I'm very grateful for all the reviews posted here; I feel that they really helped prepare me for the experience.
I'm 32 yrs old, about 5'6 and 135 lbs. I've lost around 25 lbs in the past 5 months and even ran my first 5K but no matter what I tried I couldn't do anything about that stubborn lower abdomen pooch and have never been able to. So as a treat to myself for all the hard work I put in recently, I decided to try CoolSculpting.
I just had the procedure on April 12th so it's too early to say if it was worth it but I will update with results. It's better to be over prepared than under prepared; I've heard lots of folks' reviews talking about feeling claustrophobic, clammy, nauseous, etc. during the first 10 minutes of the procedure. Since I'm prone to panic attacks, I popped a Xanax beforehand just in case. It actually turns out that I didn't need it, the procedure wasn't bad at all. Dr. Persky applied the applicator himself and was careful about the positioning. I was worried about the vacuum being shockingly swift like in the videos but the area got sucked in much more slowly than I expected.
As people said, the first 5-7 minutes were uncomfortable. Fortunately it was not unbearably painful. (It helped to know from other reviews that the sensation would pass). Again I would describe the sensation as strong but bearable discomfort and only a mild pain accompanied with a burning sensation like a light sunburn. After 5-10 minutes it became merely a mild discomfort. I was comfortable enough to lean back and read a magazine and even could have napped. The applicator did rest a bit heavily on my pelvic bone and the nurse helped to reposition it so it was more comfortable - it's sort of an uncomfortable overall heavy mechanical sensation, like sticking your arm on a Xerox plate and having someone lean on the lid down on your arm. But it was very bearable for me. I did feel the urge to cough halfway through and felt like I couldn't do it with the applicator on. Burning! Agony throat! Since I was warned about the tummy appearance after removal and the massage, it wasn't all that bad. The massage just felt strange, like the sensation of rubbing your finger over a water blister and feeling that big blob of numbness but it was bearable and she didn't do any painful kneading or anything.
The worst sensation was basically right after the procedure - I asked the nurse about it and she said that every person's experience varied, but for me the first 10 min. after the procedure felt like a moderate to heavy sunburn. Bearable but discomfiting to not know how long it would last. As it turns out, the sensation was gone by the time I got to my car and I spent the rest of the day basically pain free. I popped a few Aleve just in case, but had no problems with swelling, bruising or pain. Just some basic tenderness to the touch. The procedure was on a Thursday. Friday and Saturday I had no problems whatsoever. Today is Sunday and I'm getting that pins-and-needles feeling with some light pain like cramping. I definitely look fwd to getting through this part of the recovery and again am grateful for all the reviews detailing that these sensations pass within a few weeks. I also felt that the doctor's paperwork was very in depth, detailing all the possible sensations and complications.