by the cold the way fat cells are). Indeed, a temperature lowered at 5°C affects only fat cells. When in apoptosis, these targeted fat cells will be progressively eliminated by natural metabolic processes over the 2 months following the cryolipolysis procedure. That’s when the centimetres will start shedding off the waist, hips, thighs, or any other treated area. For those patients whose skin has lost some elasticity and tone, we recommend a couple Titan sessions to firm-up those areas. Cryolipolysis is particularly effective on love handles, tummy fat, flabby upper arms, or above the knees, where the fat bulges are usually easily “sucked-in” the device’s hand-piece.
So it’s no joke! In 1 hour, with no side effect or downtime, you can get rid of those rebel fat bulges. Cryolipolysis is the first non-invasive but equally effective alternative to liposuction. So don’t wait any longer and book an appointment with Dr Franz, our specialist in body treatments. And even if bikinis are resting at the back of our drawers for the moment, don’t forget that taking care of our silhouette should not be a seasonal matter…