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What is Fat Freezing

Fat freezing, also known as cryolipolysis, is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure designed to reduce localised fat deposits. This innovative treatment involves the controlled application of cooling to target and eliminate fat cells without damaging the surrounding tissue.

How Does Fat Freezing Work?

The fat freezing procedure works by using a specialist cooling applicator to cool specific areas of fat to a temperature that triggers fat cell apoptosis, or cell death.

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death that is a natural part of the body’s regulatory processes. During apoptosis, the cell’s DNA is fragmented, and its structural components, such as proteins and organelles, are broken down.

Eventually, the fat cell breaks apart into smaller, membrane-bound fragments known as apoptotic bodies. These are quickly recognised and engulfed by phagocytic cells (“clean-up cells”), such as macrophages, which digest the apoptotic bodies and recycle their components.

Over the following weeks and months, the cellular debris is naturally eliminated by the body as waste.

Benefits of fat freezing

The main benefits of fat freezing are that treatment is:

  • Non-invasive: No needles, surgery, or downtime required.
  • A targeted fat reduction treatment: Effective for stubborn fat areas that resist diet and exercise.
  • Safe and Effective: FDA-cleared, thoroughly researched and with a proven track record for safety and efficacy.

Furthermore, fat freezing is:

  • The most established and thoroughly researched non-surgical fat reduction treatment that offers clinically proven results.
  • Effective with just a single application. However, in many cases a secondary follow-up treatment may be required after 6 weeks following the original treatment.
  • A permanent solution to stubborn fat areas. Fat cells that are destroyed do not return and are not replenished.
  • Customisable to each individual’s need.

Ideal Candidates for fat freezing

Fat freezing is ideal for individuals who are close to their ideal body weight but struggle with small areas of fat that are resistant to traditional weight loss methods.

Fat freezing can also be effective for those at a higher weight range who are on an ongoing weight loss journey and are struggling with areas of stubborn fat. When fat freezing is part of a larger fat loss plan, the treatment is most effective once you have already started to lose weight, rather than before you begin your weight loss efforts.

Common treatment areas include the abdomen area, thighs, flanks, chin, middle back, upper arms, mons pubis and calves.

The treatment

How fat freezing treatment is applied

The fat freezing device has four fat freezing applicators. Each one can pull in and freeze an amount of fat that you can grab with one hand. It uses a small vacuum to draw in the fat. Inside the applicator, there’s a cooling plate that lowers the temperature of the fat to between -4 and -7 degrees Celsius. This cold temperature safely triggers apoptosis.

What to expect during your appointment

A fat freezing session lasts 45 minutes per applicator. Up to 4 applicators can be applied at the same time. Your appointment for up to 4 applicators, together with your consultation, will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. For an appointment with 5 to 8 applicators the full appointment will take approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Clients often experience a tugging when the applicator gets fitted, followed by a cold sensation. There is minimal discomfort at the start of the treatment, which wears off fast.

After approximately 10 minutes you can fully relax and even sleep as you wait for the treatment to be completed. You can return to your daily activities immediately after the session, including going to the gym, going out for dinner and drinks, or having a hot bath or shower.

Post-treatment care

Following the procedure, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to enhance and maintain the results. You will see the best results when you either maintain or lose weight (if you are on a weight loss journey), and you may not see results when you gain more weight.

Drinking plenty of water and massaging the area help to stimulate and speed up the break down of fat cells and the lymphatic drainage of the area following treatment.

Mild side effects like redness, swelling, or bruising are common and typically resolve within a few hours to days.

Suitability for Fat Freezing Treatment

Fat freezing may not be suitable for everyone. Treatment may not be appropriate for you if you:

  • Are gaining weight without intentions to change your lifestyle

If you continue to gain weight after the treatment, the results may be minimal or non-existent. For optimal and lasting results, maintaining or losing weight is recommended.

Fat freezing is not an alternative to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Have certain health conditions

There are limited risks associated to fat freezing treatment. However, where a person has a more severe health condition, treatment may not be appropriate due to safety considerations. Such conditions include:

  • Conditions that increase sensitivity to cold, such as Raynaud’s disease, Cryoglobulinemia, or Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
  • Liver, kidney, heart, or lung conditions.
  • Cardiovascular disease or bleeding disorders.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, or other serious health conditions.

Learn more about health conditions and contra-indications.

  • Are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breastfeeding

You should wait at least 6 months after giving birth before considering fat freezing. If treatment is carried out on the stomach area this is especially important, as the pulling of the applicator could cause significant discomfort and harm in an area that has not had the time to properly heal.

Final considerations

Fat freezing treatment will help to achieve gradual fat reduction

As this is a non-surgical procedure, fat reduction is not immediate. Most visible results appear within the first six weeks, with full results typically seen by three months post-treatment.

Multiple treatments may be required to achieve your goals

You may require multiple treatments to achieve your body goals, and treatments must be spaced at least 6 weeks apart.

Temporary marks and bruising

The treatment can leave red marks and bruising on the treatment area. These are temporary, but it is important to keep this in mind and plan your appointments accordingly.

Rare side effects

Fat freezing is considered safe with minimal serious side effects, none of which adversely affect overall health. The only non-temporary side effect is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH), where treated fat cells enlarge, requiring liposuction for correction. PAH occurs in approximately 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 20,000 cases. While no cases of PAH have been reported with our clinic’s equipment and protocols, the possibility, though rare, still exists.