Why does fat not like the cold? Cryolipolysis simply explained!

Kelly Vasileiadou
19. September 2022
Cryolipolysis is one of the few ‘body contouring’ treatments that has stood the test of time. It is a non-surgical, non-invasive (e.g. no scalpels, no needles, no breaking of the skin) medical treatment that targets stubborn pockets of fat on the body.

You could sculpt your waist, skim inches off of your thighs, or rid yourself or a double-chin in under an hour, with barely any pain (for most people). For me, this is one of the best non-invasive treatments for tackling unwanted excess fat. You can achieve beautiful reductions in fat pockets and a more contoured silhouette with minimal – if any – downtime for lasting results. It sounds almost too good to be true, so how exactly does this “fat freezing” work?

How does cryolipolysis work?

In Cryolipolysis, controlled cooling is applied safely onto the area to be treated, causing underlying fat to freeze and be destroyed.

The best way I can describe this method is to think of your fat cells as grapes or raisins. You don’t create or multiply fat cells to gain fat, they just get plumper (like a grape). With Cryolipolysis, the freezing process kills the targeted cells, which prevents them from plumping and they deflate (like a raisin). The results are permanent as your body cannot restore the killed/broken fat cells.

How does cryolipolysis feel and is it painful?

Depending on the area being treated and your pain threshold, Cryolipolysis is comfortable but with a few twinges here and there.

The head of the device is attached to your skin through a safety silicone membrane. Then starts the freezing process, which can feel a bit weird and throbbing, but shouldn’t be painful. You’ll be attached to the device for around 30–45 minutes, and more than one handle can be attached at the same time (one on each leg, for example).

When the area is frozen it goes a bit numb, however, it then needs to “defrost” again. This is where a brief tolerable pain can occur. Post-procedure, the area might feel tender for a few days, like it’s bruised. I recommend wearing comfy trousers instead of tight jeans after the procedure.

Some other “fat busting”-treatments claim to melt away, laser or massage fat. Cryolipolysis is one of the feSome other “fat-busting” treatments claim to melt, laser or massage fat away. Cryolipolysis is one of the only ones that permanently destroys the affected cells. All other methods are unreliable and produce varying results – if any.

However, this type of body forming is very different from surgical treatments, e.g. liposuction. Which method a patient finally chooses can depend on several factors. Cryolipolysis is a gentle body forming method that is particularly useful for local fat deposits.

What areas of the body does Cryolipolysis work best on?

The area that Cryolipolysis is most often used for is the abdomen. The most requested area in our clinic is the lower abdomen and the hips. It’s great for areas that you find even the strictest of diet and exercise regimes can’t shift, and that muscle tone can’t reach through. The arms, love-handles and flanks are also popular.

What results could I expect from Cryolipolysis?

It is important to remember that each body is not only externally unique but can also react individually to a treatment. The results of Cryolipolysis can, therefore, vary from patient to patient.

However, as millions of people choose to undergo Cryolipolysis treatment every year, it has become established as an almost unbeatable body-contouring procedure. Especially considering the minimal pain factor and the close to non-existent downtime, Cryolipolysis is convincing and satisfies patients worldwide.

Nevertheless, no aesthetic treatment comes without risks: possible side effects such as bruising and pain can occur. Therefore, it is crucial to go to a reputable clinic and consult a medical doctor you can trust.

Are there any drawbacks to Cryolipolysis?

Post-treatment, you can notice the first changes after about three weeks, with full results showing at around three months. For most of my patients, the most noticeable change is that their jeans suddenly close more easily and the skirt sits lower within three months..

However, as millions of people opt for cryolipolysis treatment every year, it has established itself as an One point to remember is that even though the affected fat cells are permanently destroyed, others in the surrounding areas aren’t. So if you don’t pay attention to your diet and exercise, don’t be surprised if your jeans stop fitting again, as those other cells (near the frozen area or even hidden behind it) may continue to expand.

About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Specialist FMH for Surgery
Beauty is not perfection. Refining your face or body image to enhance or restore your natural beauty – that is my mission. Your trust commits me to providing you with excellent medicine and exceptional care. My team and I work tirelessly to satisfy you. That’s what I stand for with my name.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kelly® today.

Before you decide on a treatment, you have the great opportunity for a personal consultation. Our goal is to care for you not only medically, but also from person to person.

Dr. Kelly® | Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine
by Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

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