Exciting news for folk bothered by fatty turkey gobblers on the neck, fleshy upper knees, bits that bulge out the side of their bra (not a good look when wearing sleeveless tops and dresses) or bountiful batwing upper arms.
In the land of permanent fat reduction technology, these are notoriously difficult areas to treat.
The Zeltiq CoolSculpting team from San Francisco hosted a beautiful lunch at Sydney’s Quay restaurant on the Harbour yesterday to unveil to media their brand new baby, approved only last week in the US by the FDA – CoolMini.
Its neat, curved handpiece fits seamlessly on these tricky little (big) areas to freeze fat to death; officially known as cryolipolysis.
CoolSculpting has been in Australia since 2010 and one of the first to jump on it was Sydney cosmetic surgeon Dr Joseph Ajaka, owner of four Cosmos clinics around Australia (and a fifth to open soon).
Dr Ajaka presented at the lunch yesterday and told us that he first used the device on himself before rolling it out to patients. Given how slim and trim he is, one assumes that it does indeed work.
His nurses Benny (Benoite) and Laura now perform the majority of CoolSculpting procedures at Cosmos in Sydney.
Benny was brave enough to be the demonstration model of a CoolSculpting treatment by Zeltiq US clinical trainer Brenda Nemeth.
She told us the “worst” part is the cold gel sheet placed on the skin before the treatment begins.
So, what is Zeltiq CoolSculpting? The technology was born from research conducted by Harvard scientists who observed that babies and toddlers given iceblocks to suck to relieve teething pain lost their chubby cheeks. The baby fat had literally been frozen to death.
There are a number of types of CoolSculpting applicators to treat different areas of the body and types of fat thereon.
During the procedure, a non-invasive applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells.
The area is suctioned between two cooling plates, bringing the temperature of the fat cells to just above freezing, causing the slow collapse of the cells as they die.
The body then proceeds to absorb the damaged cells and eliminate them naturally through normal metabolic process, over the course of two to three months.
Where fat isn’t “pinchable” and thus can’t be sucked into the vacuum roller – such as the outside of the thighs – there is a different applicator used.
Dr Ajaka reported that when he had his first treatments “it felt really cold and a bit uncomfortable for five minutes and then I was just bored”.
So when patients have their treatments at Cosmos, he, Benny and Laura give them the option of turning the lights out so they can nap, or to watch DVDs or read while they wait for their fat to be frozen.
When the treatment first became available in Australia, there were reports of uneven results – such as divots left after a tummy treatment.
Benny told me that techniques have been finely honed since then and are much more sophisticated and effective now.
“When treating the stomach, for example, we used to apply the device horizontally across the whole stomach,” Benny said.
“But there are two distinct muscle and fat pockets on the stomach – it is not one mass, and nor is the midriff. So now we treat each side separately and diagonally. It’s all about the experience and technique of the operator.”
To date, more than two million CoolSculpting treatments have been performed around the world, Brenda Nemeth told us, and Australian consumers are among the biggest “uptakers”, per capita, of cosmetic enhancement treatments in the world. Take note for your business plans!
Distributed by Lumenis, CoolMini will be available in Australia from around November. Cool!