'Fat Freezing' Could Lead To Serious Permanent Condition

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CoolSculpting, also known as "fat freezing," has become an increasingly popular way to get rid of extra fat. It is popular among people who want to get rid of belly fat or “love handles.” Although, a serious complication from the cosmetic procedure can result in leaving someone permanently “disfigured.”

The complication is known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) and can cause the treatment to do the direct opposite for what it was intended. Someone who experiences PAH after a cool sculpting procedure develops a large and firm mass under their skin, which appears to make someone looks “bigger” than they did before.

Famed supermodel Linda Evangelista spoke out Wednesday about her complications with the procedure, explaining that even with two following surgeries to fix the PAH, that she has become “unrecognizable” due to deformities.

A person goes into a cool sculpting appointment expecting to have a “noninvasive” fat reduction procedure done by freezing fat.

“Cryolipolysis, commonly referred to as fat freezing, is a nonsurgical fat reduction procedure that uses cold temperature to reduce fat deposits in certain areas of the body. The procedure is designed to reduce localized fat deposits or bulges that do not respond to diet and exercise,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Sometimes the fat freezing can take an unexpected turn and can leave permanent effects that can only be surgically removed. Surgical removal of PAH can also cause complications.

PAH has been estimated to occur in 1 out of every 4,000 treatment cycles, for an incidence of 0.025%, according to a paper in the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2018.

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