Is the Fat Reduction from Zeltiq Only Where the Applicator Was Applied?

Or is there residual benefit a certain distance outside of where the applicator was?

Doctor Answers 8

Zeltiq applicator

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Thank you for your question.

The area that the applicator is placed upon is the area that is treated with CoolSculpting and that area will have the fat tissues that will be damaged with the cooling mechanism.


CoolSculpting by Zeltiq focuses fat reduction in the treated area

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There is no generalized fat reduction away from the site of the applicator during CoolSculpting. The vacuum sucks in to the chilling compartment the envelope of the skin/fat bulge. It is only this area that is frozen enough to kill the fat cells. If the temperature of the surrounding tissue is cooler, it is not enough to lose fat.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Coolsculpting works only where applicator is applied

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Coolsculpting only works where the applicator is applied. It does not cause weight loss and is an excellent choice for localized fat reduction in the area of treatment only.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Fat reduction in treated areas

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Greetings Sunshine~

The fat reduction that occurs with Zeltiq is really only in the areas where the applicator was and was able to freeze the underlying fat cells. You really can't count on adjacent areas benefiting from the treatment unfortunately.  When the applicator is removed and you see the pinkness and outline that remains you should get a pretty good indication of the amount of area that was treated and therefore will be affected.

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Does Zeltiq Treat Fat Outside the Applicator?

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The mechanics of Zeltiq are that your desired area of treatment is vacum sucked into the applicator which holds the two metal chilling plates.  Only the area of fat drawn between the two metal plates is subject to the Zeltiq freezing process and treated.  That being said, what we have found in patients that treat the same area twice is that on the second treatment, since the first treatment removed 25% of the fat the second treatment is able to suck more of the surrounding fat in for a wider treatment area!



Dr. Liu

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Zeltiq and fat reduction

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Zeltiq or Coolsculpting works by selectively targeting and cooling fat cells in the treated areas.  This will only kill the fat cells that are in the area where the applicator was applied.  It does not have an effect on fat cells outside of the treated areas.

Lori Stetler, MD
Dallas Dermatologic Surgeon

Coolsculpting works mainly in the trearted area, but...

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While the applicator will vacuum the area to be treated, cool it down, and then start a cascade of fat removing mechanisms by the body.  Those mechanisms are only affecting the site being treated, however, there is some slight feathering out of effects from the applicator.

Daniel I. Wasserman, MD
Naples Dermatologic Surgeon

Fat reduction by Zeltiq

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CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a safe, effective, and well tolerated procedure for the non-invasive removal of fat in localized areas. Only the fat in the area treated will be reduced. The procedure is performed by the placement of a applicator directly over the area chosen by both patient and physician. The Zeltiq machine will draw up the tissue inside the applicator and then the temperature of the exposed tissue will be reduced in a controlled fashion. Hence, fat reduction will occur only in the bulge being treated.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon

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.