I have been in the market for liposuction for limited fat bulges around my waist and have done quite a bit of research. I have two friends that did Zeltiq and three that had traditional Tumescent Liposution and was surprised to find is that my two friends that did Zeltiq had some modest skin tightening with Zeltiq whereas the three that had traditional lipo had an almost spongy-like or rippled appearance to the abdomen areas treated. Coincidence? all these friends are male if that matters.
Does Zeltiq Tighten the Skin While Reducing the Fat?
Doctor Answers (7)
Elastic skin will retract once fat is reduced with CoolSculpting by Zeltiq
liposuction and Zeltiq can show skin retraction after volume reduction. This is only in those patients with preoperative good skin elasticity. Liposuction might create indentations and surface irregularities (some say more chances for this might exist with laser-assisted liposuction as this adds an additional element of heat trauma that may not be applied in an homogenous manner prior to the liposuction). The CoolSculpting does not involve mechanical removal and we have not seen indentations as of this writing, 1-2-2012, with Zeltiq. The skin itself is not known to be stimulated into a tightened form, but if it is elastic, it should retract once the fatty volume decreases after CoolSculpting and Liposuction.
Skin Tightening after CoolSculpting
Thank you for your question.
Coolsculpting removed 20-25% of fat in the area treated and if the patient has elastic skin that is youthful, the skin should retract afterwards. Coolsculpting has NOT been tested for "skin tightening" but again, it happens for the patient with the elastic skin.
Zeltiq does not tighten skin, but elastic skin will retract
Zeltiq only gets rid of fat; it does not tighten skin. However, elastic, youthful skin will retract.
Think of it this way: if you lose five pounds and your skin is relatively elastic, your skin will shrink with you. If your skin is loose from multiple pregnancies or a large amount of weight loss, then your skin will not shrink to accommodate the weight loss from zeltiq (or liposuction).
This is why a physical exam is important to determine whether the patient is a better candidate for zeltiq, liposuction, or surgery that removes skin along with fat.
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Skin tightens after Zeltiq CoolSculpting if it has good elasticity
CoolSculpting itself doesn't tighten skin, but if you have good skin elasticity the skin shrinks and tightens as the fat is slowly processed out of the body over a 4 month period of time.
Coolsculpting may tighten skin as a secondary benefit but there is no scientific proof.
Theoretically, Coolsculpting may allow for the skin to tighten after the fat layer has been treated because the fat cells that crystallize and then get absorbed by the body take 2-4 months to get cleared so that could allow for natural skin tightening.
Coolsculpting and skin tightening
Typically Coolsculpting does not cause skin tightening. There are other radiofrequency devices that may be more appropriate for skin tightening such as Exilis.
Zeltiq Coolsculpting and skin tightening
Though it's not marketed to tighten skin while reducing fat, we have in fact noticed skin tightening after Zeltiq Coolsculpting treatments. None of the patients we have treated over the past 2 years have ever reported deflated looking or hanging skin after Zeltiq. We've had a large percentage of male patients and even some in their 60's that had poor skin elasticity to begin with and even they experienced noticeable tightening along with fat reduction. If you have isolated pockets of fat in the abdomen or love handles, Zeltiq may be an excellent option for you. I would highly recommend a face to face consult to address your specific concerns.
Dr. Grant Stevens