Pseudogynecomastia or male breast enlargement occurs due to excess subareolar fat. The typical solution is surgical excision or liposuction, or a combination of both. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reported that gynecomastia was among the top 5 cosmetic procedures performed on men in 2014. Cosmetic Surgery Times (CTS) recently reported on a new study which suggests that cryolipolysis, the non-invasive method of breaking down fat cells by cooling them, could be a viable, effective treatment for pseudogynecomastia. CoolSculpting by Zeltique Aesthetics is based on cryolipolysis.
The study involved 21 men with pseudogynecomastia. They underwent an initial treatment that comprised a 60-minute cryolipolysis cycle, followed by a two-minute massage and a second 60-minute cycle with 50% treatment area overlap. After a 60-day follow-up, the patients received a second 60-minute treatment. Side effects and adverse events were monitored to evaluate safety. Ultrasound, clinical photographs and patient surveys were used to assess the effectiveness of the treatment. The observations and findings of the study are as follows:
- Visual appearance improved in 95% of the participants, while 89% had a reduction in embarrassment related with pseudogynecomastia.
- The ultrasound showed a mean fat-layer reduction of 1.6 ± 1.2 mm.
- Mild discomfort during treatment and transient paresthesia (tingling due to nerve damage) and tenderness were among the reported side effects.
- One case of paradoxical hyperplasia (PH) occurred. Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is the increase in adipose tissue at the treatment site at a later time.
The co-author of the study told CTS that cryolipolysis can be used safely and effectively for treating enlarged male breasts. Summing up their findings, the expert said, “This is a non-invasive procedure which can be performed within a matter of hours, and results are seen as quickly as six to eight weeks. This study conclusively showed, with standardized photography and ultrasound measurements, that reduction in breast size is measurable and significant. Just as important, quality of life improves as a result of this treatment. This has profound effects on self-esteem and specifically allows men to feel better in certain types of clothing and in social settings such as the gym, pool and outdoors or exercise activities.”
The study, which was published in the September 2015 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, was supported by a research grant from Zeltiq Aesthetics. CoolSculpting is already a popular option among men and women seeking a non-invasive method to treat fat in the flanks, abdomen, and thighs. The FDA recently approved it as a viable option to treat a double chin.