Since summer is coming, Dr. Edward Miranda, a plastic surgeon with Pacific Plastic Surgery Group on Van Ness Avenue in Civic Center, hosted an informal presentation at lunch yesterday about a light, outpatient procedure for minor fat removal and minor reconstruction, it’s cryolipolysis or Cool Sculpting. A vaccuum cleaner basically targets fat cells, freezes them and lets them pass out of the body. One can only wonder what the implications are for treating cancer and other diseases but for now it’s relegated to minor fat cell removal, a cosmetic elective. So, as such, plastic surgery is for anybody who wants it and can afford it, Cool Sculpting being one of the latest cosmetic procedures for handling fat you can pinch e.g. love handles, back fat or double chins. If one is curious, Cool Sculpting is non-invasive and anesthesia-free. Nothing breaks the skin. The fat freezing machine looks like an industrial vacuum cleaner complete with hose and suction heads, cleared by the Federal Drug Administration.
It’s different from liposuction since Cool Sculpting is for small areas and only takes 25 percent of the fat cells. The problem with liposuction is that when the fat returns it just goes to other large areas where fat cells remained. Cool Sculpting would have a similar risk but much less so and it’s best combined with an improvement in eating and exercise habits. Cool Sculpting also has less risk of creating excess skin since the procedure treats small areas and the smoothing happens over months, giving the skin the chance to adapt.
This new procedure came from scientists at Harvard University, while Dr. Miranda’s medical degree comes from Cornell in New York. He completed his residency at UCSF, then worked with Estee Lauder and also performed research of cancer in New York. Dr. Miranda developed his own medical grade skin care line called Ravish, with the best quality sunscreen around and not available in stores. The sunscreen feels comfortable and non-greasy, beautifully unscented so non-irritating. Now he carries a professional quality BB cream, a natural looking, light and silky tinted 50 SPF sunscreen that feels as light as a breeze and non-greasy.
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Alison Mititieri the aesthetician was also on hand at the lunch. Mititieri, a licensed aesthetician from the Euro Instititute of Skin Care in Seattle, has training in oncology. She’s tall and in her twenties, as lithe as a ballerina, saying she has always been 116 pounds. Mititieri said new mothers sometimes opt for Cool Sculpting but the staff noted the fat cell removal is not weight loss, patients remaining the same weight. Sarah Dorsey spoke, she works for Zeltiq, the manufacturer of Cool Sculpting. Dorsey looked as if she is in her mid twenties as well. She could have been another ballerina with her black hair smoothed back and up, a string of pearls around her neck.
Dorsey said she has had the procedure on several areas and it’s painless but feels weird, like getting a hickey. The suction device over the one-hour essentially freezes some fat cells so the cells die. The body processes the dead cells for up to three months, the equivalent of about two French fries a day she said. Later she said she is a third generation San Franciscan whose family has lived in the Sunset, which used to be Irish.
Dr. Miranda noted the difference between treating with Cool Sculpting and lifts or actual plastic surgery. He uses Cool Sculpting only to address pinchable fat, and distinguishes areas that would be better handled with say, a neck lift, with the skin pulled up and tightened with the incision hidden behind the ear. Guests received a brief, free consultation. Dr. Miranda invited each of the participants at the lunch into a surgery room and measured the size of body areas he would treat. He gave an estimate which ranges from about $750 for a smaller area like the chin; or thousands of dollars for two treatments for larger areas like the love handles. The office does offer third party financing but if the credit is not paid off immediately the interest gets exorbitant. It’s Care Credit, seen at medical or veterinary offices in general. Dr. Miranda did say that insurance companies do not want to cover fat removal and rates would increase if they did.
For more information: Pacific Plastic Surgery Group