Thigh Gap: How to Reduce Thigh Fat With CoolSculpting

Zeltiq Aesthetics, the maker of CoolSculpting, has led the market in non-invasive body fat reduction, and now with their latest announcement, it looks like CoolSculpting has just lengthened its lead in front of the competition. This is great news for healthy men and women who struggle with stubborn fat deposits that don’t seem to respond to diet and exercise.


The CoolSculpting procedure utilizes advanced cooling technology to literally freeze fat.¹ When CoolSculpting was first introduced into the US market in Fall of 2010, the procedure was cleared by the FDA to reduce stubborn fat deposits from the flanks (love handles.) The proven safety and consistent success of the CoolSculpting procedure made it easy for the FDA, in the Spring of 2012, to approve CoolSculpting to reduce belly fat in the abdomen. The latest addition to CoolSculpting indications came in 2014, when the C.E.O of Zeltiq announced that the FDA recently approved CoolSculpting for getting rid of thigh fat.


The Science Behind CoolSculpting

According to clinical research CoolSculpting utilizes cryolipolysis, which is the medical term for cellular destruction caused by exposure to extreme cold. Cryolipolysis technology capitalizes on the different freezing temperatures between skin cells (and surrounding tissues) and fat cells. Unlike the epidermis, fatty tissue does not need freezing temperatures to crystalize. Fat cells are far less hardy than skin cells, and freeze at much higher temperature. Fat cells chilled below body temperature, result in localized death, triggering the body’s immune system. Over the span of 4-6 weeks, the dead fat cells are metabolized and naturally exit the body as waste.


The CoolSculpting Procedure

When reducing fat from the flanks and abdomen area, a CoolSculpting specialists uses a handheld device, equipped with two cooling plates. A vacuum from the handpiece sucks up a bulge of fat and holds the fat between the two cooling plates during the procedure. The cooling plates are calibrated to a specific temperature, which is not cold enough to harm skin tissues, blood vessels, nerves, etc, but is cold enough to chill the fat, allowing the controlled cooling to safely pass through the epidermis to freeze the subcutaneous fat located beneath the skin’s surface.¹ The handpiece used to treat belly fat, or reduce fat from the love handles was ideal for these larger treatment areas.


CoolSculpting clients typically had only one complaint regarding Zeltiq’s state-of-the-art equipment: the size of the handpiece is not suited for smaller treatment areas, such as the inner thighs. So Zeltiq went to work and developed a customized handpiece, designed to reduce body fat from smaller, more confined treatment areas. Zeltiq describes their latest innovation: “the newest applicator utilizes non-vacuum based cooling, easily and specifically treats the outer thighs and other non-pinchable fat bulges, and features a comfortable design that adjusts to fit each individual patient. In combination with an applicator launched last year and designed to treat longer fat bulges and hard-to-reach areas such as the inner thigh, the CoolSculpting procedure can now treat the complete thigh area.” Zeltiq’s ever advancing technology distinguishes them within the non-invasive fat reduction industry. With this new indication “the CoolSculpting procedure is the first and only clinically proven non-surgical solution using cooling for fat reduction of the thighs.”


Can CoolSculpting Really Freeze Fat From My Thighs?

Yes. CoolSculpting has been clinically verified through numerous studies. When treating the flanks and abdomen areas, patients typically lost an inch of fat from their waistlines, after a single treatment. Studies measuring the effects of CoolSculpting on the thighs are equally encouraging. According to Zeltiq, in a clinical study observing patients who received unilateral outer thigh treatments, “86% of patients noticed visible fat reduction after just one treatment and 86% of patients were satisfied with their results. Of note, 89% of patients said they would recommend CoolSculpting to a friend. “(data on file). These results have been verified in clinical studies such as this one. However, like any cosmetic procedure, results may vary.


The thighs are notorious for collecting stubborn fat deposits, especially for women. Scientist believe that the reason for fat to collect around the thighs was an evolutionary advantage for women during their reproductive years. Inner thigh fat and outer thigh fat are heavily influenced by hormones, such as estrogen, hence human biology tends to predispose women to a “pear shaped body.” Diet and exercise can certainly help you get rid of thigh fat, but not as efficiently as women might hope for.


Saying Goodbye to Thunder Thighs 

Women who desperately want to get rid of thigh fat often focus on thigh exercises. And while inner thigh exercises and outer thigh exercise can tone thigh muscles, they cannot discriminate to solely target thigh fat. This is why CoolSculpting may be the ideal solution for women, or men, who become discouraged at thigh fat that does not respond to diet or exercise.


Wanting  a Thigh Gap

CoolSculpting may also appeal to women, especially young women, who covet the latest body trend known as thigh gaps. What is a thigh gap? Thigh gaps refer to a space between the inner thighs created when standing upright with feet together. More and more models are revealing a distinct inner thigh gap, leading to a sudden demand  from teen girls and young women on fitness trainers to develop exercises for a thigh gap and cosmetic surgeons to perform fat reduction procedures to transform their patient’s thighs to match the thigh gap pictures seen more and more in beauty magazines.


Lifestyle columnist for SHAPE magazine, Cristina Goyanes interviewed a leading provider of CoolSculpting procedures, bariatric physician Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., to investigate whether CoolSculpting is a practical solution for women who covet the thigh gap, in her article “A Revealing Look at the Thigh Gap Surgery Trend.”


Goyanes admits that CoolSculpting can create a distinctive inner thigh gap for some clients, but questions the choice to cosmetically alter your body “to fit an ideal that is truly unnatural.” Goyanes doesn’t sugar coat her disdain towards unnatural body image ideals perpetuated by the media and beauty industry: “Make no mistake, [thigh gap] is a 100 percent fabricated look—seamlessly edited to perfection on screens, in print and now in doctor’s offices,” with the CoolSculpting procedure.


The SHAPE article endorses CoolSculpting as a minimally invasive fat reduction procedure for men and women who live healthy, active lifestyles, and want to reduce stubborn fat deposits to achieve a healthy body image. Neither Goyanes, or the doctor she quotes considers creating a thigh gap as a healthy reason for cosmetic fat reduction: “If you have a healthy, muscular build because you’re fit and active, you might not have a thigh gap. But that doesn’t mean you should alter yourself to get one.”

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