Very possibly if the new procedure known as Cryolipolysis takes off. And yes, the procedure is exactly what you think it may be – cooling fat cells in order to make them shrink. If you’ve ever seen a video of a surgeon performing liposuction you’ll have certainly made note that these guys are not gentle in the slightest. That alone puts people off, but add in the fact that you have several weeks, if not months, of fairly painful recuperation time and it becomes less desirable. People still go through with it because they are too damn lazy to diet and exercise. The introduction of cryolipolysis ought to be enough to persuade a lot of potential-but-too-scared ‘liposuctioners’ to give it a try as it is non-invasive and doesn’t really require much recovery time.
Cryolipolysis involves placing plate-like devices directly onto the skin. The device then cools rapidly to about thirty degrees and somehow manages to avoid damaging the skin. This causes the fat cell beneath the skin (subcutaneous) to give up their yield. I’ll be honest, I thought this was more scamming bullshit until I realized there were actual studies on this showing anything from 20%-80% reduction is layer thickness. One question I do have though is where the fat cell contents go. Lipolysis is merely the removal of fat from fat cells. It then has to be metabolized for energy in order to truly be burned off otherwise it gets redistributed. And the only way for it to be metabolized is usually through calorie deficit. If the whole idea behind this cosmetic procedure is so lazy folk can get trim without effort then I am curious what the effect would be. One mechanism suggested is that cryolipolysis actually causes fat cell apoptosis, or “cell death”, resulting in the cell breaking down completely and being metabolized itself. What is interesting is that some drugs given to AIDS patients cause a similar effect and result in what is called lipodystrophy syndrome, manifesting in a build-up of neck fat that is quite humorously/callously referred to as a ‘buffalo hump’. That could make the sights and sounds of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles interesting.
Source: Nelson AA, Wasserman D, Avram MM. Cryolipolysis for reduction of excess adipose tissue. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2009 Dec;28(4):244-9.