Had CoolSculpting done 3 wks ago and I have hard spots all over by belly. Will the rock hard, painful lumps go away?

I just developed two more in the last 72 hours. They are extremely painful however, the oldest ones are becoming less painful. I am a redhead who is really sensitive and I am afraid I have permanently disfigured my belly (not noticeable until you touch my stomach). I have read on this blog docs saying it will go away after several weeks. Is this accurate?

Doctor Answers 9

Lumpy nodules after CoolSculpting

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I have personally experienced these nodules after a CoolSculpting treatment on my abdomen. It is one of the known possible side effects that typically goes away with time. My firm nodules  are going away and yours will likely disappear with time as well. 

Midlothian Pediatrician

Lumps after Coolsculpting

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Remember Coolsculpting treatment targets fat cells making them so cold they are damaged and cleared naturally by the body. As the fat cells are destroyed, it causes inflammation. This can display as nodules. These nodules are temporary and will clear in a few weeks. 

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

Painful lumps after CoolSculpting

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Thank you for your question.  It is not uncommon to have some areas of firmness that resolve over time after CoolSculpting.  However, I strongly encourage you to see the physician who performed or oversaw your treatment to ensure that all is normal.  An examination by a skilled professional is always the best way to go!  Best of luck.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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CoolSculpting Side-Effects

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After CoolSculpting, patients can experience redness, swelling, bruising, and sensitivity of the treatment areas. Firmness is also a normal side-effect and will subside over time. As the body naturally filters the crystallized fat cells, treatment areas will become smoother and fat can be reduced up to 25%! Remember to communicate any concerns to your board-certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Jerome H. Liu, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lumps After Coolsculpting Are Normal

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Do not be alarmed with the hard lumps you are feeling a few weeks after cool sculpting.  That is how the procedure works initially.  The medical term for what you’re noticing is “cold panniculitis” which is another way of saying inflammation of the fat that is induced by cold temperatures.  Coolsculpting deliberately induces such an effect within fat because after the inflammation subsides the fat is reduced.  Time will result in the resolution of these hard lumps and associated discomfort.  I tend to see my Coolsculpting patients at the 3 month mark for final assessment.  In the meanwhile, massage can be helpful to speed up resolution.  This massage can be performed manually or with devices that are specialized to deliver therapeutic massage.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Lumps after Coolsculpting

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It is not unusual for patients to feel firmness or lumps after Coolsculpting. The area will be tender as well. These typically go away in the first few weeks, but sometimes it takes longer. If you are two months out and still have concerns, see your provider.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.

Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

CoolSculpting and painful lumps - a temporary side effect

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CoolSculpting is a treatment that specifically targets fat cells.  As it destroys fat cells, it causes inflammation.  This inflammation can manifest itself in tender lumps in the treated area.  This is a temporary side effect.  Give it a few more weeks and things should improve on their own.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Hard painful lumps after Coolscultping

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Remember that Coolsculpting works by making the fat cells so cold that they are irreversibly damaged and then cleared naturally by the body. This will likely not go "unnoticed" by you with regard to some temporary bruising, swelling, tenderness, and numbness. You may even be able to feel swollen and tender lymph nodes that are just doing their job. I would not be concerned unless the firm areas persist after several months. You can always be examined by your provider for assurance.

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Hard and Lumpy after Coolsculpting--Add Venus Legacy, Cellutone/Zwave, Massage

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This can happen with coolsculpting as it causes inflammation to the area treated and this can feel hard.  This should go away in a few weeks, in the mean time, massage or Venus Legacy/Exilis and cellutone/exilis treatments can help resolve this. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 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.