Posted: March 15, 2024

CoolSculpting has gained popularity in doctor offices and medical spas, with over 17 million treatments sold and revenues exceeding $2 billion. By utilizing cryolipolysis technology, this treatment involves applying a specialized device to targeted areas of the body to freeze fat cells. This process allows the fat cells to naturally die off and be absorbed by the body. On the other hand, in certain unfortunate instances, the fat may grow, solidify, and become lodged in the body, necessitating surgical intervention to eliminate it. Regrettably, it may take several months to even notice this side effect, known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia.

What Is PAH?

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) is a moderate-to-severe side effect of cryolipolysis where fat cells at the treatment site may unexpectedly increase in size instead of decreasing. It is a rare occurrence during CoolSculpting treatment cycles, estimated to happen in only 0.033% of treatments, which translates to approximately 1 in 3,000 cases. However, an investigation conducted by The New York Times suggests that the potential harm to patients could be significantly greater.

PAH is commonly described as a unique bulge that resembles the shape of the CoolSculpting applicator, earning it the nickname "stick of butter effect." This usually occurs within eight to 24 weeks after the procedure.

With PAH, the treated area may appear larger and firmer than the surrounding areas and may have an uneven distribution of fat. Other signs to look out for include:

  • Hard knots of tissue around the treatment area
  • A mass of swelling that is often painful to the touch
  • The treated area looks and feels thicker

Is PAH a Serious Side-Effect?

PAH is a complication of CoolSculpting that can cause significant disfigurement. It can be challenging to treat, often requiring invasive surgery. Most importantly, this condition can be emotionally distressing for patients who undergo CoolSculpting with expectations of achieving a slimmer physique, only to face the opposite outcome.

Find Out If You Have Grounds for a CoolSculpting Lawsuit

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with paradoxical adipose hyperplasia or another serious condition resulting from cryolipolysis treatment? You may have grounds for a CoolSculpting lawsuit.

Kline & Specter provides free and confidential evaluations of potential cases. Kline & Specter handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. For cases outside those states, the law firm works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.

Schedule a consultation with our office today for more information. You can fill out our online contact form or call us directly at (215) 772-1000.