Don't Waste Your Money - San Diego, CA

I am a fit person 5 ' 3" 120 Lbs 20 -22%...

I am a fit person 5 ' 3" 120 Lbs 20 -22% body fat. I go to the gym and jog. I went to a local cosmetic surgeon for Zeltiq. I was told they could get rid of some problem areas but after 3 months there was hardly any change. I complained but as of this writing they have done nothing. If I was told I would have to spend another 1700, I would have opted for liposuction because I know the effects are better. I feel they were not upfront as to what it can do.

La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery

You need to get it in writng what this will do for you. Don't rely on pictures because with Zeltig you hardly notice a difference.

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If the procedure causes a big brick of fat in the abdominal area, is it unsightly. I mean will I have to disguise it by wearing certain types of clothes? How long does it take to go away?
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Hi Gay,

The "brick" goes away within minutes after the treatment, and the treated area looks normal the next day. No special clothing needed. Best,

Dr. P
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Hi Gay,

Here is my updated description, including that the brick of butter disappears quickly:

After much due diligence (I spent over one year of research and investigation as well as personal communications with the experts in the field, traveling around the country getting personal reports from patients), I began offering my patients Coolsculpting by Zeltiq in November 2010. My criteria for incorporating any new treatment or technology into my practice are that it be both SAFE and SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN EFFECTIVE.

There are many descriptions of the treatment online, but I thought that I would share my personal experience with CoolSculpting with you. Forgive me as it is a bit "tongue in cheek".

I was the first patient on our Zeltiq device (or "The Fat Machine" as my poker buddies affectionately call it). My wife was the immediate second person treated. I was told that it was "very comfortable", but when the large hand piece (with industrial Oreck-like vacuum power) grabbed onto my naive, unsuspecting abdominal pooch of unwanted subcutaneous fat that had been resistant to years of diet and exercise, I must have lost the color in my face (at least that's what my 5 curious and genuinely concerned female office staff members described my shocked appearance as) as beads of persperation pooled on my blanched forehead. Of course my loving wife stepped into the room and assured all present that, "Oh, don't go by him, he's such a baby!", as I felt that I was being lifted up to the ceiling by the Zeltiq hand piece.

After about 15 slightly less than tortuous minutes of feeling what I was later told feels like typical "menstrual cramps" (my empathy to all of you girls reading this), the cold plates of the hand piece took over, seemingly froze everything, and I was able to comfortably resume taking zips of my vente Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino (likely one of many causes for the tummy "pooch" being there in the first place), but taking a deep breath was still difficult as I felt as if my diaphragm was stuck to the inside of the suction hand piece.

Once the hour treatment was up, the hand piece was removed revealing red,very cold skin (think Mammouth chairlift in December, no clothes on) with a family-size brick of butter under my skin that felt like a frozen chicken breast that was slowly thawing out. The "frozen brick" disappeared within minutes and the redness went away after a few hours. I was able to return to normal activities immediately. The numbness and tingling, feeling like pins and needles (like Novocain wearing off) lasted for about 12 hours, and there was some residual numbness for about two weeks, but it was very tolerable. It felt a little strange whenever clothing touched the treated area.

As bad as all that sounds, it was not bad at all (or believe me, I would not be lining up for my next treatment). Only a small percentage of patients experience discomfort, most just read, work on their computers, or actually fall asleep for the hour.


Courtesy of Steven Weiner, MD Destin, Florida
Both my wife and I are about two months out from our treatment now; my wife is very pleased with her result, and wants more. I will have another treatment soon, and have seen a little improvement (treatment immediately before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years may be associated with weight gain, having nothing to due with Zeltiq, more to do with multiple excellent meals, desserts, and perhaps even a few splashes of wine).

Realistic expectations are essential before the treatment. More than one treatment session should be counted on, and even scheduled from the start. The results are gradual over time (for most of us, the same as when we gained the extra fat). The technology is scientifically proven to work, but it does usually take multiple sessions.

The numbness and tingling is normal for a few weeks. There have been a few patients who have experienced more severe pain that has responded well to lidocaine gel or patches (speak with your physician before self treating).

Good luck and be well, and from now on I will be sticking with tall Frappucinnos only!
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Great decsription doc!.
Like medication not every treatment works for everyone.
I'm glad you tested the procedure also. Bravo.
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After much due diligence (I spent over one year of research and investigation as well as personal communications with the experts in the field), I began offering my patients Coolsculpting by Zeltiq. My criteria for incorporating any treatment or technology into my practice are that it be both SAFE and SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN EFFECTIVE.

I was the first patient on our Zeltiq device. My wife was the second person treated. I too was told that it was "very comfortable", but when the large hand piece grabbed my abdomen, I must have lost the color in my face (at least that's what my office staff described my shocked appearance as) as beads of sweat formed on my forehead. Of course my wife assured all present that, "Oh, don't go by him, he's such a baby!" as I felt that I was being lifted up to the ceiling by the suction cup. After about 15 minutes of feeling what I was later told feels like "menstrual cramps" (my empathy to all of you girls reading this), the cold plates took over and I was able to comfortably take zips of my Cafe Frappuccino (likely one of many causes for the tummy "pooch" being treated), but taking a deep breath was still difficult as I felt as if my diaphragm was stuck to the hand piece. Once the hour was up, the family-size brick of butter under my skin did feel like frozen chicken breast that was thawing out. The redness went away after a few hours. The numbness and tingling of pins and needles (like Novocain wearing off) lasted for about two weeks, but was very tolerable. Gentle massage of the treated areas is helpful. My wife only experienced a little burning sensation while being treated. We are about two months out now; my wife is very pleased with her result, and wants more. I will have another treatment soon, and have seen a little improvement (treatment immediately before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years may be associated with weight gain, having nothing to due with Zeltiq, more to do with yummy food).

Realistic expectations are essential before the treatment. More than one treatment session should be counted on, and even scheduled from the start. It is a gradual, but scientifically proven technology.

Thanks for sharing your Zeltiq experiences. The technology is scientifically proven to work, but it does usually take multiple sessions. The numbness and tingling is normal for a few weeks. There have been a few patients who have experienced more severe pain that has responded well to lidocaine gel or patches (speak with your physician before self treating).

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P
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Thanks for posting this, Dr. Persky. It's really helpful. I'd feel comforted knowing my own doc had already tried the procedure.

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OMG! Thanks for the laughs doc. I enjoyed your thoroughly entertaining review of Zeltiq and your experience with it. It's nice to know doctors are trying these things out themselves too.

I too, want to try only treatments that are scientifically proven to be effective. And my experience with Zeltiq was similar to yours, though not quite as horrible as you describe.

I'm going for my second round of treatments (multiple areas). It does seem to work. Hasn't given me a perfectly sculpted, uniformly sleek body, but I wasn't expecting that. Zeltiq met my expectations.

And the best part is that it was fast and required no time off work or other activities and it was very discreet.
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Ready for my number 2 treatment too.
Best, Dr. P
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People carry fat in different places. It's not a matter of wanting to look skinny or remove all curves. Even at an ideal body weight, you can have disproportionate areas of your body.

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Exactly...
That last comment was rude
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Yes! Exactly. In my case, I am having Zeltiq done because I have a couple of small areas of fat deposits on my lower abdomen and sides of my waist which do not respond to weight loss or exercise. I did lose weight and even tried losing more. And I exercise regularly and have for years. This is different.

I currently weigh 125 lbs and I had lost another 5 lbs recently in hopes of getting rid of those last bulges. I discovered that it did not do much to reduce these fat deposits, but it left me looking too thin in other areas. My breasts and buttocks became too thin looking. People began to comment that "you shouldn't lose any more weight" or "you're getting a bit too thin". But the fat deposits were still there. I probably could have lost an additional 5 lbs and reduced those spots a bit more, but the rest of me would have looked awful.

I allowed myself to regain the 5 lbs b/c it really wasn't flattering overall and it wasn't fixing what I wanted fixed. Now I'm going to have the Zeltiq. I am anticipating a modest reduction in these fat deposits, but without the loss of healthy-appearing, attractive curves. I have had Zeltiq done once before and it did improve the areas treated. I think I may need 2-3 treatments overall to achieve the results I hope for. I'm not looking for perfection, but I'm happy to have this nonsurgical option to improve my appearance.
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You're 5'3" and only 120 pounds. You don't have any fat to lose.

Girls are trying to become too skinny these days. And, by the way, skinny is not a complement. Men like curves.
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Hi liblove,

While being an active member in the community is great, judgment is not what RealSelf is all about. RealSelf is a place for people to come gain and exchange information. Please feel free to continue to be an active member, but please do not judge other members on their decisions. :)

Thanks,

-Britt

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Did they take a before and after photo? Do you have a follow up appt to share your concerns?
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Was liposuction presented as a more effective alternative to Zeltiq?
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