The Reaction or Zeltiq Laser? I Would Like to Reduce 4 Inch Abdomen & 2 Inch Love Handles.

I never had any kids, exercise regularly, & eat healthy. But, for some reason around my middle sections fat is getting out of hand. Between t the love handles & my stomach I look like I am 3 months pregnant. Which procedure is best for me? The Reaction or ReFit treatment or Zeltiq Laser. I would like to reduce 3 to 4 inches on my upper and lower abdomen and 2 inches on my love handle. Am I been unrealistic? Or ??? Thx,

Doctor Answers (7)

Reduce 4 Inch Abdomen & 2 Inch Love Handles

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Coolsculpting is the best nonsurgical fat reduction procedure. It is possible to get that improvement with multiple treatments. However, you will need a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who offers both surgical and nonsurgical options to determine the best option for you.


West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Reduce abdomen by 4 inches

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One can reduce the waist circumference by that much if there is a willingness to have multiple treatments.  Each treatment reduces the amount of fat drawn into the applicator by 26%. I believe you would want to have the large applicator on your lower and upper abdomen. You would then want to have the largest applicator that is able to take up the skin on the flanks (love handles) and perhaps back. It is a bit difficult to see without a physical exam, especially with your dark picture, but it looks as though there is enough fat outside the belly wall to respond nicely.

A physical exam can determine whether one has an abdominal hernia or separation of the rectus abdominus muscle under the belly fat, which might benefit from surgical correction; or excess fat in the belly, under the abdominal wall, as well, which will not respond to any procedure but definitely would improve with a low-glycemic index, low gluten diet, with appropriate nutritional supplements; and/or laxity of the abdominal wall, which would require a tummy tuck to improve. 

My patients undergo a complete evaluation for all of the potential reasons for a protruding abdomen before recommendations are made.  Your doctor should be willing to tell you if CoolSculpting or reaction are inducated for your unique situation, or not.

Sheryl D. Clark, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Fat reduction by non surgical means

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If someone has had no significant weight gain, nor pregnancy, the distension in the abdomen may be mostly fat above the muscle wall. This would lend itself to reduction by liposuction or CoolSculpting by Zeltiq as we do in my NYC practice.  The non-invasive CoolSculpting freezes fat and the adipocytes (fat cells) die from the cold temperature but the skin does not as it has a much colder freezing temperature. This was discovered by popsicle necrosis. The fat cells in the cheek of toddlers died but the skin did not and the fat dissolved leaving depressions in the cheeks.

If however, there has been pregnancy or a large weight gain, there can be a diastasis of the abdominal muscle wall, or a stretching out, that makes the abdomen bow forward. A physician determines this by examining the patient as we do during the consultation for CoolSculpting. If the muscle diastasis is the problem, then CoolSculpting may not help unless there is a co-existent fat enlargement too above the muscle wall. If it is only a diastasis problem, then a tummy tuck is needed. 

Interestingly, after performing many CoolSculpting treatments, we have noted that there are no two patients alike and the physician consultation is key to determining what is the best treatment for each paient.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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CoolSculpting by Zeltiq to reduce abdomen

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You could be a good candidate for CoolSculpting, but the only way to know is with a consultation. You may wish to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who offers CoolSculpting in addition to traditional body contouring surgeries to see which is best for you.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

CoolSculpting for Abdomen and Love Handles

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Typically, each CoolSculpting treatment results in a noticeable reduction of fat in the treated area. After the initial treatment is complete, you can attain further reductions with additional treatments, resulting in even more fat loss. Some patients find that just one treatment fully addresses their goals. You and your doctor will discuss and design a plan that suits you best.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Inches off abdoment

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I would probably recommend that you be evaluated by surgeon for liposuction first and consider Coolsculpting second since Coolsculpting reduces localized fat by 20% and would not guarantee you the inches you want removed.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Coolscultpting by Zeltiq versus radiofrequency for Protuberant Abdomen and Love Handles

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Coolsculpting by Zeltiq works well for abdominal pad fat and love handles reducing fat by typically 25% or more.  A protuberant abdomen may be due to muscle laxaty however.  A doctor experienced in liposuction and coolscultping / Zeltiq would  be able to evaluate this.  If you do a sit up and your central abdomen pouches out, this is a sign of a muscle split.  Coolsculpting nor liposuction will work in this case.

Love handles or muffin-top over jeans can be treated by Coolscultping / Zeltiq as well.  The Zeltiq  system is not a laser (laser being a light source) and works by chilling fat areas for one hour.  The other devices you are considering are RF or radio-frequency and may help with skin tightening but have not been studied.  RF works by using radiowaves to heat fat and skin.  We have had success with the Exilis, which is a monopolar RF device.  We utilize the Exilis to reduce small fat deposits and to tighten crepey skin.

Robert A. Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.