I Did Coolsculpting Procedure 3 Weeks Ago, Not Seeing Results. Is This Normal?

Hi, i did coolsculpting procedure 3 weeks ago on my lower and upper abdomen. I still have pain and discomfort. Even touching is painful let alone pressing. It also sometimes feel itchy here and there on the abdomen but there is no more bruising or redness. There has been no improvement on the reduction of fats yet. Please help as my doctor is not very informative and the nurse just says it is common.

Doctor Answers (11)

Cool Sculpting results in as little as 4 weeks

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You need more time!

It can take up to 12 weeks depending on the area treated.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it application process.

The discomfort from treatment does resolve. Taking over the counter tylenol or naproxen resolves this in the majority of cases. If you have swelling that is persistent then a waist binder is helpful.


Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

CoolSculpting Results

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Typically, there is minimal to no downtime after CoolSculpting though patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort. Side effects can include redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness to the touch, cramping, itching, tingling, and numbness. You may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks after your treatment, and will experience the most dramatic results after two months. But your body will still flush out fat cells and continues doing so for up to four to six months after treatment.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Coolsculpting is gradual over 2-4 months!

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SheelaA, hang in there- cool sculpting results are gradual over 2-4 months. the ultimate results depend on how the patient, number of treatments, handpeice size, and orientation are optimized to "sculpt" the body. Tenderness in the treatment area is common, but usually tolerable. The fat cells are signaled to die off at the time of treatment, but the body does not carry them instantly.  Instead, this occurs gradually and safely over a few months time. This awareness is often comforting to patients, so that you understand why you feel tenderness and know that it is not harmful, but necessary and will resolve.

I hope this is helpful!

Andrea Willey, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon

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Coolsculpting results

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Be patient. Coolsculpting works. Everyone sees results at a slightly different period of time following the procedure but most will see significant results by 2 months though continued improvement up to 5 months after first treatment.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

3 weeks following Coolsculpting

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Greetings~

It's not uncommon to not see improvement after 3 weeks. Some patients may even have some swelling initially that can also contribute to the area not only not looking better but for a brief period, looking worse. Results can take 3-4 months to appreciate....so don't give up hope. 

Depending on the amount of fat we are trying to eliminate, some patients do require 2-3 treatments.  One treatment is not sufficient for everyone. It is not unusual to have some discomfort in the treated areas for a few weeks.  Tenderness or numbness and itchiness and tingling are quite normal. 

Hang in there~

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Coolsculpting results take 2 months

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Don't worry yet - you are describing a normal response to Coolsculpting.  You'll start to notice fat reduction about 2 months after the procedure, and it can take as long as 4 months before you get the full result.  

The sensations of itching or discomfort are normal and typically subside over several weeks.  For people with severe discomfort, I recommend tylenol, ibuprofen, and, if that doesn't work, gabapentin (a medicine that helps with nerve pain).

Melissa Chiang, MD
Houston Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

No immediate fat reduction with Zeltiq; be patient

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It is common not to see good results from CoolSculpting until three to four months after the procedure. Inflammation which will cause the elimination of the dead fat cells, can cause swelling, itching, soreness and then the symptoms typically fade.  Shrinkage of the fat volume is gradual and slow, not overnight.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Maximum results from coolsculpting are seen after 2 to 3 months.

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Dear writer, The maximum results from coolsculpting are seen after 2 to 3 months, although some patients continue to see further reduction of the fat layer at 4 months post procedure. The pain and discomfort may sometimes happen, particularly if the larger, 8.0 applicator is used. You may take ibuprofen 200 mg every six hours, but consult your doctor first (a history of sensitive to this medication or history if gastritis may preclude its use). I would not try to assess your fatty layer so early and wait at least two months. Standardized before and after photos will show every patient very good results. Something that may be encouraging for you to know is that many times the patients who do experience pain and redness turn out to have some of the best results. I was one of them! Had tenderness and redness after my 8.0 on the abdomen, and my results have been excellent. Best regards, Dr. Bowes.

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How Long Does it Take to See Results with CoolSculpting

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Although some patients will see results as early as three weeks the most dramatic results will be seen betwen the 2nd-4th month after the treatment.  Regarding your discomfort if its not improving perhaps you can ask if its ok for you to take an analgesic such as ibuprofen,naprosyn, or acetominophenl with a low dose of codeine.  Finally, a medication called gabapentin, normally used for various forms of neuropathy can be tried.  In all cases to date the discomfort will resolve with most patients reporting improvement over a period of several weeks so try your best and hang in there because its should only be a matter of time.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

3 Weeks after CoolSculpting

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Thank you for the question.
Cool sculpting technology causes adipose  cell death and a  secondary inflammatory response to eliminate these cells. This process takes several weeks;  I have seen early responses as early as 3 weeks after the procedure. Patients should wait 3 months to see the  final effects.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 701 reviews

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.