Background: In the past decade, the practice of body contouring using cryolipolysis has increased tremendously. While numerous anecdotal reports extol the efficacy of this product, the majority of these studies are small, retrospective case-series that lack control groups.
Objective: The authors aim to systematically review available literature to better illustrate the efficacy and safety of this new procedure.
Methods: A systematic literature review performed using MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane databases identified all published studies evaluating cryolipolysis for body contouring.
Results: A total of 34 articles up to February 2015 were identified. Nineteen articles matched the selection criteria and were included in the analysis. Sixteen were evaluated in the final analysis. A total of 1445 patients had reportable data for analysis of the safety profile. Twelve patients (0.82%) reported complications with the most common being diminished sensation lasting greater than 4 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.
Conclusions: Selective cryolipolysis appears, at short-term follow-up, to reliably decrease subcutaneous tissue deposits. 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.
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