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Zeltiq: Freeze Away Fat

Updated on March 29, 2011
A promotion for Zeltiq in a dermatologist's newsletter.
A promotion for Zeltiq in a dermatologist's newsletter.

Can I Really Freeze Away My Love Handles?!

There's a new medical procedure, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2010 and popular in Canada and Europe since 2009, that promises to get rid of unsightly fat bulges for good, without dieting or going under the knife. The process is called Zeltiq or "cool sculpting," a non-surgical, body contouring procedure that takes 1 hour in a doctor's office and has almost no recovery time or side effects.

Sound too good to be true? A significant body of research suggests that Zeltiq does in fact deliver on these big, bold promises. According to the makers or Zeltiq as well as independent studies of patient results, it seems that Zeltiq does in fact reduce small fat pockets by about 20 percent. While all patients were said to have positive results, not all patients were convinced their results merited $1,500 or so. But most patients have been extremely happy with their results, and by the end of 2010, over 30,000 Zeltiq procedures had already been performed worldwide.

Zeltiq on Rachel ray

So how does Zeltiq work?

The Zeltiq cool sculpting machine has an applicator that is applied to a small area of fat: a love handle or a man boob or one side of a tummy pooch. The machine sucks that area of fat between two metal plates which then chill the area to about 5 degrees centigrade. The area is frozen for 60 minutes, and for the first 10 minutes the patient can expect some discomfort from the sucking sensation and also from the cold. After 10 minutes, the skin usually turns numb and the discomfort fades. Once the procedure is done, the fat destruction is just beginning. It is scientifically proven that freezing temperatures destroy fat cells. The Zeltiq application kills fat cells in the treated area, and over the course of 2 months, the body breaks down and metabolizes these dead cells, eventually passing them from the body as waste.

You won't see the full effects of a Zeltiq treatment for about two months, and a single cool sculpting treatment will reduce fat in that targeted area by 20%. Many doctors say it can take two or even three treatments to achieve the final desired results. A single treatment can cost around $650 to $900, though most doctors offer discounts on a series of treatments. Ask your doctor how many treatments he or she thinks you will require, and what sort of package deals he or she offers. And remember, love handles require two treatments, now one, since the machine must be applied to both sides of the body.

Zeltiq in Dallas

A Boca raton doctor introduces Zeltiq

Side Effects of Zeltiq and Cost of Zeltiq Fat Freezing

Zeltiq is a non-surgical way to see body contouring results, and the one-hour procedure requires no anesthetic. It also requires more than one treatment in most people. This to see real results, patients must undergo a series of treatments and can expect to spend between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on how many areas they choose to treat and how many times they repeat treatment to the same area. Results won't fully appear for two months after the procedure is performed.

Most side effects from Zeltiq are related to the cold of the device. Most people say the procedure is fairly uncomfortable for the first 10 minutes of the procedure, and they complain of cold and the suction sensation itself. Patients also report mild discomfort when the device is removed and blood and oxygen rush back into the treated area. Patients can expect the treated area to be red for several hours after the procedure is done. Other common side effects are mild bruising, tingling, tenderness, cramping and a sort of numbness in the treated area. Very rarely, patients report more serious side effects, shooting pain or a burning sensation. This pain always ends up going away, according to reports I have read, but it may take several months to go away completely. These more serious side effects from Zeltiq seem to happen in about 1 in every 3,000 cases.

Not everyone is a candidate for Zeltiq. It is not recommended for obese people, and Zeltiq cool sculpting is ideally designed for slim, fit, healthy people who have stubborn pockets of fat that they can't get rid of with healthy diet and exercise. 


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    • s.carver profile image

      s.carver 5 years ago from San Francisco


      I am not a doctor, and I am not based in Canada, but you can find a practitioner on the East Coast of Canada. There is not supposed to be any real down time with this procedure. It is done on an outpatient basis and takes only an hour.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Where in Canada are you ? I am located in the East Coast.

      If you are in Toronto/.Montreal How long do I have to be there? How many days between treatments?

      I wish to "get rid of" the ;bulge under my breasts. Other than than that I am flat.

      TY for you for your reply,