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Zeltiq CoolSculpting - Are There Any Side Effects?

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CoolSculpting Side Effects

CoolSculpting is an FDA approved class II medical device. It is safe for most healthy people. There certainly are some exceptions. CoolSculpting (like most aesthetic devices) has not been tested on women who are pregnant or breast feeding. Therefore, women who are pregnant, breast feeding, or trying to become pregnant are not ideal candidates. There are several other contraindications that your doctors office can discuss with you. 

In the office of Michael Law MD, we do will not perform CoolSculpting on people with the following conditions

1) Pregnant, breast feeding or trying to become pregnant
2) Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or currently suffering from any other auto-immune disorder that causes excessive pain, weakness or discomfort
3) Hernia or history of hernia in the area to be treated
4) A BMI of 34 or more (Bodybuilders or individuals with extremely muscular physiques could possibly be an exception
5) Any person currently suffering from chronic pain
6) Any person who has had body contouring surgery within the last 12 months without written consent from your physician
7) Any person who has a health condition or injury that prevents them from walking 1 mile each day
8) Individuals with a history of anorexia or bulimia in the last twelve months
9) Any person under the age of 19
10) Individuals with lymphedema or other conditions effecting the lymphatic system


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Zeltiq CoolSculpting - Are There Any Side Effects?

Thanks for your question. General side effects from CoolSculpting include tenderness, mild bruising, numbness and swelling in the treated area that can last 1-2 weeks. Some people have had moderate discomfort but for the most part our patients have tolerated this procedure with little discomfort. 

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Side effects from cool sculpting

The side effects most patients experience are tenderness in the treated area which usually subsides in a few days, some experience numbness or tingling, and swelling can also occur. But none of the side effects typically interfere with daily activities. 

Coolsculpting side effects

The side effects of coolsculpting is minimal. We do about 2  - 3 patients a day. Typically, the patients will have slight tenderness and some numbness for a few days.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

CoolSculpting Side Effects

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive procedure which produces impressive results for patients who are looking to reduce fat in targetted areas like the abdomen, flanks, and thighs. Patients will receive a physical exam and complete a comprehensive health history before CoolSculpting can be recommended to be sure that the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. Patients who are pregnant, breast feeding or considering getting pregnant should refrain from treatment until after those conditions are present. Patients with certain health concerns will not make good candidates and may be better served by liposuction or possibly diet and exercise.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

CoolSculpting Has Minimal Side Effects

                  Coolsculpting represents a significant advance in the management of localized fat collections. The procedure is associated with high satisfaction rates and minimal side effects.

                  A small number of patients experience bruising and swelling which spontaneously resolves in 2-3 days. Occasionally, patients experience pain which is often described as dull and achy. This also resolves quickly.

                  Rarely, nausea can occur when abdominal coolsculpting is performed and is probably secondary to traction on the abdominal contents. This is fortunately uncommon and quickly resolves on its own.

                  At this point in time, no long term complications have been associated with this procedure. The procedure is associated with high satisfaction rates and is an excellent option for treating localized adiposity. 

Most Common Side Effects - Zeltiq/CoolSculpting

The Zeltiq Procedure is completely non-invasive, which allows immediate return to normal activities such as work or exercise. Redness may appear in the treated area, and may last from a few minutes to a few hours. Some localized bruising may occur, which clears within a few weeks. Many patients experience a temporary dulling of sensation in the treated area lasting one to eight weeks. Vasovagal Symptoms ---- A few patients have experienced vasovagal symptoms during treatment. These symptoms, associated with activation of the autonomic nervous system include: lightheadedness, dizziness, flushing, sweating (diaphoresis), nausea, near syncope, or syncope (fainting). The patient may appear pale, cool and clammy. This type of reaction may be triggered by a variety of factors such as the patient’s anticipation of the procedure, dietary habits prior to the procedure, conditions of the treatment room or a response to the procedure itself.

To prevent vasovagal symptoms, the operator should ensure that the patient has been properly prepared for what to expect during the procedure and that he/she has had adequate food and fluids. The operator should also ensure that the patient is feeling well prior to leaving the room after the start of the procedure and instruct the patient to call for assistance if symptoms develop.

If the patient experiences a vasovagal episode during the procedure, assist the patient to a supine (lying) position with their legs elevated. Offer reassurance, a cool towel to the forehead and sips of fluids. The procedure may be interrupted at the discretion of the operator or if symptoms do not resolve within a few minutes.

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Side effects are minimal compared to other body contouring options.

One of the reasons our patients love CoolSculpting® is because it’s totally nonsurgical. This means that general anesthesia is not required, which is a big relief for our patients. You also won’t have to worry about incisions and scars. The appointment itself doesn’t take very long; some patients report minor discomfort during the procedure initially. Not pain necessarily, but sometimes a pulling or pinching feeling from the CoolSculpting® device. Afterwards, there might be some minor bruising. Although it takes longer to see results after CoolSculpting® compared to traditional body contouring with liposuction, the minimal risk of side effects and complications makes this procedure well worth it to most patients.

Glenn M. Davis, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Side Effects Following CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive technique whereby skin and fat are compressed between two flat surfaces. After it is held in this position, the temperature is dropped to a point that will result in damaging the fat layer enough so that it begins a cycle of dissolving. The reduction of fat is sometimes variable and many people need more than one visit to achieve acceptable results. Aside from some soreness, it is unlikely you would experience and complications.


John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Side effects from Coolsculpting

What we have seen after Coolsculpting is occasional "hickeys" / slight bruising and redness this last one- two days. You may also experience slight swelling for a day or two. You will be tender to the touch for about 4-7 days and possibly experience some itching for about 24 hours after about a week when the numbness wears off. Hopefully this answers your question! 

Frederick Lester, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.