The FDA just approved an entirely new concept in weight loss for those that want to get rid of a few annoying extra pounds. The green light was given for 2 weight loss treatments that literally freeze or zap off some of the unwanted flab on our bodies. One of the treatments consists of freezing the fat cells and the other treatment uses low-energy laser to shrink them. The two non-surgical forms of fat reducing technology have just won FDA approval.
Zeltiq is the name of the procedure that freezes the fat cells. It cools the skin and chills the fat. This body contouring treatment uses a gel patch attached to a machine that freezes the unwanted fat cells, causing them to self-destruct and get reabsorbed into the body over a period of several months. The gel patch was was an originally approved drug used to anesthetize and cool the skin before dermatology procedures. But doctors found that the device also worked in fighting the battle of the bulge as well.
“This is a big deal,” plastic surgeon Lawrence Bass said on the ABC morning news show Good Morning America. “It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a non-invasive fat-reduction technology,” Bass said.
In Jul. 2009 at Zel Skin and Laser Specialists in Edina, Mn., a 54 year old woman underwent the non-invasive fat removal technique that was inspired by a 1970 research paper on children and Popsicles. “The case report of about 2 or 3 kids that had dimpling of the cheek and they deduced that it was from the cold from the Popsicles,” said Dr. Brian Zelickson. A Harvard dermatologist recalled the article and decided to explore the possibility of trying to remove fat by chilling the skin. Zelickson was a part of the clinical trials for the new procedure and the 54 year old woman was one of the participants. It takes about a month and half to 2 months after the treatment to see the nice contouring of the area that had the treatment. “It’s not surprising the woman came back for the treatment after the clinical trials,” Zelickson said. This is the treatment that now has have approved by the FDA. The name for the treatment, “Zeltiq”, obviously must have been inspired somewhat by Dr. Zelickson. The treatment carries with a price tag of around $1500.
In addition to Zeltiq, the FDA also cleared another weight loss method called Zerona, a low energy laser device that creates tiny pores in the cell membranes that cause the fat contents to seep out and the cells deflate and empty in a matter of weeks. This device is the first of its kind to receive FDA clearance but is less well-documented then Zeltiq. Unlike liposuction, these treatments are non-invasive and either have very little physical risks.
Dr. Bass said that neither of these treatments aren’t meant to replace diet and exercise but can be another option for patients that just need to take a little bit off. It’s mostly for people of normal weight with just a few nagging trouble spots. It is not recommended for obese people or anyone who wants to lose a lot of weight.
I think both of these treatments will probably be very well accepted by the dieters of our generation because many of us are always looking for quick fixes. I don’t know if I would be willing to spend $1500 to freeze a little fat off certain areas of my body, but I am willing to bet that here are thousands out there who would.
Much of the information I used for this article came from ABC’s Good Morning show that featured” Freezing Fat: Weight Loss Treatment Zeltiq Approved by FDA” and was televised on Sept. 15,2010. I also obtained information from WCCO’s article “New Treatment Promises To Freeze Away Fat” that was broadcast on Jul.28, 2009.
Freezing Fat: FDA Approves New Weight-Loss/abcnews.go.com/09/15/2010