Cryolipolysis for Reduction of Excess Adipose Tissue

Controlled cold exposure has long been reported to be a cause of panniculitis in cases such
as popsicle panniculitis. Cryolipolysis is a new technology that uses cold exposure, or
energy extraction, to result in localized panniculitis and modulation of fat. Presently, the
Zeltiq cryolipolysis device is FDA cleared for skin cooling, as well as various other
indications, but not for lipolysis. There is, however, a pending premarket notification for
noninvasive fat layer reduction. Initial animal and human studies have demonstrated
significant reductions in the superficial fat layer thickness, ranging from 20% to 80%,
following a single cryolipolysis treatment. The decrease in fat thickness occurs gradually
over the first 3 months following treatment, and is most pronounced in patients with limited,
discrete fat bulges. Erythema of the skin, bruising, and temporary numbness at the
treatment site are commonly observed following treatment with the device, though these
effects largely resolve in approximately 1 week. To date, there have been no reports of
scarring, ulceration, or alterations in blood lipid or liver function profiles. Cryolipolysis is a
new, noninvasive treatment option that may be of benefit in the treatment of excess adipose
tissue.
Semin Cutan Med Surg 28:244-249 © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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