The principles of Cryolipolysis

Cryolipolysis is a non-surgical method to permanently get rid of unwanted fat deposits.

This method was discovered several years ago when researchers realized that there was a correlation between cheek dimples on children’s skin and contact with ice on their cheek skin.  After this discovery, Harvard researchers studied for several years to develop a patent for Cryolipolysis which is currently performed using the Coolscultping machine.

The Coolsculpting procedure consists of placing an applicator on the target zone, which freezes the fat area for 35 minutes at – 10 degrees Celsius.  After the treatment, the targeted fat cells die and naturally evacuate the organism 1 to 3 months after.  The fat removal provided allows the silhouette to remodel.

This is therefore a non- surgical alternative to liposuction.

Areas treated by Cryolipolysis

Cryolipolysis has the same objectives as liposuction.  Like liposuction, it is not a treatment to lose weight, more so to reshape the silhouette.  Cryolipolysis eliminates unnecessary bulges and confined excess fat.  Areas that can have fat removed by Cryolipolysis are the same for liposuction including the neck, chin, inner arms, abdomen, love handles, inner thighs and the butt area.

Liposuction or cryolipolysis?

Excess fat can be removed by liposuction or by Cryolipolysis.

However, liposuction needs to be performed in an operating room under general anesthesia instead of cryolipolysis in 4 cases:

  • The need to recover fat to re inject it somewhere else by lipofilling
  • An excessive fat volume being treated
  • Significant amounts of excess  of skin requiring fat and skin removal at the same time to obtain an aesthetic result (without “pending skin”). In this case, it can be an abdominoplasty, a thigh or arm lift.
  • Gynecomastia with the presence of the mammary gland requiring an operation to remove the glandular core

In all other cases, cryolipolysis is possible, to significantly reduce fat (no surgery, no hospitalization, no anesthesia, no cessation of activities).

Efficiency and safety of Cryolipolysis

The Coolsculpting machines from the Zeltiq laboratory are the only ones that have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) for cryolopolysis.  The Coolsculpting machines are equipped with a unique security system which constantly controls the skins temperature and automatically turns off the machine if the temperature goes too low.

Cyrolipolysis, by Coolsulpting is proven to be extremely efficient with more than 3 million treatments around the world.  Depending on requested results and areas, it can  be necessary to have a second treatment done to assure the best results possible.  However, one can still have great results with one treatment.

The final results will be definitive, as the procedure definitively kills the fat cells.  Just like post liposuction, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid gaining back new fat cells.

Treatment procedure

A first consultation will allow us to determine what areas are eligible for the Coolsculpting treatment.  A pricing estimate is also determined, based on the number of areas being treated.
Like any body remodeling consultation, it is important to take in account the quality of the skin and the excess fat.
No para-clinical examination is required prior to the treatment.

The day of the treatment, the Coolsculpting nurse specialist marks the treatment areas and places the applicators.  One will then feel a suction sensation (like a suction cup) but there will be no pain.  A cold feeling will then settle in.  When the cold is settled in, there one will not have any pain sensation but sometimes a numbing sensation that is a result of anesthesia created from the cold.  It applicator takes about 35 minutes of treatment and an hour per area.  During the treatment, one can read, work or simply sit back and relax.

To reduce the processing time, it is possible to put 2 or even 3 applicators at the same time, depending on the area being treated.
After the treatment, normal activities can be resumed without any downtime.  One can shower or take a bath immediately.  A post treatment visit is scheduled three months after the treatment to evaluate the final results.


  • The day of the treatment, it is recommended to come in comfortable clothes that can be easily removed.  Avoid tight-fitting dresses, skinny jeans and tight clothes in general.
  • Do not apply cream to the skin before the treatment
  • Do not plan anything after the treatment because some people show signs of tiredness as a short term side effect
  • The marker lines can still appear 2 days after the treatment.  Be sure to use micellar water to remove it.
  • For best results, be sure to adopt a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise

Cases that Coolsculpting cannot be performed

The major reasons why Cryolipolysis cannot be performed are directly related to cold-related diseases:

  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Cold hemagglutin disease
  • Cold paroxysmal hemoglobinuria

There are also major cases particularly concerning the state of the skin tissue in an area. Therefore, Coolsculpting can not be performed on:

  • Eczema, dermatitis or rashes in the treatment areas
  • Skin sensitivity disorders
  • Open wound or infections on the treatment area
  • Hernias or recent surgery on the treatment area

Lastly, cryolipolysis cannot be performed on pregnant or nursing women.

Side effects

Like any kind of treatment, side effects can occur.

Mild and common side effects include redness, tenderness or numbness in the treated areas.

Rare side effects are also possible like panniculitis (tissue inflammation in the treatment areas or a paradoxical hyperplasia (increased fat tissue).  Panniculitis can be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine.  Paradoxical hyperplasia may require additional liposuction to remove hyperplastic fats.