Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) is a condition that can occur after a person undergoes a cosmetic procedure called cryolipolysis, also known as CoolSculpting. This condition is characterized by the enlargement of the treated area, rather than the intended reduction in size. Here, we’ll take a closer look at this condition, why it happens, and how it can be treated.

What Is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia?

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a rare complication that can sometimes occur following CoolSculpting treatment. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses controlled cooling to target and freeze fat cells, resulting in their natural elimination from the body. PAH is characterized by the growth of adipose tissue in the treated area, leading to a visible increase in volume instead of a reduction in fat.

PAH is more common in men and can occur in any area of the body where cryolipolysis has been performed, including the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and arms. While the exact cause of this condition is not fully understood, it is thought to be related to the freezing of the fat cells, which can trigger an inflammatory response that stimulates the growth of new fat cells.

Symptoms of PAH typically appear between 8 and 24 weeks after the cryolipolysis procedure. The most common symptoms of the condition include:

  • - Visible increase in the size of the treatment area
  • - Change in the texture and consistency of the skin
  • - Discomfort
  • - Pain
  • - Tenderness

In some cases, the term “stick of butter” may be used to describe the shape of the affected tissue. This is reflective of the shape of the CoolSculpting applicator device.

How Can Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia Be Treated?

Unfortunately, paradoxical adipose hyperplasia will not go away on its own. Typically, the only way to completely reverse the complication is by undergoing surgery.

The most common surgery to correct PAH is liposuction. This procedure involves removing the excess fat cells that have formed in the treatment area by suctioning them through a cannula. Although traditional liposuction can be effective, the ideal option is typically ultrasound-assisted liposuction, which involves the use of ultrasound waves to break up the excess fat cells. When PAH occurs around the abdomen, a tummy tuck procedure may also be required to fully reverse the complication. Typically, patients are advised to wait several months to undergo corrective surgery for PAH, as that time allows the tissue to soften.

If you’re simply looking to reduce the symptoms of PAH, massage therapy can sometimes be effective. This treatment involves massaging the affected area to help break down the excess fat cells. Additionally, there are several topical treatments available that can help reduce the appearance of PAH.

Contact Dr. Sundin Today for a Consultation

If you believe that you’re suffering from paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Burton Sundin or Dr. Reps Sundin. They will work closely with you to determine the best treatment option for your condition. You’ll be treated with compassion and expert care to ensure that you achieve your aesthetic goals and restore your self-confidence as quickly as possible.

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