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ASDS study: Fat-freezing reduces enlarged male breasts

September 14, 2015, Rolling Meadows, Ill. – Fat-freezing provides a safe and effective non-surgical alternative for men seeking breast reduction procedures, according to a new scientific analysis. 

Men who underwent fat-freezing treatments as part of the study reported encouraging results, with 95 percent noting an improved appearance and 89 percent citing less embarrassment about the appearance of their chests. The study’s findings are published in the September issue of Dermatologic Surgery – the official journal of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Fat-freezing, or cryolipolysis, offers a non-invasive alternative to reducing fat without damaging surrounding tissue. It is a popular method of body contouring; ASDS members performed 79,000 cryolipolysis treatments in 2014, according to the ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures. 

This new study demonstrates that cryolipolysis provides a viable solution for enlargement of the male breast due to excess fat. Known medically as pseudogynecomastia, the condition often causes self-consciousness and psychological distress, especially in adolescents and young men, according to the authors. 

Surgery for breast size reduction is the fourth-most popular cosmetic surgery procedure for men, according to the study, despite many patients fearing invasive surgical procedures because of potential complications and the necessary recovery time. Standard treatment options include surgical excision under anesthesia, liposuction or a combination of both.

The study notes the stigma associated with enlarged breasts in males can make patients reluctant to discuss their concerns with doctors. However, the results suggest overcoming any initial embarrassment can yield worthwhile results without requiring an invasive procedure. 

The study’s authors tracked the treatment results of 21 males with excess fat around the breasts who experienced a pair of consecutive 60-minute fat-freezing treatments, then an additional 60-minute treatment two months later. Clinical photographs and ultrasound imaging demonstrated a reduction in breast contour and volume after the treatments.

The subjects also detected progress. In addition to the vast majority of participants reporting improved appearance and less embarrassment, 95 percent of the subjects said they would recommend fat-freezing to a friend.

Participants revealed that “a modest fat-layer reduction produced a significant improvement in quality of life,” the authors write. “Comparison of the survey responses at the 60-day and final follow-up visits shows that [participants’] self-image and satisfaction with the procedure increased significantly after the second treatment” and with additional time for the treatments to take effect.

“Results from this pilot study indicate that the non-invasive procedure is generally safe, with minimal to no downtime, and [the results are] sustained over one year from the first treatment,” the authors write. “Moreover, it achieves appreciable results, enhanced by subject satisfaction and good treatment tolerance.”

The authors note the treatment’s side effects include mild discomfort and fleeting tenderness and tingling afterward.

“Cryolipolysis for Targeted Fat Reduction and Improved Appearance of the Enlarged Male Breast” is authored by Girish S. Munavalli, M.D., M.H.S., and Ratchathorn Panchaprateep, M.D., Ph.D.  

About ASDS
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and fill and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons also are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit

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Jay Schwab 
Communications Manager 
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery 

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