Not Loving the Post Procedure Recovery Period - Clearwater, FL

I have stubborn fat in my abdomen that was not...

I have stubborn fat in my abdomen that was not going anywhere with diet and exercise (I always had a little layer of insulation that I was comfortable with but as I have gotten older it has gotten thicker and thicker). After much deliberation I decided to try CoolSculpting being it was reported to be non-invasive and have good results. I liked the idea you could go back to regular activity almost immediately after the procedure. I had it done yesterday and it all seemed to go well. Day 1 post procedure and I am hating it! My abdomen is so swollen it is twice the size it was before the procedure. I am bruised around my belly button but I was expecting that so I'm not too bothered by it. My lower abdomen is completely numb and when something presses against it I jump out of my skin (it doesn't hurt, it just startles me because it feels so unnatural). Yes, I know it is the first day after the procedure, and yes, I know all of these symptoms are normal but I guess I wanted to be one of those lucky people who have no problems after a procedure like this but for me that never seems to be the case. "Pain is beauty" is the expression I keep telling myself. I will be posting on this throughout my recovery so hopefully in a few month's time you will be hearing about how flat and sculpted my abdomen is and how happy I am with the results. Stay tuned....

Day 2 - I'm less sore and less numb but the...

Day 2 - I'm less sore and less numb but the swelling is still there. I am refering to my lower abdomen now as my "numb bowl of jelly". I learned the swelling is due to inflammation from the dead fat cells and drinking lots of water will help flush them out of my lymph nodes (which is what I'm doing without causing any electrolyte imbalances). I not only got my lower abdomen sculpted but I had the top portion done as well so perhaps the swelling in the lower abdomen is the dead fat cells from both the upper and lower abdomen (also why my procedure was $3,000). Hoping I can work out tomorrow and the soreness won't stop me. Patience is not really one of my virtues so this recovery period is difficult for me.

Day 3 - Everything's pretty much the same. I...

Day 3 - Everything's pretty much the same. I worked the past 2 days and I work 12 hour shifts where I am constantly on my feet so by the end of the day the swelling was horrendous. I also still get startled when something brushes up against my abdomen. I'm going to take it easy today and tomorrow so the swelling won't be as bad. I'm off until Monday so hopefully I will be less incapacitated, One day at a time....

Day 4 – Swelling is not as bad today but I took...

Day 4 – Swelling is not as bad today but I took it easy yesterday. The “numb bowl of jelly” jiggles when I jump up and down and then sends a surge of pins and needles up and down my abdomen so I haven’t been able to really work out and that’s a problem for me. Even at rest I feel the pins and needles. My doctor said it is a condition called neuropathy and she can prescribe a low dose of a drug called Neurontin for a brief period after the procedure. I might have to take her up on that but unfortunately it’s Sunday and the office is closed so I will have to stick it out until at least tomorrow. My body always seems to react poorly to any outside interference and I am a terrible patient. I’m better at delivering the care than receiving...

Day 5 - Worst pain ever! My abdomen is so firm,...

Day 5 - Worst pain ever! My abdomen is so firm, tender, numb and the neuropathy is awful. My T-shirt grazes my belly and it sends chills up and down my body. My doctor wrote me a prescription for Neurontin and I'm going to pick it up after work. If I truly knew the pain involved with the recovery of this procedure I would've never gotten it. But, it's done and cannot be undone so I will have to think positive and get through it

Day 6 - The pain is still unbearable. My doctor...

Day 6 - The pain is still unbearable. My doctor prescribed me Neurontin 100 mg 3 times a day which isn't even a pediatric dose so it's hardly doing anything. I am wearing an abdominal binder today because it feels better when it's contained and protected. My doctor said the neuropathy develops most commonly in the lower abdomen after CoolSculpting and it happens to 5% of patients (those are the reported cases). I wish Doctor Emmett Brown would show up in his time machine and take me back to last week so I could talk myself out of this procedure. I will take the numbness and swelling I was mentioning earlier over this any day....

Day 7 - 1 week post procedure. I am still...

Day 7 - 1 week post procedure. I am still experiencing intense neuropathy the Neurontin is not touching. The only time I feel OK is when I'm sitting still and my abdomen is uncovered (which looks so attractive) or sitting still with ice on top of my abdomen (which I would not have gotten any sleep if not for that). I worked yesterday and the day before and the constant moving around was absolute murder. I now understand how people with persistant pain become depressed because if this doesn't go away soon I don't know what to do with myself.

Day 8 - Neuropathy is still there. Bought a cold...

Day 8 - Neuropathy is still there. Bought a cold pack to wear around my waist so that's bringing some relief. Just going about my daily business and hoping one morning I'll wake up and it will be gone....

Day 9 - Same as yesterday

Day 9 - Same as yesterday

Day 10 - Today I feel the best I have since I had...

Day 10 - Today I feel the best I have since I had the procedure done, but that's not saying much. My abdomen is still very firm and tender but the pins and needles are not as intense. I still cannot go long without my ice pack nearby which if I wear it under my clothes I look pregnant. Ironic, huh? I get a procedure to make my abdomen flatter and now I have to wear something that makes it stick out. Oh well. Hopefully the recovery will keep going in this direction so I can feel normal again.

Day 11- A little better each day. It is still...

Day 11- A little better each day. It is still incredibly sensitive if a T-shirt or any other loose fitting garment grazes it and I am still unable to do any type of activity that involves jumping or bouncing. For example, running on the treadmill and the elliptical is still very uncomfortable and plyometrics are out of the question. I hate how it pooches out when I sit down then again, that's why I got the procedure to begin with...

Day 12 - Pretty much the same. I guess you can say...

Day 12 - Pretty much the same. I guess you can say it goes away a little more each day but not enough to notice. It looks flatter when I stand up but when I sit down there's the bowl of jelly. I weigh the same. I think this is supposed to help you lose weight because they weigh you on your follow up appointments. Well off to the gym. Just the bike for me because the treadmill and the elliptical are out

Day 13 - Again, a little better each day. It does...

Day 13 - Again, a little better each day. It does look flatter. I can't wait to see what it will look like in 3 months

Day 14 - I guess it's safe to say the neuropathy...

Day 14 - I guess it's safe to say the neuropathy is gone but I'm sore near my belly button (probably because my pants keep rubbing up against it). I've come a long way since the 6th. My belly looked flatter yesterday but my period's coming and I am having some GI issues today so that may be attributing to the pooch. Today I have gone the longest without my ice pack so I'm very happy about that. I'm looking forward wearing my tight dresses and shirts again

Day 15 - Same as yesterday. Guess there are some...

Day 15 - Same as yesterday. Guess there are some biologic changes that CoolSculpting can't help control.

Day 16 - Looks flatter today. I worked the past 2...

Day 16 - Looks flatter today. I worked the past 2 days so the being on my feet for 12 hours may be attributing to a little more swelling than usual. Still a bit numb and swollen in the lower area but even though I still have a ways to go, I have come a long way

Day 17 - Everything's the same. Still slightly...

Day 17 - Everything's the same. Still slightly swollen in the lower portion of my abdomen and I still can't run on the treadmill (I managed the elliptical for 15 minutes yesterday) and no plyometrics for now. Seeing as though the first 2 weeks of hell are over, I will post when I start to see significant changes complete with pictures

June 27th - Went for my 4 week follow up with my...

June 27th - Went for my 4 week follow up with my doctor. It took longer to get there than my actual appointment. They measured me and said I lost 1/4 of an inch off my upper abdomen (though I haven't seen much of a change there). I guess that's not bad seeing as though it's only been 4 weeks. To be honest, I think the area directly below my belly button looks smaller but there is still some light numbness and swelling and I can't stand how it pooches out when I sit. I will be very happy when that's gone. My next appointment is July 27th and that is when they will take pictures and I will post those. I don't do the self portrait thing too well

June 30th - I can honestly say I am seeing results...

June 30th - I can honestly say I am seeing results. Before I had this procedure, I used to hate the sight of my belly in the mirror when I was bent over at the sink. Last night was the first time I looked in the mirror and I didn't get depressed. The ironic part is the flatter my belly looks, the wider my hips look. Guess I'll just turn to the side a lot. LOL!

Oh and btw, as for working out I can now run on...

Oh and btw, as for working out I can now run on the treadmill and do plyometrics as of the 22nd as long as I wear a tight top that keeps my belly secure.

It has been 7 weeks since my procedure. It is...

It has been 7 weeks since my procedure. It is remarkable how flat and sculpted my abdomen is. It has never looked like this, even when I was at my thinnest. The ironic part is the more flat and sculpted my abdomen looks the fatter it makes the rest of me look naked and in a bathing suit. Form fitting clothes however are my new best friend because I'm curvy and now that I don't have my kangaroo pooch they look a lot more flattering. Another issue is I haven't lost any weight. They gave me the impression I would because they weigh you in the follow up appointments. I still have 9 weeks until I see maximum results though

Ok 8 week follow up today and I'm in love with the...

Ok 8 week follow up today and I'm in love with the results. It's so funny I can't stuck in my belly anymore because there's nothing to suck in. Finally putting up pictures. Feel free to check them out

OK I can't find where my captions are but if you...

OK I can't find where my captions are but if you go in order I posted 6 pictures. The first 3 are the anterior view pre-procedure, a few hours post-procedure (hence the swelling and bruising) and 8 weeks later. The next 3 are the right oblique view again pre-procedure, a few hours post-procedure and 8 weeks later

Had my 4 month follow up yesterday. I really...

Had my 4 month follow up yesterday. I really forgot what my belly used to look like until I saw these pictures. I can't believe how much it has shrunk. They told me I still had another 2 months to go until I am at my optimal results. I guess I can say all of the discomfort in the beginning was worth it. Now the diffucult part; maintaining it

I don't know if I'm being paranoid but it seems...

I don't know if I'm being paranoid but it seems the fat is re-accumulating in the upper abdominal area I treated. I have been exercising and watching what I eat and my doctor said if I did that I wouldn't have to worry about re-accumulation. I was at my doctors office a little over 2 weeks ago and they said it wasn't. It just seems when I look in the mirror the upper abdominal area is not as "sculpted" as it once was. Again, I don't know if it is paranoia because of all of the money and discomfort I am afraid it is reversing on me or I am used to my belly looking flatter that any slight change will be highly noticeable.

This procedure is not worth the money. Results are...

This procedure is not worth the money. Results are anything but permanent. A colleague of mine called it "junk science" and that is exactly what it is. At the end of the day if you hate your body, you will probably still hate it after a cosmetic procedure and your wallet will be a few thousand dollars lighter. If you want a flatter stomach, get a tummy tuck...
Dr. Anitha Reddy

Staff is friendly and accommodating. Manageable payment plans to those who would like the procedure but cannot pay all up front. Which is good because all they want is your money.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 11 others found this helpful

Comments (74)

Sort by

i just had cool sculpting done about 5 weeks ago. i am still numb in my belly and avoid wearing pants or anything tight fitting. i've had a horrible experience with pain- the pins and needles all day and night up until a couple days ago. i cold not be without my ice packs! i even had some sharp shooting pain running down my left thigh... reading this blog is helping me see other people's experience. but if i had known the pain and long recovery time involved, i may not have done it! i've been a hermit this whole time. i'm starting to feel depressed. no noticeable difference in my tummy yet. i can not exercise as it hurts like heck. only yesterday i went for a 45 minute walk and i was ok with that. but nothing vigorous not even yoga. i miss my routine. i'm wondering do we have any recourse against bad information or insufficient information or support from the Dr's office? i called them routinely the first 3 weeks. dr called me back to assure me this was all normal. but the nerve pills didn't help at the height of my pain and suffering. he prescribed Lyrica. but then my pharmacy never got the pre-authorization form to cover by insurance. i'm very disappointed by the lack of support. they offered me a free facial!! some consolation! i'm not even scheduled to go back for follow up? is that routine to go back for one month, two or four month follow up?
  • Reply
I can say that after 3 months I seemed to have a good result on the upper abs, and at 6 months and then at 12 months it was all back and more, and that was with no weight gain on the scale and continuing to workout daily. When I did the lower abs at 3 months since I was thrilled at the time with the beginning results on the upper abs, it turned out I had NO results at all there. I wasted 3K.. When I talked to the personnel at the practice later, they said at first the coolsculpting rep said it was once and done, but months later they were told it would likely have to be retreated. I finally added walking on a treadmill while working for a few extra hours a day and the blubber is finally gone. My advice is save your money and either have a tummy tuck for look for different diets/exercise plans to replace the ones that have not given the results you want
  • Reply
So how would you rate your stomach now? Did it really come back?
  • Reply
Yes. Compared to my results 2 and 3 months post procedure the fat is back. It may be slightly less than what I had before I had the procedure done and it's hardly noticable and not worth the money. Like I said before, if you want to spend money on a procedure to make your stomach flatter and tighter, get a tummy tuck!
  • Reply
Will you post some pics of your current belly state?
  • Reply
I'm looking to get it done looking for the cheapest
  • Reply
so you did 3 areas
  • Reply
Last line....get a tummy tuck LOL. And THATS what Ive already done. I am sorry you arent happy w/ the results. Ive been thinking about CS for a few months, even been to open houses and they have offered discounts. Not sure if I want to go thru w/ it but stories like you make me wonder. I have flabby arms due to weight loss, heredity and well, damn flabby arms! Maybe youll see a diff, But I think you look great :)
  • Reply
Thanks. The results were great at first but they didn't last long when they were supposed to be permanent. Like I said in my other post, I have a hard time telling if all of the fat has returned to the treated area or just some. Either way, I spent a lot of money with the thought these results would be permanent and I feel I was ripped off. The lower abdomen is such a difficult area because we ladies store a lot of our fat there. I don't know anyone who has treated their arms but maybe the results are easier to maintain due to the location. Needless to say, after I have babies, tummy tuck it is!
  • Reply
Please save your money, I have gained 10 pounds and still swollen in my stomach after 13 weeks.
  • Reply
Hi, I have just had this procedure, and am very nervous about it not being permanent, both because of cost and the 'no downtime' understatement. Would you say you have gained all the fat again, or just partially? Best S
  • Reply
To be completely honest, I couldn't tell you whether all or just some of the fat came back. I have a hard time remembering what I used to look like and pictures don't help. My doctor paid if I gained 6 pounds it would not affect the area. I have lost 7 pounds since my 8 week follow up and there is more fat now in the area I treated. I feel I did not get what I paid for and that makes me the angriest. The only way I feel you can maintain your results is to eat a diet similar to one training for a body building/figure show all the time but not many have the discipline for that.
  • Reply
Well, I don't think keeping a strict diet to keep the 'permanent' results should be needed. That's not permanent enough for me. If the fat cells are removed permanently any weight gain (in your case not even a gain) should appear most significant other places then the treated area. I would be very disappointed if the results differ from ordinary liposuction. Although, I am a bit confused about how permanent those results are either - some say our bodies re-produce fat cells where it remembers they 'should be', a sort of genetic programming... Anyway I think the re-accumulating process, if it happens, should take more than the few weeks you had before the results regressed. Because one can clearly see from the pictures that you had a visible result at first! I can imagine it's hard to remember, and tell by photos alone, as time goes by. We should have measured the bulge of fat on beforehand, like I read a user here did with a special instrument, to get absolute proof of how effective Coolsculpting is in the long run.
  • Reply
It's been 2 months and 3 weeks since my first procedures, and at 2 months I was down 3 inches, but like you, I have had some days where it looks like it is coming back, then in another day or so it is back to smaller. I had lower abs done 3 weeks ago and a friend recommended I measure from navel to pubic bone like they do when you are pregnant, and I'm down over an inch by that measurement so far. I purposely kept to my exact same way of eating and working out as before so I could see i8f my results are due to the CoolSculpting alone. I already play racquetball 4-5 times a week and lift weights, and that should just be enough exercise. I do undereat and I would probably have better results if I got better at eating what I need to. All I can say is stay patient and maybe measure the same spot once a week to see if you are imaging that you are regaining. Good luck!
  • Reply
I will. Thanks :-)
  • Reply
I hope someone responds to this post! Or you can email me if you'd like. I am getting the procedure done next Friday morning. I am only getting very little done since I have a small fat bulge underneath my belly button (and I weigh around 112). I have tried diet and I exercise five days a week- nothing. I am curious to know exactly what sort of pain I can expect to be in? I mean, is it a pain as though I just did 500 sit ups? Nausea? I'd assume it's just a pain in the muscles- but, I guess it can also depend on how your body reacts to the procedure? I've had plastic surgery a couple of times- and I haven't gone through pain with it. So, I am hoping that my body reacts well to it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  • Reply
Hey there:

I think you will get difference replies as to the pain level. Personally, when I had the upper abs done, I had no pain for 3 days, but for the next 10-12 days it was a different story, with sensations hard to describe except like nerve pain (someone told me when I described it it was like shingles). When the slightest bit of fabric hit the area it was like a shock like pain. I did find that wearing a compression garment, like a bodyshaper, really helped protect the area. When I had the lower abs done two weeks ago this coming Monday, I have had no discomfort, but for the results I have had on upper abs, the pain was not a deterrent to repeat it.

All I can say is prepare for something painful, but it may not happen at all, and if it did, it will pass. Expect some swelling for a bit after it, and probably week 5 you should start seeing some changes.

Good luck to you!
  • Reply
Pretty much what ironmaiden301 said. If u read my posts I was about to throw myself out the window but after 2 weeks it was tolerable and 4 months later I can't believe this is an actual procedure
  • Reply
I had very little pain, just a deep soreness as if I'd done a ton of crunches. But I do mean a TON OF CRUNCHES. I was really sore. I couldn't bend over from the waist sore--I had to kneel down to feed the cats, I couldn't just bend over and fill the bowls. Wearing a compression garment helped (I wore my spanx to bed). The soreness didn't last too long with me, then I got the tingles and while those were strange and slightly uncomfortable, they weren't bad. My whole experience was uncomfortable but not unbearable. I guess there is no predicting what's going to happen.
  • Reply
I couldn't bend over either in the beginning. I don't have kids but I felt like I was pregnant. My saving grace was an ice pack. I bought one that I could strap around my waist and wear around the house. When the pain was really bad I would wear it out under a babydoll dress. Buy 2 so you can alternate and you're not uncomfortable while waiting for the first on to freeze up again. This was the only thing that helped me. My doctor prescribed me Neurontin for the tingling, pins and needles and it did absolutely nothing. Compression garments help after the first 2 weeks in my opinion. Everyone is different, this is what helped me and I think I had the worst recovery period by reading the others posts (and if you read mine). Just remember it's only temporary, Hope this helps
  • Reply

Thank you for taking the time to post all that you have. I just went to my surgeon to discuss lipo and he told me about this. I am really considering it. I work out 5 days a week and there are fat cells that just dont want to go away unless I basically keep my calorie intake at 1200 calories which is really hard to do. I am 39 and have the build up on my flanks and a bit on my belly. I was setting aside 10K so my estimate for $2500 is a steal in my eyes. So did you really see a difference in your clothes size. I fluctuate an 1' to 1/2" throughout the year so I am really excited to do this...I just was surprised that so many people actually were as swollen still seems like downtime...maybe 2-3 weeks? Should I do it...I need encouragement!!!!

  • Reply
I'm thrilled for are ahead of me and after my two month followup this Monday, I was down about 3" and they said I should expect close to that much in the next two months, then of course there can be lesser changes. If this keeps up for me this way, I will be so happy and don't think I need to retreat the same area again at all. I did opt to do the lower abs on Mon so here's hoping I see something as good in 2 months there. I am not experiencing anywhere near the discomfort I had after the first procedure, which is great, but I will take the pain for the results.

Your pics look awesome...congratulations!
  • Reply
Thanks :-)
  • Reply
I was told the most results would be at 2-4 months, but I am just at 5 weeks and have seen amazing results on my upper abs/flanks. Every morning I check myself out naked with front and side views and my upper abs are just flat. I can't image what will happen in the months to come, but despite the pain I had, I am definitely going back to get my lower abs done.
  • Reply
Yeah I saw good results after 5 weeks too. Glad to hear you are happy with yours :-)
  • Reply