Names You Need To Know: Zeltiq CoolSculpting

Original Article on | Written By: Kerry A. Dolan Kerry A. Dolan Dec. 10 2010 5:44 pm


A prime target for Zeltiq CoolSculpting fat freezing technique. Image via Wikipedia

This post is part of an ongoing effort to crowd-source a repeating feature in Forbes magazine entitled Names You Need to Know. We are looking for the people, places, products and ideas that will have significant impact in the near future. Join the ongoing conversation here. For anyone trying to rid themselves of that last layer of fat around the middle that exercise isn’t helping to minimize, Zeltiq CoolSculpting is the name you need to know. This minimally invasive process freezes fat cells and causes them to die and disappear over the course of a couple months. “From my personal experience, I think it’s a miracle. I’ve gone down a jean size,” gushes Kathleen Welsh, a dermatologist in San Francisco who tested he procedure herself before offering it to her patients. She’s performed the Zeltiq CoolSculpting on hundreds of patients in the past year. About 80% are women looking to shrink back fat or reduce the tummy bulge that won’t go away after having children. Male patients usually target the love handles around the waist. Welsh’s office charges $2,000 for four sessions. It’s far less costly and less invasive than liposuction, a surgery that is used to remove fat. A patient spends two hours in a dermatologist’s office hooked up to a machine that looks like a giant vacuum cleaner head, which, as Zeltiq CoolSculpting Chief Executive Gordie Nye explains it, uses suction and then chills the targeted bulge or love handle or pooch. Patients can watch TV or talk on the phone during the treatment and then go right back to work when it’s done. Welsh says she sees a 20% reduction in her patients’ fat layer after two Zeltiq CoolSculpting sessions. These photos also show the before and after:

Zeltiq CoolSculpting® Treatment Before & After


Before & After Photo Gallery

A New England Journal of Medicine study from 40 years ago pointed out that children who sucked on popsicles with great frequency got dimples in their cheeks but not in the places dimples usually show up. The cold from the popsicle, the researchers concluded, was killing the fat cells in the children’s cheeks. More recently, scientists at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital researched fat cells’ hypersensitivity to cold and filed patents on this a field called cryolipolysis. Zeltiq CoolSculpting licensed the patents, raised $78 million in venture capital from firms including Venrock and Frasier Health Care Ventures, and spent four years developing the fat-freezing device. After a successful clinical trial, it received approval from the FDA in August. With any sort of luck, Zeltiq CoolSculpting could become to fat reduction the preferred quickie treatment, just like Allergan’s Botox has created a market for people who would never consider a surgical face lift. Zeltiq CoolSculpting has sold 350 machines roughly 60% to doctors in the U.S., and the rest outside the country. Nye says they sell for about what a BMW Series 7 car costs $70,000. The company also charges a fee for each Zeltiq CoolSculpting treatment. It’s a relatively pain free experience; patients feel a pinch and some have bruises afterward. Dr. Jeffrey Dover, a Boston dermatologist and former Harvard professor who led the Zeltiq CoolSculpting clinical trials and serves on the company’s scientific advisory board, cautions that this treatment is not for obese people. It’s meant for people with exercise-resistant fat. “The one downside is we see people who are too overweight and we have to turn them away,” says Dover.

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