Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects women, with nearly 300,000 cases in the U.S. each year. As a result, mastectomies are fairly common life-saving procedures. Although many women choose to have breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy, the initial procedure can create excess pockets of fat on the sides of the chest wall, resulting in a bumpy, uneven contour.
For this reason, recent research has explored the effectiveness of using nonsurgical CoolSculpting® to address this leftover fat as an alternative to surgery. Here’s an overview of what CoolSculpting® is and how it may be able to help women following a mastectomy.
What Is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® is an innovative nonsurgical body contouring device that utilizes a freezing process called cryolipolysis. During treatment, the CoolSculpting® device targets and disables unwanted fat cells that would be difficult or even impossible to remove through traditional weight loss methods.
Once those cells are destroyed, your body naturally eliminates them over the next several weeks, revealing a smoother, slimmer shape. Because CoolSculpting® is nonsurgical, there is no downtime afterwards.
Because CoolSculpting® is nonsurgical, there is no downtime afterwards.
CoolSculpting® after a Mastectomy
A recent clinical study authored by Dr. Jennifer Harrington and Dr. Peter Capizzi found that CoolSculpting® may be used as a reconstructive tool, in addition to its popular cosmetic use. Eighty-seven percent of study participants reported that cryolipolysis treatment met their expectations, which is consistent with satisfaction following a cosmetic procedure.
Additionally, after post-mastectomy cryolipolysis treatment, many participants reported a decrease in pain in their chest wall, which was an unexpected benefit of the procedure.
These findings show promising evidence that CoolSculpting® can be an excellent nonsurgical solution for women looking to regain their confidence after a mastectomy. If you’re considering this procedure, talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon to see if it might be right for you.
Dr. Jennifer Harrington is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. Harrington Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer the most advanced cosmetic and reconstructive techniques performed by a highly specialized all-female team of board-certified plastic surgeons and professional staff.