2 weeks post op, Coolsculping, I have developed a 4 cm wide lump to the right of my belly button. Is this normal?

The lump is moveable, painful when massaged, and uncomfortable when working (ie typing at my desk"). Surgeon said "fat necrosis", but I see no literature/ reports of this online with the Coolsculpting procedure. Having an ultrasound soon to confirm. Will my body take care of this on it's own and, if so, how long should it take for me to see results.

Doctor Answers 7



I recommend you go back to your doctor and discuss your results by looking at before and after pictures. It is hard to diagnose without a picture or in person examination.

Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Lump post coolsculpting

This is not normal. You should definitely follow up with your provider as others have stated. I have seen essentially no divots post coolsculpting but there are reports of paradoxical increases in fat deposits. Also, it could be something as simple as a lipoma or fatty tumor which is now more appreciable. In other words, it was there before but now with the fat reduced around it, you can feel it more readily. A simple excision of this may be all that is needed. It is hard to diagnose without examination. Check with the doctor who performed the procedure

Burton M. Sundin, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Follow Up with Your Doctor

Sorry for your distress. Without physical examination and a better understanding of your health history and condition, it would be speculation regarding what may be going on. Cryolipolysis, the scientific term for how Coolsculpting works through apoptosis not necrosis. Continued followup with your treating physician and with your internist would be recommend. Please update as you progress.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Follow Up with Your Doctor

It is certainly not typical to develop lumps in the treatment area following a CoolSculpting treatment. The procedure is designed to produce gradual fat cell reduction in the treatment area. It is important to follow up with your provider so that you can get a proper medical diagnosis and determine if there is a health issue that needs to be addressed. This serves as a good reminder to anyone who has a cosmetic treatment that if something unexpected occurs during recovery, it is best to be on the safe side and call the office that performed the treatment. I hope you are able to resolve this concern quickly and will be on your way to seeing satisfying results.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Give it some time

Extensive research proves that Coolsculpting and it's process of cryolipolysis result in fat cell death through apoptosis not necrosis. This means a natural cell death which dramatically reduces the chance of complications. It isn't uncommon for there to be localized swelling post-treatment. Some patients occasionally feel a bit lumpy as their body is breaking down the fat cells. As always, return to your treating physician for a follow up if you have any concerns so that you can be evaluated in person.
I'm hoping this passes quickly and you start enjoying your results.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Necrosis is unlikely

My practice is a certified CoolScultping facility and I have never heard of or seen fat necrosis due to CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting triggers a process called cryoliposis which is basically a temperature controlled destruction of fat cells. It is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling, lumpiness, itching, and occasionally some mild cramping for up to two weeks post treatment. I advise you to contact the doctor that treated you to assess you and address your concerns. Good luck!

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Coolsculpting post treatment and recovery

Coolsculpting does not cause fat necrosis. It works by stimulating apoptosis (the programmed cell death) of a percentage (usually 20-25%) of fat cells in a treated area. It would be best to return to the treating physician to have them evaluate you if you have any concerns but occasionally some patients get some swelling after the procedure which can feel slightly bumpy.

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.