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Slimming down the cool way

For men and women attempting to lose those last few pounds, surgery may not be an option. Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Chang of Columbia Aesthetic Plastic Surgery began offering “CoolSculpting,” which he describes as a safe, noninvasive alternative to liposuction.

“It is so popular because everyone is looking for something with no downtime for recovery and without the risk of surgery,” he says.

During the treatment, a specially designed device takes the targeted fat tissue between cooling panels for a process called cryolipolysis to freeze fat cells. The entire procedure takes between one and two hours and Chang says the results are permanent.

Since January, Chang has treated more than 100 men and women, including Charmaine Baldwin Gordon of Columbia.

“Every woman has areas where fat tends to accumulate. Even if you are at or near your ideal body weight, you can still have areas where diet alone won’t help,” she says. “When I heard noninvasive and no downtime, it was a no-brainer.”

CoolSculpting offers a 25 percent to 30 percent reduction of fat in areas, which Chang says is less than liposuction, but the recovery period is much shorter.

“I love the results,” Gordon says. “My husband risked permanent injury — no man discusses his wife’s fat — by noting that he could see the results.”

Columbia Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 8860 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite 206, Columbia. 410-740-9330.

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