Dermatologic Surgery


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Selective cryolysis: A novel method of non-invasive fat removal
Manstein D, Laubach H, Watanabe K, et al. Lasers Surg Med. 2008;40:595-604.

Surgical liposuction changed the field of plastic surgery. It was seen as near-miraculous to be able to simply suck unwanted fat from the body. In recent years, the industry has been introduced to new innovations for non-surgical fat reduction, including radiofrequency, ultrasound and laser technologies. The authors in this study decided to look at a less-frequently studied non-surgical way to reduce fat: using tissue-targeted freezing temperatures in black Yucatan pigs. Under general anesthesia, test sites on the pigs were exposed for 10 minutes to freezing temperatures, ranging from 20°C to −7°C. The researchers assessed the treatment sites on the day of treatment and at days 1 and 2 and weeks 1, 2 and 4 in four pigs, with assessments out to 3.5 months for another. Results showed a gradual reduction in subcutaneous fat and a reduction in adipocytes. In general, skin was not injured or scarred. The study authors conclude that it is possible to select and destroy fat using a controlled freezing method (cryolysis) and recommend follow-on studies.

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