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When Does the Excrutiating Pain Subside After CoolSculpting?

I got cool sculpting 6 days ago and the pain keeps getting worse. It is like I have a belly full of broken glass. Is there anything I can do to ease the pain (not discomfort - PAIN) When will it subside. I can't concentrate to work it is so intense.

Doctor Answers 13

Pain following CoolScupting Fat Freezing treatment

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.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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Pain after CoolSculpting

Post procedure pain can vary markedly from one patient to the next. For those patients who have significant pain we recommend 600 mg-800 mg  of ibuprofen every 8 hours. Intense pain can persist for up to 4 weeks although usually resolves within 1-2 weeks. On a rare occasions, patients may need a prescription medication to help reduce the pain.  You should call the office that did the procedure and ask them what they recommend for treatment of the pain.  They should be able to give you guidance on how to address the pain.  Some patients have found Spanks or other very tight compressive clothing to be comforting during the first couple of weeks following the procedure. 

Teresa Mann, MD
Bozeman Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Pain after Coolsculpting

In a small subset of patients pain may occur that is characterized as uncomfortable and crampy. The pain may last for 4-6 weeks. We often prescribe a topical analgesic patch to ameliorate this.

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

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Pain and Coolsculpting

Most patients do not have any unmanageable discomfort post coolsculpting treatment. There is a small percentage of patients (generally less than 5 percent) who have significant discomfort or pain. Some of these cases are with patients who have a medical condition that is contraindicated for   In the cases with pain, the pain can generally be managed. In almost all cases, pain fades after 4 to 6 weeks. Contact your treating physician to alert him or her of your pain, and ask to be seen.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Cool sculpting recovery

The discomfort 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.

Pain Resolves Usually In 2-3 Days Following CoolSculpting


                  It’s not unusual for patients to experience some pain following abdominal coolsculpting. This pain is often described as dull and achy and typically improves in 2-3 days.

                  Rarely the pain is more severe and is characterized as sharp and stabbing. The origin, of this pain is unclear, but is probably related to traction on the soft tissue related to suction from the applicator device. It seems to be more common when the large applicator head is used.

                  The pain usually resolves spontaneously without treatment in 1 to 2 weeks, but occasionally may be present for 4-6 weeks.

                  Occasionally non- steroidal inflammatory agents such as Aleve and Motrin can be used to minimize pain. Rarely narcotics may be necessary as well. 

Pain After CoolSculpting

Pain post treatment is definitely normal, especially if the larger hand piece was used. Sometimes patients find relief with some compression in the treated area, taking over the counter pain medication, cool compresses, and wearing loose, comfortable clothing that does not irritate the treated area. If your pain persists, your provider can give you a prescription medication that can relieve the discomfort.

The discomfort that can occur with the larger hand piece is normally due to nerve pain. The nerves can be stretched during the treatment, therefore causing some pain. There is medication that can be taken and it will gradually begin working to relieve your pain once you start taking it.

Most discomfort resolves with a couple of weeks.

Pain After CoolSculpting

Pain, tenderness, tingling, discomfort are all common, normal side effects after CoolSculpting. Motrin or Aleve can help with swelling and some of the pain. I would recommend contacting your provider to see if they can write you a prescription for Lyrica or Lidoderm Lidocaine Patches to help with the pain. Both of these medications are frequently used to help with the symptoms you are presenting.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Pain After Cool Sculpting



On rare occasion, a small percentage of the cool sculpting patients experience pain after treatment that will subside with about  2 weeks after the procedure.

Ibuprofen is recommended to help the patients deal with the transient pain they experience.

That said, it would be of your interest to contact your surgeon/physician who administered your cool sculpting treatment for a solution.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Pain after Coolsculpting

There is a small number of patients who under go Coolsculpting, especially when the large treatment head is used, who experience pain after the procedure.  This seems to occur in about 10% of these patients.  It will usually subside in a few days, however may last a few weeks.  Patients who have previously had liposuction have stated that this pain was not as bad as liposuction pain, but it still hurts.  Talk with your doctor.  Prescription pain medication is an option if ibuprofen isn't adequate.

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.