There are few things more appealing than the promise of weight loss without the blood, sweat and tears that traditionally accompany this endeavour. Liposuction has been a relatively popular option for some time, but the results are mixed and the invasive method used is certainly not everyone’s cup of Kombucha. Hence the excitement about a new, non-invasive procedure that claims to literally freeze off fat cells.
What exactly is it?
Cryolipolysis, or fat freezing as it’s commonly called, is a procedure in which fat cells beneath your skin are frozen and killed. Fat cells freeze at higher temperatures than other cells, so the surrounding tissue is not affected in the process. The dead fat cells are slowly eliminated by your body over the next few months.
How does it work?
A small vacuum-like device is placed on the area of your body you wish to target. The offending fat bulge is sucked into the head of the device where two cooling panels do the freezing. While not exactly painful the procedure is reportedly uncomfortable, with strong tugging and pulling sensations for the duration of the treatment. Since no surgery is involved no anaesthetic is used, and zero downtime is required following the treatment. Some mild discomfort may persist in the area for a few days thereafter.
Is it suitable for everyone?
No. Fat freezing is best suited to those who are close to their ideal weight but have a few stubborn bulges they would like to address. It is not suited to people who are very overweight or obese. Treatments are expensive (from about R6 000 for a small treatment area), however in many cases only one session is required.
Does it work?
Fat freezing is effective for treating small bulges and stubborn pockets of fat. Results are not immediate as it takes time for the dead fat cells to be eliminated from the body, however there should be a visible difference within two months of having the treatment. Fat loss continues for up to six months after the procedure.
Is it safe?
As with all treatments there are a number of different fat freezing techniques and services available. Make sure to choose a clinic that uses an FDA-approved treatment method. This means it has been tested and declared effective and safe for use.
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