The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public yesterday that it has never approved a fat-freezing device used in a non-invasive liposuction procedure known as CoolSculpting or Cryolipolysis.
Plastic surgery clinics that use the fat-freezing device would be penalized and the DOH has instructed health departments in New Taipei City (新北市) and Taipei to investigate whether clinics are using the tool, department officials said.
The department was responding to recent media reports claiming that it had approved the Cryolipolysis procedure, in particular a fat-freezing device manufactured by a company in the US.
According to Zeltiq Aesthetics, the medical technology company that developed the CoolSculpting procedure and device, fatty deposits tend to break down under cold temperatures, so by freezing body fat, the procedure allows people to remove fat without going under the knife or having liposuction.
The department’s Food and Drug Administration pointed out that although it recently approved two skin-cooling devices, neither of them were specifically designed for freezing fat. The administration added that neither of the approved devices had the medical effects claimed by the developers of the US product.
Clinics that use the approved devices for other purposes or overstate their functions are violating the Medical Care Act (醫療法), administration officials said.
The administration reminded people that they had the right to ask doctors for information regarding medical equipment and to see the certification and approval papers of any devices.