ZELTIQ® was founded in 2005 with a clear, straightforward objective. Our mission is to create differentiated, clinically proven, safe, and beneficial solutions with one goal in mind: a cooler you.

Visionary Investors Meet Visionary Science

Companies are typically born from a single entrepreneur. The ZELTIQ story, however, is anything but typical.

Initial Cryolipolysis research and testing on patients was conducted by Drs. Dieter Manstein and R. Rox Anderson at the Wellman Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate for Harvard Medical School. This science and its potential served as the catalyst that attracted founding investors Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Frazier Healthcare Ventures (FHV).

The collaborative knowledge and insight of these three entities have played a significant role in ZELTIQ’s efforts to develop this groundbreaking medical technology.

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CoolSculpting® combines the science of Cryolipolysis® with advanced proprietary engineering into the CoolSculpting® system. What makes the procedure different from other non-invasive modalities for fat removal is its advanced cooling technology that selectively targets and eliminates fat cells gently and gradually while sparing all other tissue.

The CoolSculpting System

ZELTIQ developed an advanced medical device that utilizes Cryolipolysis® to eliminate fat. The device is available to physicians specializing in cosmetic procedures.

How It Works

With the CoolSculpting Procedure, a specially designed cooling applicator is applied to the desired area of fat reduction to extract energy (cooling) from the underlying fat tissue without damage to other tissues. The applicator cup uses vacuum pressure to draw the tissue between the cooling panels. During the procedure, the applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling conditions that have been proven to target and eliminate fat cells in specific areas of the body. When fat cells are exposed to precise cooling, they trigger a process of natural removal that gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer.

CoolSculpting Applicators

Coolsculpting Handstücke

CoolSculpting’s groundbreaking technology uses a patented cooling process called Cryolipolysis® to target and eliminate fat cells. The non-invasive procedure is highly effective in selectively targeting fat cells without damage to other cells and tissue.

Natural, Gradual Body Fat Reduction

The CoolSculpting system controls the rate of energy extraction or cooling during the procedure. The result is a reduction in fat bulges that is visible in most patients in two to four months. The fat cells in the treated area are gradually eliminated through the body’s normal metabolic processes, similar to how fat from food is eliminated.

Little to No Downtime

With this non-invasive technology, there are no needles, no incisions, no need for anesthesia, and no recovery time. Patients typically resume normal activities on the same day as the procedure, making it a good choice for patients seeking a non-surgical alternative to liposuction.



Cryolipolysis® is the non-invasive cooling of adipose tissue to induce lipolysis – the breaking down of fat cells – to reduce body fat without damage to other tissues. The scientific principles of Cryolipolysis® were discovered by Dermatologists Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD and R. Rox Anderson, MD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The physicians and their team conducted research that demonstrated that under carefully controlled conditions, subcutaneous fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other surrounding tissue. Their initial work, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in November 2008, showed that:

  1. Exposure to cooling via energy extraction causes fat cell apoptosis – a natural, controlled cell death, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators that gradually eliminate the affected cells.
  2. Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the procedure, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
  3. Lipids from the fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed and eliminated, much like that of fat from food.

Based on their research findings, the investigators concluded “prolonged, controlled local tissue cooling can induce selective fat cell reduction and subsequent loss of subcutaneous fat, without damaging the overlying skin.” This discovery, called “selective Cryolipolysis®,” led to the development of the patented technology behind the non-invasive CoolSculpting® Procedure.

Why the CoolSculpting Procedure Is Different

The CoolSculpting Procedure using Cryolipolysis® is fundamentally different from other non- or minimally invasive modalities. Other methods of fat removal primarily involve necrotic cell death by damaging fat with heat, high-intensity focused ultrasound, or chemical injections. Each approach poses potential technical challenges, particularly with respect to targeting the right tissue depth and unintended damage to other structures close to or within the fat layer. Predictability of efficacy using these other techniques is also uncertain. In contrast, the CoolSculpting Procedure using Cryolipolysis® induces apoptosis only in fat cells to gently and gradually reduce the fat layer while preserving all other tissue.

How Non-Invasive Cryolipolysis® Works

img_cryo11. Some stubborn fat are immune to diet and exercise
img_cryo22. CoolSculpting targets and cools fat cells to temperatures that trigger fat cell apoptosis
img_cryo33. No damage to nerves or other tissues beacuse lipids in fat crystallize at the warmer temperature than water in other cell types
img_cryo44. Following treatment, fat cells enter an apoptotic death sequence and are gradually removed in the next few weeks and months by the immune system
img_cryo55. Fat layer thickness significantly reduced
img_cryo66. Fat layer reduction in targeted area leads to an improvement flank appearance

How it works

Beware of imitation products

Beware of imitation products

There are many imitation products which try to copy CoolSculpting. All imitations are sold under a similar sounding name. This is to suggest that the technology and the treatment results are comparable to those equated by CoolSculpting. However, this is not the case for several reasons – the imitation products may even have negative health effects.

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