FOX 29 Explores Coolsculpting

FOX 29 Explores Coolsculpting

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PHILADELPHIA -

The problem is age old.

"A small area on my abdomen that is relentless."

"Little bit of cellulite on my thighs."

And try as you might, stubborn small pockets of fat hang on. You just can't seem to burn it away.

"It refuses to leave. It found a home and it doesn't want to go."

Numerous cosmetic procedures can handle the problem, but some don't want to be laid up.

"I don't want anesthesia, I don't want to be cut."

Well, you don't have to. According to a new procedure, you can deep freeze that fat.

"It's a gel pad. It protects the skin, allows the suction to really kind of latch on so that the cooling will really only affect the fat layer underneath and not the skin," says Dr. Eric Bernstein.

It sucks in a section at a time, real snug, like a vacuum cleaner and puts a freeze on it for one hour. Because fat cells freeze and die quicker, doctors say no damage is caused to other tissue, muscles, and skin. The fat then gradually and naturally melts away and leaves the body.

Sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but the cool science behind this year's hottest fat reduction treatment is actually nothing new, says laser expert and dermatologist Eric Bernstein.

"We knew that babies that have a lot of unsaturated fat could actually lose areas of fat from the cheeks from a popsicle," explains Bernstein.

So scientists set out to simulate the "popsicle effect" on adult love handles.

"If they have a pinchable area of fat that would be easily suctioned into the applicator piece, they can actually do this procedure," says Dr. Josh Bloom.

Kate and Florry volunteered to be models at an open house at Mainline Laser Surgery, one of many doctor's offices and medical spas now offering demonstrations of coolsculpting.

"People lose approximately 20-25% of the fat in the treated areas," says Dr. Bloom.

It was FDA approved in 2010, but only for fat reduction around the waist. Availability exploded this summer when smaller attachments made treating areas like back fat and inner thighs possible.

"I can't wait to see the results and get rid of that belly bulge," says Florry.

"It's not FDA-approved yet for treating inner thighs, but lots of docs are doing it, including us, and people are happy with the results," says Dr. Bernstein.

"I'm really excited to see if it works for me," says Kate.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Jason Bloom actually tried coolsculpting on himself first.

"I've probably seen about a 25% reduction in my lower abdomen," he says about losing one pant size. And he says he's game to get more and that this technology may have more tricks in it's bag.

"I think, down the line, some additional areas of treatment could be the saddlebags and outer thighs, possibly arm fat," he says.

"The results...well we'll see," says Florry.

We'll see in three to six months if Kate and Florry get the results that they want. Doctors do caution people that this is not a quick way to lose a lot of weight. It's just for sculpting away stubborn fat. Also, it cannot be used over scars, like from a surgery. Numbness may occur seven to 10 days after. The procedure is also pretty pricey, $1,400 to $1,500 a session.

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