BAKERSFIELD - Want to trim down without lifting a finger? Then, a new fat eliminating procedure that recently made its way to Bakersfield might be for you. It's called Cool Sculpting. If you can pinch an inch or grab some of your gut, this new FDA approved fat freezing treatment promises to kill fat cells. And, unlike some other cosmetic procedures, many men are lining up to try it out. There are no incisions, you can do it on your lunch break, and there's no down time.
Ads and videos for Cool Sculpting show what the fat cell eliminating procedure targets, using animation. And, the slimming service is now offered to real people in Bakersfield, like Dr. Joseph Chang. Not only is he a doctor at Empire Eye and Laser Center. He's also a Cool Sculpting client.
"When I had the treatment the last time, I went straight back to work seeing patients. Literally, all I had to do was wipe off the gel and I was ready to see patients," said Dr. Chang.
The system was developed by Harvard scientists. They noticed hospitalized kids who ate a lot of popsicles formed dimples in their cheeks. And, jockeys in the Midwest had more fat on their inner than outer thighs, which were exposed to the cold.
They took what they found and partnered with machine maker Zeltiq to create Cool Sculpting.
"It actually destroys the fat cells and it allows the body to naturally dispose of them through natural body functions," said Alex Neal, EuroPhoria Medical Marketing Director.
EuroPhoria is one of three Bakersfield locations offering the treatment and Neal, too, is a client.
"It's a little tugging. It's a cold sensation for about an hour worth of time then it all goes away," said Neal.
Here's how it works. A patient is consulted by a licensed physician to see if they qualify. Basically, as long as you can grab the fat, it can go.
During the procedure, a thin gel shield is placed on the treatment area, and the suctioning device is applied. It pulls the fat in between two cold plates, freezing and killing fat cells in an hour session. Because fat freezes at a higher temperature than normal cells, there's no other damage than to the fat.
"If you put a bowl of soup in the fridge, you get that little hardened layer up top first. That's the fat freezing," explained Dr. Chang.
A study released last month by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, showed last year, nearly half of Cool Sculpting patients were men.
It could be that the treatments are more reasonable than surgery, $650 to $1,500 per session. And, treatment centers in Bakersfield are seeing many male clients, but none of whom wanted to talk on camera. And that, too, could be part of the lure, the secrecy.
"There is a secrecy thing involved in Cool Sculpting. This is one of those things you can do, you don't have to tell anyone you are getting it done," said Neal.
"In our culture, there still is a stereotype. There still is some stigma about doing procedures that improve your appearance and most people would prefer to keep that to themselves," said Dr. Chang.
When the hour is up, there is redness and some swelling that is temporary. Some bruising, numbness, and tingling can happen too. In fact, a claimed Cool Sculpting patient posted a video on YouTube saying she's had stinging for over a week. And, that can be a side effect.
"It's anxiety provoking if you are not expecting it. But, if you are expecting it, it really isn't painful. It's really something to let you know it's not completely back to normal," said Dr. Chang.
Once the fat cells are killed, they are eliminated as waste from the body. The natural process means results won't be seen for two to three months. In another YouTube video, a man tracked his progress. After six weeks, he saw some results. And after eight weeks, that little bothersome bump he had went bye-bye.
"I think guys and girls all have areas of fat that we wish we didn't have and this a way we can, you know, take care of that problem area in kind of a surgical strike," said Neal.
The procedure is only meant for trouble spots. It won't solve very large amounts of fat. It's not recommended for children, and you should maintain a healthy lifestyle. And, as with everything, consult your doctor before any procedure.