Cryolipolysis is a medical treatment used to destroy fat cells by freezing. The functional principle is the controlled application of cooling, within the temperature range of +5 to −5 °C, for the non-invasive, localized reduction of fat deposits, in order to reshape the contours of the body. The degree of exposure to cooling causes the apoptosis (cell death) of subcutaneous fat tissue, without apparent damage to the overlying skin.
As a medical procedure, cryolipolysis is a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. Etymologically, the term cryolipolysis (freezing of fat) is derived from the Greek roots cryo, meaning cold; lipo, meaning fat; and lysis, meaning dissolution or loosening. In Europe, specific-design cryolipolysis machines are used in aesthetic clinics and spas; the brands of machine include CoolSculpting.