90’s supermodel Linda Evangelista recently shared a post about complications following a fat-freezing treatment which has reignited the debate about the safety of fat-freezing cosmetic procedures.
In the Instagram post, the star described how she was left ‘brutally disfigured’ and ‘disformed’ after developing paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) following a fat-freezing procedure. This has led the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) to look into the complications of fat-freezing treatments and release new data.
Looking at treatments that required surgery by its member surgeons between 2018 and 2020, BAAPS found that 7% had to deal with serious complications, with 21 patients requiring surgery over the three-year period. Further to this, 21 patients were left with some permanent deformity or scarring, even after undergoing surgery to try to correct the impacts. Of these patients, nine required liposuctions, eight required an abdominoplasty and four required surgery for skin necrosis.
What is PAH?
Fat freezing works by freezing the fat cells in your body, which your body later breaks down and excretes through normal systems. However, in some cases, the fat freezing can cause a gradual enlargement of the treated area, activating a reactionary process in the fatty tissue that thickens and expands the fat cells rather than breaking them down and allowing the body to remove them. This is known as PAH and although rare, is a known effect of fat freezing treatments.
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