Paradoxical Hyperplasia Caused by a CoolSculpting Side Effect
Does a quick, non-surgical procedure to eliminate stubborn fat deposits sound too good to be true – particularly, if this procedure is also virtually painless, touted as safe, and has no downtime?
Meet cryolipolysis, also called fat freezing or CoolSculpting. The FDA has cleared this procedure, which uses a wand-like device to disintegrate fat cells with cold temperatures through 40 to 60-minute treatment sessions.
The results become visible just a few weeks later, with the size of the treated area shrinking by around 25 percent in nearly six months after the treatment.
More Common Based on New Research
However, a very small number of patients experience an exact opposite effect. The cryolipolysis treated areas actually become bigger and tighter. In addition, new research indicates that the complication, known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), might actually be more common than previously believed.
Modern Body Contouring & Laser Center (MBody), led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides CoolSculpting to patients in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Loudoun, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Chevy Chase, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and surrounding locations.
What’s the Risk?
According to a paper published in the most recent issue of the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers found that PAH develops in 1 out of every 138 cryolipolysis treatments.
Researchers further explain that rate is significantly higher than the manufacturer’s stated rate of 1 out of every 4,000 treatments.
Both the manufacturer and the study measured the PAH rates on the basis on a treatment cycle, which is defined as the use of cryolipolysis on a specific spot on the body. But those numbers do not disclose this risk of complication on a per-patient level, as in