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How Does Zeltiq Machine Work? Lose Fat Without Surgery
Zeltiq: Before and after
What Is Zeltiq? Cellulite Removal Without Surgery
Zeltiq is a “cold technology” liposuction alternative that recently got FDA approval. The Zeltiq body contouring procedure promises to help you lose fat and remove cellulite to get a tighter, sleeker shape without surgery or Spanx. This is non-surgical fat removal, "smart liposuction," for people looking for a non-invasive liposuction alternative.
We are all born with a set number of fat cells. They grow or shrink with us as we get fatter or thinner.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to hoover out unwanted fat cells.
Now there’s Zeltiq, a non-invasive mechanism that delivers that same, targeted fat reduction through a process called Cryolipolysis.
Zeltiq Explained on the News
Does Zeltiq Work?
Here’s how Zeltiq works: A suction device is applied to the places where a patient wants to lose fat. It sucks the unwanted fat between two cold plates and the area becomes so cold that underlying fat cells crystallize and die. The surface skin is not damaged, though the procedure can be mildly uncomfortable.
Over the next two or three months, the dead cells break down and are expelled by the body. The procedure itself takes an hour and Zeltiq usually costs around $700 for one session. Some doctors may offer discounts for multiple sessions, and a single session can cost as much as $1,000 in some markets.
It is proven science that freezing fat cells will kill them. What remains to be seen is how this process works in the human body, and if the results last long term. In the short term, for a year or two, Zeltiq appears to have positive results for the right kind of candidate.
A study presented at a meeting of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery found that Zeltiq reduced fat by 22 percent in a targeted area, according to a story in the New York Times.
Zeltiq on Good Morning America
Is Zeltiq Safe?
The Food and Drug Administration approved Zeltiq for fat-loss purposes in September 2010. It has been used commercially in the U.S. to help people get rid of unwanted fat for at least one year.
Zeltiq was approved to blast fat in Canada in Europe before it was approved here, so there is more data there about long-term results from Zeltiq. In the U.S., Zeltiq is primarily available through select doctors, usually dermatologists and plastic surgeons. It takes up to two months to see results.
Now that Zeltiq Aesthetics, the California company behind the device, has obtained FDA approval, chances are it will start marketing Zeltiq to the public in a big way. Clinical trials have been done and continue. Ads could soon start to appear on TV, in magazines or in the newspaper. The Zeltiq procedure has even appeared on Good Morning America.
Because Zeltiq is an elective treatment, it is unlikely to be covered by most insurance.
Who Should Try Zeltiq?
Zeltiq works best for those small, targeted “trouble spots” that bug you when you look in the mirror: The love handle, the man boob, the back fat, the tummy pooch or even, in my case, the jowl.
Good candidates for Zeltiq tend to be reasonably fit and healthy. Zeltiq doesn’t work for obese people looking to lose large amounts of weight. Nor is Cryolipolysis a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. It really is about re-contouring your body and shrinking the trouble spots you can’t exercise away.
Discomfort and recovery from Zeltiq
Zeltiq can be mildly uncomfortable. The surface skin may feel cold before it goes numb. The patient also may not enjoy the suction sensation as the machine freezes the fat cells. That unpleasantness usually lasts about 10 minutes.
Skin may be red for up to several hours after the procedure. Anything longer is not normal and the patient should call the doctor.
There may also be temporary bruising, tingling, tenderness or cramping. These should all pass relatively quickly.
One of the best things about Zeltiq is that there’s no recovery time. Doctors say patients can go back about their normal lives almost immediately!
Liposuction, by contrast, involves a long, sometimes painful recovery as the body heals from surgery.
Are there other non-surgical ways to eliminate fat cells?
Yes. People are always looking for ways to lose the pudge without going under the knife, and several promising new techniques are coming to market.
One is Zeltiq.
Another is Zerona, a four-armed laser that zaps your bulges over the course of six 40-minute sessions. The FDA first approved Zerona to treat pain following breast enlargements or liposuction, and now Zerona is approved as a fat blaster. It was approved about the same time that Zeltiq gained FDA approval.
Other non-surgical devices like UltraShape and LipoSonix will come out soon. They use ultrasound waves to attack specific fat patches.