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Wednesday
Feb092011

New Non-Invasive Treatment Freezes Extra Fat Off

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- People seeking to get rid of stubborn belly fat could save a trip to the operating room by opting for a new treatment that literally freezes the pounds right off.

The FDA-approved, one-hour treatment called Zeltiq works by using a vacuum like device that pulls in the extra fat and freezes it.  The fat cells then die over six to eight weeks, producing dramatic results.

"It's incredibly popular," said Dr. Debra Jaliman.  "I mean, first of all, when people first hear about it, they think it's too good to be true.  They can't even believe it.  And then when I explain it, they say, "Does this really work?  But the patients we've done, they've just been ecstatic."

"I've been in dermatology for 25 years," said Jaliman, "and I never expected to see this."

In its ability to target a specific area, Zeltiq is similar to liposuction.  But it's not surgery, and the lack of pain and recovery time has made this one of the hottest treatments, so to speak, that Jaliman offers.  But results are not immediate -- they can take five to eight weeks.

The new treatment is the brainchild of Dr. Rox Anderson of Harvard University and Mass General.  A laser specialist who invented laser hair removal and spends most of his time removing debilitating scars and marks from children, he started wondering about the effects of cold a few years ago.

He thought about two things: Incidents where infants sucked on popsicles for too long and lost the fat in their cheeks, and the fact that butter fat hardens, or freezes for that matter, more quickly than a lot of other things, like skin.  Which means you can kill the fat cells below without doing any damage to your skin.

At this point, the technology is best suited for people with a bit of extra fat.

"So people who are in good shape, who have a healthy diet, they're exercising and they have body fat distribution still that they're not happy with, they are the ideal candidates for this," said Anderson.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio