Albertans freeze fat in attempt to lose weight

Some Albertans are getting their fat frozen in an attempt to lose weight. “Coolsculpting” is a relatively new technique and it is gaining popularity. It’s based on the scientific principle that when fat cells freeze they die and eventually are absorbed by the body.

Procedure an alternative to liposuction, but some question safety in absence of long-term studies

Some Albertans are getting their fat frozen in an attempt to lose weight. 2:41

Some Albertans are getting their fat frozen in an attempt to lose weight.

“Coolsculpting” is a relatively new technique and it is gaining popularity here. It’s based on the scientific principle that when fat cells freeze they die and eventually are absorbed by the body.

  • Would you try the technique? Sound off in the comments. 

Lyann Ross-Lamb, who watches her diet and exercises regularly, wanted to get rid of some stubborn stomach fat. She opted to try the procedure instead of turning to liposuction.

"I exercise a lot and I try to eat right so anything that's non-invasive that makes me look a little better, my pants fit a little looser, that'd be great."

Calgary dermatologist Andrei Metelitsa performs the procedure in Calgary. (CBC)

Calgary dermatologist Andrei Metelitsa says fat freezes at a higher temperature than surrounding tissues.

"Usually within three months most of the patients acquire approximately 20 to 25 per cent reduction in the amount of fat thickness layer."

And though Coolsculpting appears safe, some, like Edmonton dermatologist Mariusz Sapijaszko, want to see more long-term studies.

"People having irregularities or infections or difficulties with nerves or circulation — we just don't know that yet,” says Sapijaszko.

There have been roughly 500,000 fat freezing procedures done worldwide.

Since the machine was approved in Canada in 2008 there have been three reports of problems. In each case Health Canada reports corrective surgery was required.

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