Cryolipolysis, also known as Fat Freeze, is a medical treatment used to destroy fat cells by freezing. The functional principle is the controlled application of cooling, within the temperature range of +5 to −5 °C, for the non-invasive, localized reduction of fat deposits, in order to reshape the contours of the body. The degree of exposure to cooling causes the apoptosis (cell death) of subcutaneous fat tissue, without apparent damage to the overlying skin.
As a medical procedure, fat freeze is a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. The word cryolipolysis (freezing of fat) is derived from the Greek roots cryo, meaning cold; lipo, meaning fat; and lysis, meaning dissolution or loosening. In Europe, specific-design cryolipolysis machines are used in aesthetic clinics and spas.
Cryolipolysis is used for removing certain areas of body fat that are just under the skin to contour a person. Evidence supports its effectiveness at three to four months.
Fat Freeze appears primarily applicable to limited discrete fat bulges. According to a 2015 review it shows promise with the average fat reduction, measured by calipers of about 20 percent.
Side effect data of Fat Freeze are based on a limited experience. Transient local redness, bruising and numbness of the skin are common side effects of the treatment and are expected to subside. Typically sensory deficits will subside within a month. The effect on peripheral nerves was investigated and failed to show permanent detrimental results. No serious long-lasting side effects were encountered during follow-up time of six months.
Coming soon: A Directory of Fat Freeze specialists and companies in South Africa