If you are anything like thousands of Americans, you have this large, droopy roll of fat that hangs like an apron from your hips over your groin. Some people are lucky enough to have a smaller roll here, while others have a pannus that hangs to their knees and makes it impossible to walk. If you have looked into surgery only to be told that there is too much fat there to remove, you might consider something like Coolsculpting, a.k.a., cryolipolysis. Will it work on your pannus (i.e., fat apron)? Here are the facts.
If You Can Pinch It, You Can Freeze It
It is an odd rule of thumb, but cryolipolysis requires at least an inch of fat roll in order for the machine's attachments to work. Most people seeking this non-invasive method of getting rid of fat have that inch, but usually not much more than an inch. A pannus is at least an inch, and sometimes several inches. The short answer here is that if you have a pannus of fat that you can pinch or grab that can be squeezed between the cryolipolysis's icy cold rollers, then yes, you can use this method. If you have much more than an inch of fat in that pannus, it will be up to the plastic surgeon or aesthetician as to whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure.
More Than an Inch in Any Direction
A pannus is often more than an inch thick, and you can often grab it from hip to hip. It is the result of stretched-out skin with lots of fat hiding inside. A lot of pregnant women end up with a postpartum pannus, and some men who have gained a lot of weight and then lost it rapidly also have a pannus. You can try cryolipolysis, but be aware that each part of the pannus in the machine's freezing rollers counts as a separate area, and your pannus may count as three or more treatment areas when the rollers have to be slid along the pannus from hip to hip. If you have a lopsided sort of pannus, the results will also be lopsided because you have more fat and flesh on one side of the pannus than the other.
It Can Help Reduce the Size of the Pannus for Surgical Removal
There is a surgical procedure known as a panniculectomy. It will remove the pannus, but most surgeons require additional fat loss to ensure that you are not losing too much of the fat covering your abdominal organs. If you use cryolipolysis prior to a panniculectomy surgery, it can help remove a lot of that extra stubborn fat to make surgery possible.