A recently released review of published studies on the use of cryolipolysis for body contouring reports on the efficacy and safety of this relatively new procedure.
According to the review, many anecdotal reports extol the efficacy of cryolipolysis, but the majority of studies are small, retrospective case-series that lack control groups. The authors — Chase D. Derrick, M.D., of the University of Missouri’s division of plastic surgery, Justin M. Broyles, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and New York plastic surgeon Sachin M. Shridharani, M.D. — set out to systematically review available literature to better illustrate the procedure’s safety and efficacy.
The researchers used MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed and Cochrane databases to identify 34 published studies on cryolipolysis for body contouring. Of these articles, 19 met the selection criteria and were included in the analysis. A total of 16 were analyzed, which included 1,445 patients with reportable data for safety. Twelve patients (0.82%) reported complications, the most common of which was sensation lasting greater than four weeks. An aggregate total of 295 patients had objective data for evaluation of tissue reduction. The mean time from procedure to objective outcome evaluation was 3.83 months. The mean reduction of subcutaneous tissue was 19.55% with respect to a designated control site.
“Selective cryolipolysis appears, at short-term follow-up, to reliably decrease subcutaneous tissue deposits,” the authors conclude. “Reported complications are uncommon and appear to resolve without intervention. Future studies should aim to optimize patient selection and treatment characteristics while obtaining long-term follow-up data.”