Is there a reason why there are such different responsed to the level of pain with coolsculpting?
Why Do Some Coolsculpting Patient Report Little Pain and Others Report Severe Pain?
Doctor Answers (9)
Reactions to CoolSculpting treatment
Thank you for your question.
The CoolSculpting method is based on science performed by the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Research determined that fat cells are more vulnerable to cold temperatures and when introduced to these cold climates are effortlessly and permanently demolished. Beginning weeks after the cooling application, the cooled fat cells initiate the process of solidifying the fat cells without destroying surrounding tissues, eventually causing the cells to shrink and disappear naturally. Gradually as the cells diminish, the depth of the fat layer will be reduced.
Each patient is different with how they respond to this procedure. Usually, patients experience more of the achy, tingly, etc when the procedure is performed on the abdomen vs. other areas. It really is patient specific.
CoolSculpting and pain
During the CoolSculpting procedure, there will be intense cooling for a few minutes. Some people find this uncomfortable, but the area soon becomes numb and people can relax and feel quite comfortable during a treatment. Following the treatment most people continue with their day normally with little to no discomfort. Over the course of a few days, some people feel mild discomfort similar to the feeling one might have after a workout. On occasion, significant discomfort has been reported. The patients who experience significant discomfort are almost always patients who have had treatment with a single large applicator administered to the lower abdomen area. In my practice, we offer compression garments like the ones we use for patients following tummy tucks or liposuction. This has seemed to provide additional comfort and support to patients. On occasion, a patient might find relief with a non-narcotic pain medication called Neurontin. This can be prescribed by the doctor or the physician assistants and nurse practitioners in the practice. However, most patients do not require medication following a CoolSculpting procedure.
Pain After CoolSculpting
Each patient is different, and therefore healing times and severity of side effects differs. For example, one patient might have a very high pain threshold whereas another patient could be very sensitive. It all depends on the individual receiving the treatment. Generally, patients do not experience severe pain after CoolSculpting.
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Very Few CoolSculpting Patients Experience Extreme Pain
There are multiple factors that determine each individual’s experience with CoolSculpting. Each patient has a different comfort threshold, though only a very small percentage of CoolSculpting patients experience extreme pain. Another factor may be where the patient is treated. For some individuals, certain areas may be more sensitive than others. It’s important for patients to research CoolSculpting providers to find a CoolSculpting Certified Practice to ensure that providers are adequately trained and experienced in the use of CoolSculpting technology. Once you’ve done this, your provider can determine if you’re a suitable candidate.
Cool sculpting is highly tolerable
Dear Debbie, great question. Typically there is some mild discomfort, tenderness and swelling following cool sculpting procedure that is quite tolerable. This is pretty consistent but can vary in intensity from patient to patient and likely reflects normal inter patient variability in pain tolerance as well as how much fat was treated. This is tolerated very well in most patients with little effect on lifestyle or daily activities. There is a small number of patients (.04%) who experience more intense pain that is less tolerable. This is thought to be neurogenic in origin and is transient, often lasting less than a week. If necessary can be treated until resolved. This is a relatively rare event, but can happen and is reassuring that it is short lived and with no long term consequences.
Only a very small percentage of patients experience extreme pain
Everyone is different and everyone's pain tolerance is different, however, it is important to know that only a very small percentage of patients experience extreme pain. In fact, we have treated a large number of patients over the last year and only 1 patient has experienced extreme pain, which also completely resolved after two weeks.
Everyone is different
just as it is difficult to answer the question - how much time do i need for recovery? - everyone differs in their pain tolerance, cold tolerance, etc. with this device, most people have mild discomfort but not true pain. i had the procedure done myself and was out hiking the next day. so it is definitely different for different people.
Pain thresholds differ in patients despite the therapy whether CoolSculpting or surgery
Some people are built differently than others. They may have greater density of nerve endings, or their central nervous system processes the pain differently. They may be thinner or the attachments that hold the skin down to the muscle layer may be more sensitive to pulling, or the nerve endings may be more sensitive to freezing. Fortunately the pain that one may feel is temporary. During the treatment it only lasts for the first 5 minutes or so. Afterwards there may be some focal sensitivity for several days to a few weeks for some individuals.
What are the after effects of CoolSculpting?
As with any procedure the degree of discomfort can vary from patient to patient. No two people experience things exactly the same. Even things such as how well prepared the patient is explained to what to expect will affect their interpretation of the experience. Finally, the size of the applicator will also impact on the patient's experience. There are three different applicators avaialbe and the use of the large applicator seems to result in a higher incidence of post treatment discomfor. However, it is important to realize that the overwhelming majority of patients tolerate this procedure with only a temporary numbness and achiness. It is not common that patients request a prescription strength pain reliever and in most cases any discomfort will spontaneously resolve within 10-14 days.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.