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Fixing Male Chest Fat with Fat Freeze (Cryolipolysis): Is It a Bad Idea?

May 29, 2023
March 13, 2024

Fat freezing is not designed to target or reduce glandular tissue in gynecomastia or male chest fat. Gynecomastia surgery is the scientifically-proven solution.

Table of Contents

Lately, we've been fiercely swamped with advertisements promoting fat freezing to tackle enlarged male chests, clinically known as gynecomastia, which affects nearly 60% to 70% of males. And it got us thinking... "Is it possible to treat a medical condition with fat freezing?" 

Let's dive deep, separate the real deal from the fakes, and uncover the facts you need to know before you waste your money.

Male Chest Fat: Know the difference between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia

Gynecomastia is characterised by the enlargement of breast tissues in males. It can affect one or both breasts and is commonly caused by hormonal imbalances. Physical characteristics and changes associated with gynecomastia include increased breast size from mild to significant. The breasts may feel swollen and tender, causing discomfort and sensitivity. Nipples may appear protruded more than usual or puffy. Although rare, in some cases, nipple discharge may also occur. 

Often confused with gynecomastia due to the similarities in physical appearance is pseudogynecomastia, clinically known as lipomastia, where breast enlargement is primarily due to an increase in FATTY tissue without glandular tissue involvement. 

Find out more:

How Fat Freeze (Cryolipolysis) Works 

Fat freezing (cryolipolysis) is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment that primarily reduces subcutaneous fat beneath the skin. Before considering fat freezing for enlarged male breasts or chest fat, gaining a deeper understanding of the procedure and its potential effectiveness is essential. 

The treatment area is cleansed before the treatment, and a protective membrane (gel pad) is applied. A cooling applicator is then placed on the targeted site, sucking the skin and underlying fat, gradually lowering the temperature of the fat cells, and triggering apoptosis (cell death). Subsequently, over the following weeks, the body's lymphatic system will naturally eliminate the damaged fat cells and expel them as waste. 

Depending on the treatment area, the duration can vary but typically between 35 to 60 minutes per area. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal fat reduction results. 

Fat freezing (cryolipolysis) is not specifically designed to target or reduce glandular tissue in cases of gynecomastia. While this non-invasive treatment may reduce some chest fat over multiple sessions, it is NOT considered the primary treatment for gynecomastia. 

It is crucial to understand the limitations of fat freezing and consider other treatment options to achieve satisfactory results for gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia.

Gynecomastia surgery has been clinically proven to be the optimal treatment to successfully address this medical condition, mainly where glandular tissue is the primary objective. Liposuction will be performed to remove the excess chest fat. 

Side Effects of Fat Freezing are More Common Than You Think!

Aside from its limitations, cryolipolysis also comes with some disadvantaged and common side effects. Among the disadvantages are:

  • Fat freezing is not suitable for obese individuals
  • The treatment may result in skin surface irregularities
  • More than one treatment session may be needed to achieve results
  • There is a wait out period of SIX to EIGHT weeks in between sessions to allow the fat cells to be eliminated before resuming treatment
  • It can take THREE to SIX months for results to materialise as fat cells loss is a gradual process

Common side effects of the treatment includes:

Pain or aching

Pain, stinging sensation or aching at the treatment site. These may last between THREE to ELEVEN days.

Temporary irritation

Skin sensitivity and. the patient may also experience swelling, bruising and/or temporary skin discolouration. These typically resolves on their own within weeks

Perhaps the most concerning side effect of Cryolipolysis  is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH).

Fat Freeze Side Effect: Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)

Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) is a permanent side effect where a hardened fat area (visualise a stick of butter!) develops after cryolipolysis. PAH occurs when individuals experience unexpected growth in fat instead of fat reduction, which is a frustrating result for those seeking fat loss. The exact causes of PAH are still being studied, which makes it difficult to predict or prevent. 

Recent studies have indicated a higher occurrence rate of PAH (1 in 138 treatments) than previously reported by manufacturers (1 in 4,000 treatments). It is crucial to be aware of this increased risk. Several factors have been identified as potential risk factors for developing PAH, including using a large applicator during treatment, being male, having a Hispanic background, and treating the abdominal area. 

Understanding these risk factors allows individuals to make informed decisions and evaluate the suitability of fat freezing for their specific circumstances.

Inconsistency

Fat freezing treatments can yield inconsistent results. Each person's body shape and fat composition are unique, and a standardised approach may not produce the desired outcome for everyone. It is important to acknowledge that fat freezing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Factors such as fat distribution, the thickness of the fat layer, skin laxity and the body's response can influence the effectiveness of the treatment.

User Reviews: Separate fact from fiction 

Please approach endorsements and recommendations from social media influencers or celebrities with caution. Many influencers or celebrities promoting certain treatments are sponsored to promote specific brands, salon providers or medical spas, which can create an inaccurate perception of the treatment's effectiveness. It is advisable to seek genuine reviews and experiences from real people who have undergone the treatment. 

By listening to unbiased accounts, individuals can better understand the benefits, limitations, and potential risks associated with fat freezing.

Correct PAH with Corrective Liposuction Surgery

Dr Ivan Puah, an MOH-accredited liposuction doctor and the Lipo Peer Review Committee Chairman in Singapore, has nearly two decades of experience performing liposuction and corrective surgeries. Dr Puah emphasises the importance of managing patient expectations, as while some areas can be improved, more severe complications may only see partial improvement at best.

Corrective liposuction surgery is a procedure to address PAH and botched or poorly done liposuction. Performed by Dr Ivan Puah, corrective surgery can help correct problems such as PAH, leftover fat, lumpiness, indentations, skin rippling, scarring, and asymmetry.

Dr Puah shares, "Typically, the fat removed in patients with PAH differs from other fat, which is harder to remove. I will use my MDC-Sculpt®️ Lipo technique during the corrective surgery to correct PAH. Stands for Multi-Dimensional Contouring; this liposuction technique increases the efficacy of fat removal."

Corrective Liposuction Surgery at Amaris B Clinic Singapore

At Amaris B Clinic in Singapore, corrective liposuction surgery is performed in an accredited Day Surgery Center. A panel of experienced anaesthesiologists ensures your comfort and safety during the surgery. Comprehensive postoperative care is also provided, with a dedicated team attending to your needs after the procedure.

Dr Ivan Puah has undergone dedicated training in gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco and advanced liposuction training in Argentina, Italy and Colorado. He has developed proprietary surgical approaches - the 360°GTD® technique for gynecomastia and the MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique for liposuction.

If you have experienced PAH, taking appropriate action to address the physical and psychological impact is crucial. Patients who have undergone unsuccessful procedures often suffer from lower self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression, in addition to the physical discomfort they may experience!

Contact us now in the form below to make a private consultation with Dr Ivan Puah.

Reference

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