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June 29, 2019

CoolSculpting Gone Bad

CoolSculpting Gone Bad By Barbies Beauty Bits


Yes, gone really bad as instead of reducing the size of my stomach it made it bigger! Now before I get into this, I want to share that if you are new to my website, that 99% of the content I provide is positive as I feel opinions are just that and not facts. Hence, when I talk about a product, I am only telling you about the ones I like, the ones I hate, you will rarely hear about those.

However, this is a different circumstance, as I feel it is essential to share with you a side effect of CoolSculpting that I was unaware of, primarily as it is claimed to be rare, but it is not. So, what the heck am I talking about? I am talking about a complication called "paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH)." Where instead of the fat shrinking, in the area that is treated with CoolSculpting, it gets bigger, and over time it gets hard and can be painful. WTF?? Yes, you read correctly, I now have a large permanent bulge on my stomach that resembles the CoolSculpting applicator shape!

CoolSculpting Gone From Bad To Worse Review By Barbies Beauty Bits

CoolSculpting Gone From Bad To Worse; My Entire Experience
If you do not want to read my story, you can skip to What is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. If not, continue reading. Please note, I mention two doctors, Dr. A, where I had CoolSculpting, Dr. B is the plastic surgeon I went to for a second opinion.

Now, I know you are probably thinking well when you decide to have an elective procedure you are taking risks. Well, in this case, yes and no, as I agreed to promote Dr. A’s  total body bundle, that includes red light therapy first and to finish with CoolSculpting. In turn, I would share my progress on my blog and social media as the company had no marketing or testimonials from anyone.

Before And After For Red Light Therapy And Where My Stomach Was For The Start Of CoolSculpting
The first procedure in my fat reduction journey,  which was red light therapy was amazing. I lost weight, and you can see the results from the image above. You can also see in this picture what my stomach looked like prior to CoolSculpting from the AFTER photo. While that experience was successful and I would highly recommend Red Light Therapy for weight loss, the Coolsculpting was a downhill nightmare.

Coolsculpting before and afters by barbies beauty bits
Butter Stick After CoolSculping, This Is Normal
For the most part, CoolSculpting has an excellent safety record. During the procedure you will get the butter stick effect, which is supposed to be massaged out, this is normal. After the procedure, most patients experience mild side effects such as redness, tingling, and numbness, which goes away after a few weeks. Mine, however, was much longer.  About the 2nd week in, I still had no feeling in the area in which I had the procedure done, and it was still very red and swollen. Because of the concern, I called Dr. A’s office in which I had the procedure, and they said for some people it takes longer to get the feeling back and for me to wait about two more weeks and check back in.

My Follow Up With The Practice
When I called back, I was able to schedule an appt. With the owner of the practice, he (Dr. A) looked at me and told me, I was fine, and that the area still appeared to be swollen and to check back with him in another month, in which I did.  Two plus months in and while the numbness eventually went away; I started to notice a bulge, that was getting harder, that too me looked like the CoolSculpting applicator.

Dr. A claimed that sometimes you must have more than one process done to remove the fat. Since he was not the one to do the procedure (a licensed Aesthetician did it) he had no idea what I looked like prior.  So, I told him with all due respect, my stomach is larger than before, and it's not fat, it's very hard, and I did not gain weight. And that I don't think having another CoolSculpting series is what I need. The spot is not soft fat; it is hard and feels like it did after it was frozen (cryolipolysis) during the procedure. And more importantly, the mark is the exact size of the CoolSculpting device, in the exact place it was used.

Dr. A repeatedly told that if I wanted the bulge to go away, I needed more CoolScultping treatments. Frustrated as Dr. A was not listening, I left and went home.  Once I got back, I looked through all my photos to see if I had a before and after to share with him.  I know you are probably thinking; well, didn't the practice have a before and after? NO, they did not, as this is one area there were horrible at.

None the less, the photos I did have were the ones I took of the procedure. And if you compared my current state with the picture you could visibly see the bulge was from the CoolSculpting device and looking back now, it was clearly PAH.

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia casued from Coolsculpting by barbies Beauty Bits

What Is PAH And Why Can It Happen After CoolSculpting?

I was not aware of PAH. I only found out about it, after my frustrations with my stomach, I decided to go to a plastic surgeon (Dr. B) to get a second opinion. It was at that appointment that I was told it was PAH. I was like what the heck is that?

The Plastic Surgeon explained the technology behind CoolSculpting, which I already knew but will share with you. You see, a CoolSculpting procedure cools fat cells to temperatures that trigger their natural death.  Those cells are then eliminated naturally by the body over the following weeks and months.
The Only Way To Treat PAH Is With Liposuction By Barbies Beauty Bits
During the procedure, a non-surgical applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to selectively target treated fat cells, slimming you down, and leaving the surrounding tissue unaffected. Usually, this is what happens.  However,  a side effect is that the fat in the treated area, instead of shrinking expands and hardens into an unnaturally shaped lump in response to the extreme cold.

This is called paradoxical (abnormal) adipose (fat) hyperplasia (unusual increase in a structure), or PAH for short. Instead of the area shrinking, the bulge after CoolSculpting gets larger and usually becomes firmer than surrounding tissues and resembles the shape of the CoolSculpting applicator.

Needless to say, I was frustrated, but that wasn't the worst. Dr. B told me the only way to fix this was with Liposuction. WTH, you mean I must have an invasive procedure now and pay for it out of pocket to fix this?

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The Only Way To Treat PAH Is With Liposuction

Yep, that is right while PAH is treatable, the only way to fix this bulge on my stomach is with Liposuction, not another CoolSculpting procedure like Dr. A told me. Furthermore, this is not something I can get right away, as I have to wait about nine months until the bulge softens enough to remove safely.

This entire ordeal has been both emotionally and physically draining, especially considering I did the procedure to help market the practice and secondly to address an already bothersome area on my stomach that now appears worse.

Coolsculpting side effects by barbies beauty bits

The Doctor Told Me He Would Not Help Me
After finding out that I had PAH, I proceeded to contact Dr. A directly via email, this was a fail as I got no response. About two weeks later, when I acquired his cell phone number, I called him and left him a voicemail telling him I needed to speak with him.  When he finally called me back, he was very nonchalant and said that he was closing his weight loss practice and couldn't help me and that if it was PAH, he agreed I would have to get Liposuction done to fix it and that I should make an appointment with a plastic surgeon as he could not help me. I was like, so let me get this right, you are telling me, that I have to fork out $8000 plus to be put under anesthesia and have lipo done to fix this and you have nothing to say about it but, you can't help you're closing your practice. He said, yes. And that was the end of our conversation.

The bad side affects of coolsculpting by barbies beauty bits.jpg

Liposuction VS CoolSculpting To Lose Fat
In hindsight, I would not have CoolSculpting done. While it is a promoted as a noninvasive procedure, it costs more as most have to do 2-3 treatments and you don't even get the benefit of detailed sculpting.

On the other hand, Liposuction can end up costing less than some non-surgical alternatives in the long run. A plastic surgeon can determine precisely how much fat to remove to achieve the desired results in only one procedure unlike me, who now has to pay twice.  And if there is an issue, even a side effect, most Dr's offer to help fix and rectify the situation. Not tell you, sorry, I can't help you, and by the way, we suck so bad we are closing our practice!

liposuction vs coolsculpting by Barbies Beauty Bits

Takeaway
Do your research on any cosmetic procedure and always ask about possible complications.  While I did do research, I did not read anything on PAH, nor did the practice, tell me this was a possible side effect.  Otherwise, I may have reconsidered the procedure, since I was only about 15 lbs. overweight.

In conclusion, I hope my story will give some insight to know that while CoolSculpting is marketed as a noninvasive way to lose fat. It is costly, and you should way out your options. And lastly, go to a plastic surgeon, not a spa with an aesthetician to perform, as they can't fix any mistakes or assist with adverse side effects. Otherwise, you will end up like me, stuck as because this was a side effect, there isn’t anything legally I can do about.

CoolSculpting Gone Bad By top Beauty Blogger Barbies Beauty Bits
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