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How much pain is "normal" during and after the CoolSculpting procedure?

I had the procedure done on my lower abdomen today with the large piece suction. I am not very big, and the attachment had difficultly getting suction at first because of my hip bones. The pain that I felt in the first ten minutes did not subside at all, I was in excruciating pain for the entire 60 minutes. I was ready to have it removed with 25 minutes remaining but was told the procedure would not work. After they removed the suction I was in just as much pain.

Doctor Answers (7)

Pain during and after the CoolSculpting procedure

+1
It is highly unusual to have any (especially excruciating) pain during the procedure. For the first couple of minutes, patients need to adjust to suction of the applicator. Patients do not find this painful but uncomfortable. One patient recently described the sensation as a "toothless shark" - relentless but not painful.

Post procedure most patients have mild tenderness but no pain. Even in the rare case like with myself that there was pain after the treatment, it is not during or immediately after the treatment.

Review your medical history with the treating physician. There are a few medical conditions that would not make you a candidate for the procedure. You may have one of these and not previously realized.


West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Pain during CoolSculpting treatment

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It is unusual to have excruciating pain during the CoolSculpting procedure. Most patients report mild discomfort for the first 5 minutes which usually subsides as the procedure progresses. There is also some mild discomfort after the post-procedure massage which is reported as "tolerable" by most patients. Make sure you follow up with your doctor to have your concerns addressed.

Adebola Dele-Michael, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Pain involved with CoolSculpting

+1
The reaction and pain that you are describing is not typical of coolsculpting.  The initial few minutes there will be some soreness until the area is frozen.  The pain that you are describing should be discussed with the  treating physician and the company as well.  For the best results please consult a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with CoolSculpting and other cosmetic procedures.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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CoolSculpting discomfott

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In almost all cases, the transient discomfort of the suction subsides when the cooling phase starts.  If you have continued discomfort, talk to your provider.  It sounds like perhaps a different applicator should have been used rather than the CoolMax if it did not fit your contours adequately, thereby causing pressure points and discomfort.  All of this should subside however.

Deborah Pan, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Most Patients Report No Pain During CoolSculpting

+1
Your description is not typical for patients we see.  Many say they feel the immediate discomfort of the suction drawing the roll of fat and skin into the treatment head, and between the cooling plates.  Then they report some cold sensation for a few minutes, until the numbness begins.  This tends to last the remainder of the session.  We do occasionally have different patient reports, but are able to address any concerns. 

Please stay in contact with your plastic surgeon about your experience. 

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Cool Sculpting of the abdomen

+1
The area being treated should have discomfort until the cooling starts.  This is in the beginning of the procedure and lasts the first 4 to 8 minutes roughly.  The next time discomfort is experienced is upon removal of the device and the massage period that lasts usually 3 minutes.  At that point the discomfort being experienced should be able to be managed with tylenol.

Robert Whitfield, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Pain after coolsculpting

+1
There can be some discomfort with the procedure.  It can vary from patient to patient.  The experience you describe can be normal.  Please see your doctor if the pain persists.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.