The New York Times recently published what seems like a point-counterpoint feature story on two new, relatively untried prodicts aimed at lipo markets — the Zeltiq (which uses cryolipolysis technology to cool fat down prior to liposuction) and the Zerona, a more conventional light-based device that is appearing in increasing numbers of practices. The author is an editor at the Times. [removed]Zap or Chill? Targeting Fat Without Surgery[/removed] (hat tip to Christopher Zachary FRCP):
Zeltiq uses controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells, a process called selective cryolipolysis. Skin isn’t damaged, but subcutaneous fat, which is more sensitive to targeted cold, begins a two-month death march soon after exposure to Zeltiq.
Doctors on the advisory board for Zeltiq Aesthetics have put the word out about it on television news segments. But at this stage, the company itself has been careful not to promote its device directly to consumers since its F.D.A. clearances for, say, pain reduction during dermatologic treatments don’t encompass fat reduction. Gordie Nye, the chief executive, sent an e-mail message declining to be interviewed for this article.
The company has clinical data that has been submitted to the F.D.A. for approval, according to a few doctors who were principal investigators. Data relayed at a meeting of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery showed a 22 percent reduction of the fat layer as measured by ultrasound.
Erchonia Medical has published the results of its clinical trial in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. Thirty-five patients in the treatment group lost an average of 3.5 inches total in hips, thighs and their midsection according to the company’s clinical trial. The company has promoted Zerona as “a new body-sculpting procedure designed to remove fat and contour the body without invasive surgery.” But the F.D.A. has not sanctioned marketing this use. It has cleared the Zerona laser for pain reduction 24 hours after breast augmentation or as a way to decrease the pain associated with recovering from liposuction.