cryolipolysis is the non-invasive cooling of adipose tissue to induce lipolysis (the breakdown down fat cells) without damage to other tissues. The result over 2 to 4 months is a noticeable, natural-looking reduction in fat.
cryolipolysis is based on the principle that fat cells are more vulnerable to energy extraction (cooling) than surrounding tissues.1 A non-invasive applicator is attached to the targeted procedure area to extract energy from the underlying fat tissue while protecting the skin, nerves, muscles, and other tissue. The cooled fat cells undergo apoptosis (controlled cell death) and are gradually eliminated, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
During the procedure, exposure to cooling causes fat cell apoptosis, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the procedure. Lipids from these fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed, much like fat from food. Because the lipid clearance process is gradual, there is no harmful change in blood lipids or liver function.5
Lipids in fat cells crystallize at warmer temperatures than other water-containing cells. This is how cryolipolysis targets only fat cells for destruction and spares other tissue such as skin, muscle, and nerves. The CoolSculpting system controls the rate of energy extraction or cooling during the procedure.
References: 1. Manstein D, Laubach H, Watanabe K, Farinelli W, Zurakowski D, Anderson R. Selective cryolysis: a novel method of non-invasive fat removal. Laser Surg Med. 2008;40:595-604. 2. Zelickson B, Egbert BM, Preciado J, Allison J, Springer K, Manstein D. Cryolipolysis for noninvasive fat cell destruction: initial results from a pig model. Poster presented at 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; November 6-9 2008; Orlando, Fla. 3. Coleman SR, Sachdeva K, Egbert BM, Preciado J, Allison J. Clinical Efficacy of Noninvasive cryolipolysis and Its Effects on Peripheral Nerves. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2009;33(4):482-488. 4. Dover J, Burns J, Coleman S, Fitzpatrick R, Garden J, Goldberg D, Geronemus R, Kilmer S, Mayoral F, Tanzi E, Weiss R, Zelickson B. A prospective clinical study of noninvasive cryolipolysis for subcutaneous fat layer reduction – interim report of available subject data. Lasers Surg Med. 2009;41:S21:43. 5. Klein K, Zelickson B, Riopelle JG, Okamoto E, Bachelor EP, Harry RS, Preciado JA. Non-invasive cryolipolysis for subcutaneous fat reduction does not affect serum lipid levels or liver function tests. Lasers Surg Med. 2009;41:785-790.