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Seen At 11: Some Looking For Slimmer Bodies Freezing The Fat Off

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There's a new way to look slimmer -- no diet, exercise or surgery needed.

As CBS 2's Kristine Johnson reported, some people are literally freezing the fat right off their bodies using a treatment called "CoolSculpting."

The process -- which was cleared in April by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating a patient's thighs, love handles and belly -- uses a device to freeze fat cells. Once they're frozen, the cells drain naturally from the body.

"If you freeze the area, your skin survives, but the fat doesn't," plastic surgeon Dr. Lou Bucky explained. "And then the body, through its natural course, slowly metabolizes that fat and carries it away over a three-month period."

Kaci Kelly, 39, had the procedure done to help get her body back in shape after having a baby.

"I couldn't get rid of the love handles and the saddlebags," Kelly said.

But now she says they're gone. She went back for a second treatment on her thighs.

Patients say CoolSculpting feels like ice on their skin.

"It's a little uncomfortable," Kelly said. "But no, it's not painful. It was quick and easy actually."

It can take six to 12 weeks to see the results, but a patient can lose half an inch from his or her waistline after a single one-hour treatment. An area can be treated multiple times, but Dr. Neil Sadick, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, said the first treatment is usually the most effective.

Last year, 425,000 CoolSculpting treatments were performed around the world.

"These techniques are not substitutes for liposuction," Sadick noted. "They're not for people that have large amounts of fats that need to be removed."

He said temporary side effects include developing bruising or redness on the skin.

The costs for the procedure vary. An abdominal treatment, for example, runs about $1,300.

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