Could something like CoolSculpting or cryosurgery treat Gynecomastia? Can the cold kill glandular tissue? I’m not worried about fat.

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A.

Q.  I know cold at a certain temperature for a certain time can cause cell death in fatty tissue. I imagine it could do the same with any living cell. At what temperature would cells in your mammary glands die? A.  ​​​Great question! ​CoolSculpting’s cooling endpoint is just above freezing where well perfused tissues retain the heat to remain alive and where superficial fat is stimulated to die via apoptosis. ​ ​Male breast tissue includes non-active tubules (which transfer breast milk) and no lobules (which make breast milk). This tissue is not easily penetrated by the cooling and appears to retain enough heat not to undergo a programmed cell death. ​ ​If the endpoint goes below freezing, frostbite occurs and all tissues die within this frozen zone. This concept is used in cryotherapy for debulking or killing tumors in many areas of the body.  It is for this reason that the feed-back relays on the CoolSculpting machine are so important. ​ ​There are several ways to remove such tissue depending on the amount of residual breast mass and the skills of the surgeon. These include:
  1. ​Lipocontouring with a unique cannula used for breast tissue
  2. ​Areola incision with a “grasp and cut” or full excision
  3. ​Breast mound excision with breast reduction techniques
Please consult with a well experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to consider your options. ​ ​All the best!
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