FAQs: CoolSculpting® and Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia

Recently, Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista, one of the top supermodels from the 1990s, came out and said she had hidden from the public eye for the last several years because of complications she experienced from various cosmetic procedures, including CoolSculpting®. In an interview, she said she had CoolSculpting® performed under her chin five years earlier, but instead of fat cells dying off, resulting in a slenderized appearance, her face experienced the exact opposite reaction, as it instead became puffy and bloated.

This has naturally raised a number of questions regarding the safety of CoolSculpting® from prospective patients. In addition to those who are interested in shedding stubborn body fat with the outpatient procedure. To help clarify, here is what you need to know regarding CoolSculpting® and Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, and what possible side effects you might experience.

Q: What Is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia?

A: While CoolSculpting® is designed to eliminate fatty tissue cells by freezing them and cutting off the oxygen and blood flow to these cells, which causes the fat cells to die, Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, or PAH, is the opposite of this (it may also be referred to as Paradoxical Hyperplasia, or PH). Should someone experience PAH, instead of shrinking in size, the fat cells may double, or even enlarge five times over.

Q: How Common is PAH?

A: In the medical community, PAH is deemed a rare adverse event. Something is considered rare when it occurs between once out of every thousand times or once out of every ten thousand times. This means there’s between a 0.1 and 0.01% chance of experiencing this kind of rare side effect.

Q: When Will Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia Begin to Develop?

A: It takes weeks, if not several months, for the body to begin displaying results of the CoolSculpting®. This is also the case with Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia. Following treatment, Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia may appear anywhere between two and five months after. If a patient believes they are having any kind of side effects, whether it is related to PAH or anything else, it is important to contact the service provider and to go over what kind of side effects they are experiencing. If there are adverse effects to the CoolSculpting® treatment it is always best to draw attention to it sooner rather than later as it may be possible to limit the continued development of such effects.

Q: Does Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia Occur With Any Other Form of Treatment Besides CoolSculpting?

A: The majority of occurrences of Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia have been tied to fat reduction treatments. However, it has been seen in connection with other fat reduction treatments and equipment. CoolSculpting® has been around longer and is used far more frequently than the other treatment options, so this is to not say it is more common in CoolSculpting®. It’s simply seen more often with CoolSculpting® because of the popularity of the treatment.

Q: Is CoolSculpting® the Same Now As It Was When Linda Received the Treatment?

A: As is the case when any kind of technology is involved, five years is a lifetime. Over the years, there have been numerous improvements and upgrades to CoolSculpting® techniques and the equipment used. So while the principle is the same, the equipment has improved. This leads to improved results and a safer experience for patients.

Q: Has The Skin Center Ever Seen Any Cases of Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)

A: No. As of this writing, we have performed 5,773 CoolSculpting® treatments and not a single one has resulted in the form of PAH. CoolSculpting® is a safe body contouring treatment that allows you to see results effectively, without surgery or downtime.

Q: How Can Someone Treat PAH?

A: Because Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia is relatively unknown as there isn’t a large sample size, it hasn’t been the center of available treatments. However, depending on the severity and the location in the body there are options. For example, liposuction may be one option to help correct the Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia.

Schedule Your In-Person Consultation Today

Here at The Skin Center By Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we have performed thousands of CoolSculpting® treatments. It’s safe to say without a single PAH complication. However, if you’d like to know more about CoolSculping® and Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia and how your own skin may react with the body sculpting technique, and what alternatives you should consider, your best option is to give our team a call and schedule an in-person consultation.