(MOBILE, Ala.) If you're tired of those annoying bumps of fat, a new technology may just be what the doctor ordered. Who knew that frigid temps may turn into a dieter's dream? It's a national epidemic that most have too much of, fat. And who hasn't dreamed about a cool way to get rid of it?
Dana Kane is a volunteer police officer who loves to ride horses. She's petite, but fed up with a trouble spot she's had after two C-sections.
"I call it a kangaroo pouch, and no matter what it always hangs over," says Kane. She's even considered going under the knife to have a tummy tuck. "It's major surgery, I dreaded the anesthesia, the recovery time," says Kane.
So she decided since she couldn't melt it off she'd freeze it. It's technology that's taken the medical community and media by storm.
"This is the next generation of technology that's probably gonna supersede liposuction," says Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the Today Show's Medical Editor.
"It's a non-invasive procedure that literally freezes away fat," says Dr. Oz.
It's called Coolsculpting and Dana is having done at The Martin Center. It'll only take an hour.
"Anywhere you can pinch up an inch, it'll pull that area of fat up into the device and it has tow cooling plates that slowly freeze the fat cells," says Dr. Stephen Martin, Plastic Surgeon at The Martin Center. Here's how it works, Coolsculpting targets and cools fat cells to temperatures that trigger their natural death. Over the next few weeks the fat cells die. "So you're actually able to permanently eliminate them," says Dr. Martin.
After she's prepped, the machine literally vacuums in several inches of fat. It pulled in 5 to 6 inches of Dana's fat. "It's really not painful at all," says Kane. Where does it work best? "Around the abdomen, love handles, back, bra fat," say Dr. Martin.
"Just kind of feels like an ice-pack on the small of my back very comfortable," says Christy Fowler. Christy, a mother of three is having Coolsculpting done a second time. This freeze involves love handles.
"I've had the front part of my stomach done. I have a healthy diet, but there's small patches of fat deposit that no matter how much you workout, and on your back per say that just won't budge," says Fowler.
Dr. Martin says Dana and Christy are ideal candidates. "Typically, you'd be no more than 10-15 pounds overweight," says Dr. Martin. The before and after show remarkable results. There are no needles, no downtime, no drugs, and no pain. And it's not just for women. "I've had the treatment myself," says Dr. Martin. But it's not for everyone. "There are some folks that have visceral fat, and this is more common in men then women. Their abdomen is obviously rotund and you can't pinch it. Those folks have different kind of fat more internal around the internal organs," says Dr. Martin.
He says it more about sculpting, major exercise routines and strict rules to only drink water after wards aren't necessary. However, "If you come in and do the Coolsculpting and you go out and eat whatever you want obviously putting in too many calories you're gonna gain weight," says Dr. Martin. Ultrasounds of patient's fat layers taken before Coolsculpting compared to three months later show change.
"They've been able to show a consistent 20-25 percent reduction in the thickness of the fat layers in an area of treatment," says Dr. Martin.
The Harvard Doctor that developed Coolsculpting learned kids that sucked on Popsicles too long lost fat tissue. And he examined butter, it freezes faster than our own skin. That doctor, Rox Anderson, researched a paper written 40 years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine about the loss of child cheek fat called Popsicle panniculitis and the effects of cold on butter. At room temperature it's creamy but inside the fridge it's firm.
"With this temperature difference here you're able to crystallize fat cells but not cause harm to skin, muscle or nerve endings," says Dr. Martin. That butter theory proves to be true as Dana's stomach looks stiff. "You'll see it kinda mounds up. I'm gonna massage it, as I do it feels like a snow cone. Skin's a little red from being cold," says Dr. Martin. But, the fat softens quickly and in minutes is back in place. "It's kinda gone from a snow cone to a stick of warm butter," says Dr. Martin. It takes a month or two to see results. "Those fat cells slowly shrivel up and are absorbed by the body," says Dr. Martin.
"I've not had any bruising in the area. Maybe just a short numbing feeling on the area after wards," says Fowler.
"I feel marvelous, I can't wait to see the results," says Kane. Dana thinks other women will find this to be the coolest and easiest way to shed one of life's most bothersome burdens.
Insurance won't cover it. You'll pay in between $700 and $1,300 depending upon the size of the area treated. Dr. Martin says it's less expensive than lipo and doesn't involve the health risks. Since it's FDA approved those 18 and up are eligible.