CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment in which fat cells are frozen and liquefied so that they may be aspirated or released naturally from the body. While this procedure is mostly successful, there is a 1% risk of developing a condition called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) in which the treated area actually grows bigger.
PAH is one of the delayed side effects of CoolSculpting and the effects begin to show around 6 months after patients have undergone the procedure. If you are considering the use of CoolSculpting, it is good to learn more about PAH, its symptoms, and ways in which it can be treated.
Board certified plastic surgeons at the Modern Body Contouring & Laser Center provide CoolSculpting fat reduction procedure to patients in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Loudoun, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Chevy Chase, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and surrounding communities.
What Happens in PAH?
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive way to break down fat cells. However, in some persons, the cold temperature used in the procedure causes the body to react by expanding the fat cells instead of breaking them down. As a result, the treated area becomes harder and larger, causing PAH.
Fat cells that have grown in size need more oxygen and nutrition. Their density too increases, and they grow harder. The early symptoms of PAH begin to show within a month or two of treatment, but it can be six months before the diagnosis is confirmed.
What Causes PAH?
There is no single known cause of PAH, but the risk of developing it is greater when someone undergoes CoolSculpting. More men than women are affected by this condition, although there is no information about why this is so. As per medical data, PAH affects about 1 in 20,000 persons; yet, it is a risk factor worth considering before you choose this treatment.
What are the Symptoms of PAH?
The easiest recognizable symptom is that PAH generally shows up as fat in the form of a stick of butter. This has been linked to the shape of the applicator used in CoolSculpting. But it is possible that the fat takes a different shape or size.
Some people develop an appearance of having gained weight. But if they have been sticking to a healthy lifestyle which makes the weight gain abnormal, it is best to see the doctor.
Often, persons with PAH will feel a slight tenderness or mild pain in the treated area when it is touched. Others may have no pain but find some unexplained growth in the area or the skin begins to feel harder. All these are probable symptoms of PAH and should be examined by a doctor.
Can PAH be Treated?
Persons who develop PAH can be treated using lipolysis which breaks down the excess fat. Smartlipo is a commonly used laser-assisted liposuction procedure carried out under local anesthesia. Laser melts the fat and tightens the fat at the same time. The melted fat is manually removed using a suction.
Cosmetic surgeons at MBody receive patients from Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Loudoun, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Chevy Chase, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and nearby areas for CoolSculpting body contouring treatment.
CONTACT MBODY CONTOURING AND LASER CENTER in NORTHERN VIRGINIA
For more information on the surgical and non-surgical procedures and treatments by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Reps Sundin and Dr. Burton Sundin please visit or click here to contact us.
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