29 Jan CoolSculpting Inventor Talks Shop
Everyone has heard of CoolSculpting, the revolutionary fat freezing procedure that’s a safe and effective non-surgical alternative to liposuction for those near goal weight. However, few people consider the origins—and it all started with a popsicle. Dr. Rox Anderson is a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital where Coolsculpting was invented, and he’s also the director at The Wellman Center for Photomedicine. According to Dr. Anderson, CoolSculpting works via “panniculitis.”
The idea that fat can be frozen away, or panniculitis, was an established concept before the invention of CoolSculpting but little-known. Dr. Anderson was searching for a safer means of getting rid of stubborn fat when he began to experiment with freezing. Panniculitis by way of popsicles was first noted in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1970. Nearly 50 years ago, doctors realized that newborns who sucked on ice cubes lost fat in their cheeks permanently.
Dr. Anderson explains, “If they’re exposed to cold, they will develop inflammation in the fat, and then the fat will actually disappear. But then people just kind of forgot about it. It was just one of this oddball kind of things you’d rarely see in dermatology.” However, as Dr. Anderson began researching, he discovered that panniculitis doesn’t just work in newborns and the cheeks. The trick was controlling it to target fat loss in adults.
Dr. Anderson considers panniculitis a tip from Mother Nature. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Anderson developed the concept of cryolipolysis. By creating special equipment to freeze targeted areas externally, the team discovered fat cells in many parts of the body could be frozen and permanently disappear. It took two to three months for initial experiments to “kill” the fat cells which were then metabolized by scavenger cells. That two to three-month window is still the prime time frame for CoolSculpting results.
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Fat freezes at a different rate than skin, which is why CoolSculpting is a safe method of fat removal. In the past eight years, over six million treatments have been performed in the US. Research around CoolSculpting continues to grow, and additional targeted body areas are being added, including beneath the chin and in the upper arms. To find out more about CoolSculpting, schedule a consultation with Spectrum Dermatology today.