Zeltiq CoolSculpting Questions and Answers


Zeltiq (pronounced Zel-teek) removes fat cells non-invasively through a process called cryolipolysis, which means “dissolving fat cells through freezing.” Safe, painless and FDA approved. Previously only available at University Dermatology Clinics, we were the first private practice in Orange County to offer CoolSculpting with Zeltiq.

What is Zeltiq CoolSculpting?
Zeltiq is unique and patented. No other device works like the Zeltiq. It was developed by world-renowned dermatologists at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard affiliate. Zeltiq actually eliminates fat cells from specific areas of the body, without surgery, needles, anesthesia or the need for pain medication. Clinical studies involving hundreds of patients show that the Zeltiq Procedure provides a noticeable, measurable fat reduction in 2-4 mos. in properly selected patients.

How does Cryolipolysis work?
Fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cooling than skin and other surrounding tissues and can be safely eliminated without harming the skin. The Zeltiq controlled cooling causes crystallization of the lipids in the fat cells, leading to damage to the cells and gradual, safe elimination by the body’s normal metabolic processes, similar to how fat from food is eliminated, over the course of 2-4 months. Each treatment results in an average 25% reduction in the fat layer. This reduction of fat flattens and smoothes the fat bulges.

Who is a candidate for Zeltiq?
Ideal candidates are relatively fit but have some modest-size fat bulges that are not easily reduced through diet and exercise, such as: love handles, back fat, abdominal fat and fat bulges from menopause. It can also work on “muffin tops” and irregularities following liposuction. .Patients that are too thin or too “round” will probably not benefit from Zeltiq. It is not a treatment to lose weight or treat obesity. If you are interested, ask us about Zeltiq while you are in our office so we can take a quick look at you and see if you are a good candidate. You may also schedule a Zeltiq consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and to review the procedure with you. Consultation fees are $75 but will usually be credited toward your treatment.

What is the procedure like and how many will I need?
You will comfortably lie down or sit, depending on the site. Many treated areas consist of two sites: the left side and the right side. Often the abdomen may be treated as one site. An applicator is applied to each site for one hour. Usually two hours of treatment will be scheduled at a time but you may schedule more or less. The applicator will deliver precisely controlled cooling to the fat, while protecting the skin. Additional treatments may be performed to the same areas, after 2 months. You may choose to have 1 to 4 treatments per area, depending on the degree of fat reduction desired. Each treatment will reduce the fat layer an additional 25%.

Is there pain during or after the procedure? Are there side effects or down time?
The Zeltiq Procedure has no down time! It is safe and completely non-invasive which allows immediate return to work, exercise and other normal activities. Although there may be some minor discomfort during the first 10 minutes as the skin is drawn into the applicator and cooled, no pain medication or anesthetic is needed. The Zeltiq Procedure is comfortable enough to read, work on a laptop, listen to music with headphones or take a nap during the procedure. Afterwards patients experience redness which usually lasts minutes to hours. Some patients may experience bruising and/or tenderness, cramping and/or itching for 1-2 weeks and a temporary dulling of sensation for 1-8 weeks.

How does it differ from other body treatments? Are the results permanent?
Treatments that are marketing for “body contouring” and “cellulite reduction” such as endermology, Velashape, Velasmooth, and other lasers and radiofrequency devices only provide temporary improvement in the appearance of fat and cellulite. Mesotherapy, such as Lipo-dissolve is controversial because it has not been well studied for safety or efficacy and involves injecting various chemicals into fat. Nothing has ever been proven to remove cellulite. Only liposuction and Zeltiq actually remove fat cells, which by thinning the fat layer may also make cellulite look better. The results from Zeltiq are not as rapid or dramatic as liposuction but it also does not involve the pain, risk and recovery time of liposuction. The elimination of fat cells with Zeltiq is expected to last as long as fat cells removed by liposuction.

Article by
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon