If you have been exercising and eating healthy, but are not able to lose those stubborn love handles or other bulges around the trunk, Dr. Thomas Leach, medical director of the Princeton Center for Plastic Surgery, has the answer for you: CoolSculpting by ZELTIQ.

Dr. Leach saw CoolSculpting presented at a national meeting several years ago by a European physician and was duly impressed. Once cleared by the FDA he added this technique to his practice as a truly noninvasive way to reduce fat bulges. The patented, clinically proven system was developed by Harvard scientists to specifically target only the fat cells.

There is zero downtime for this procedure, and zero incisions. Within a month you start to see a change, and within three months you see an average reduction of 20 percent of fat cells. “It seems too good to be true,” says Dr. Leach, “but there is no downside. I was the first patient treated in our office and went to the gym that night with no problems.”

Each body part takes about an hour to perform. As the gel and applicator can feel cool to the touch, there is minor discomfort as the treatment begins. But after a few minutes,the treated area is numbed by the cold. During that time, patients are encouraged to eat, read, work on their laptops, or simply take a nap. It is that relaxing. Multiple parts can be contoured on the same day. When you are finished, go home and resume normal activities while you wait for the fat cells to freeze away.

Although the technology was developed at Harvard, it was available in Europe for a few years before being approved by the FDA. During this time, the FDA followed patients as they tried to determine what actually happens to the fat. They checked blood levels and fat accumulation in the liver and looked for specific problems, which, Dr. Leach said, they did not find. “Your body disposes of these dead cells by a process called apoptosis,” he said. “The crystalized fat cells break down and are naturally flushed from your body.”

A link from Dr. Leach’s website provides more information and beforeand after photos.

Thomas A. Leach, M.D., Princeton Center for Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, 932 State Road, Princeton. Fax: 609-921-9263. 609-921-7161 or

www­.­princetonsurgery.com.

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