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Can Zeltiq CoolSculpting Be Used on Calves?

I am 5'6" and 127lbs and tend to carry weight below the waist. I used to have athletic yet lean calves, but since pregnancy 2 years ago my calves are huge and fatty. I managed to get all other areas back in shape, but my calves are resisting the weight loss and I can't zip my boots or wear certain jeans. I think there is plenty of flesh/fat for the applicator to grab, but I can't find much information on Zeltiq for the calves. Will Zeltiq help?

Doctor Answers (14)

CoolSculpting not for calves

CoolSculpting works well for areas such as the abdomen, flanks, back, inner thighs and sometimes arms. The calves are usually not treated because the area is not pliable enough to be effectively pulled into the applicator by the suction in order to be treated with the cooling panels. You may consider liposuction instead. It is always a good idea to consult with a physician to see if you are a good candidate for particular treatments.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Lipo better suited to eliminating fat in localized areas like the legs


Hi Brigitta,

CoolSculpting® is FDA-cleared for fat reduction of the abdomen, hips, and flanks for both men and women.  Though CoolSculpting is appealing because of its non-surgical nature and no downtime, it is NOT recommended to treat other areas of the body like the calves.  If you are an otherwise healthy individual, you might speak to a board certified plastic surgeon in your area about liposuction as it is better suited to eliminating fat in localized areas like the legs whereas CoolSculpting®’s specialized applicators could not as effectively access.

C. Edwin Pittman, MD
Athens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Zeltiq CoolSculpting


Thank you for your question. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution for people who are obese, or a substitute for surgical methods such as liposuction. Good candidates have noticeable bulges in certain areas they’d like to get rid of. Your doctor will determine if treatment is right for you during a one-on-one consultation. However, I would not suggest using CoolSculpting on calves. 

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

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Not enough skin, not loose enough


there is not enough excess skin in this area for an applicator to attach to.  the calves are amenable to liposuction, but any liposuction here needs to be done very carefully as imperfections are very easy to show.

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

I woudl not use Coolsculpting on calves


The best areas to treat with Coolsculpting are those that have fat that can be pinched together and is soft. While taught skin with firm deeper visceral fat is not ideal and we do not use Coolsculpting for those patients. I would avoid the calves completely.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Coolsculpting the calves



The calves would be a difficult area to treat.  The best fat to treat is soft, pliable, 'fluffy' fat....not the firmer, less malleable fat like we find on the lower leg. Even if you could get the applicator to attach, you wouldn't get a great result if the fat was not drawn up into the chamber to a sufficient extent. (The abdomen and flanks are much better in that respect).  You may be a candidate for liposuction but the best way to find out your options is to meet with a Plastic Surgeon face to face.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Coolsculpting - not for calves


The reason that you've not heard about Coolsculpting for calves is that it is not typically used in this area.  The reason is that that the flesh of the calves is typically quite firm (not soft and squishy).   It would be difficult to get the flesh into the applicator.  It you truly do have excess fat (and not large calf muscles), you might consider liposuction.

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

Can CoolSculpting be performed on calves?


It is unlikely that CoolSculpting will be able to be performed on the calves because the tissue is not generally pliable enough to be drawn up into the applicator.

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

Cool sculpting (Zeltiq) for Calves?


Thank you for the question.

It is probably a little early in the development of applicators for cool sculpting to be performed on the calf areas. Generally, this area does not demonstrate enough pliability/mobility to adequately fit in the suction applicators currently available.

I'm sure this technology will improve/expand quickly so please be patient.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

Zeltiq CoolSculpting on calves not proven yet


I am very impressed in some patients, with the results of Zeltiq but I am not aware of studies that have been done on fat reduction on the calves with CoolSculpting.  Currently there is no applicator that specifically is designed for the calf. I would question the possible side effects on the lower extremity that are not a concern on the outer thighs, abdomen, love handles, etc. such as exacerbation of varicose veins or sensory or motor nerve problems. I am awaiting results of pateints treated with CoolSculpting of their lower legs before I recommend such.

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