Why is Tylenol better than Motrin after cool sculpting?

What is the typical time frame for burning and stabbing feeling to subside

Doctor Answers 13

Using a Pain Reliever After CoolSculpting

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Motrin does fall under the category of anti-inflammatory medications, while Tylenol does not; however, there is no research to-date indicating that one is better than the other after a CoolSculpting treatment. Typically your discomfort will subside after 3-7 days, although it could occur sooner. If you are concerned about using Motrin or Tylenol, you could also use a compression garment to help with any discomfort.

Oak Brook Physician
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

TYLENOL® is not an anti-inflammatory medication, whereas MOTRIN® is.

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Cryolipolysis, the controlled-cooling technology behind CoolSculpting®, relies on inflammation to help eliminate the fat cells from the body. For this reason, some practitioners may recommend TYLENOL® over MOTRIN® to help alleviate any post-procedural discomfort, because TYLENOL® does not interfere with the inflammatory response. However, there’s no evidence to suggest that MOTRIN® would impact the results of CoolSculpting®. Further, some people experience a burning sensation after CoolSculpting® treatment which can last for several days.


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I would recommend Tylenol extra strength and not Motrin after your procedure for mild discomfort.  The new 35 minute Cool-Advantage piece only takes 35 minutes and causes much less discomfort. Please consult a board certified dermatologist who is an expert in Coolsculpting for the best cosmetic advice.  Best, Dr. Green


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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. There has not been any research showing Tylenol being better than Motrin after coolsculpting. 

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tylenol vs Motrin

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Generally it is recommended to avoid Motrin with any procedure that uses inflammation to generate the aesthetic result. Coolsculpting has a resulting inflammation after cell death that will contribute to your after result of fat reduction and mild skin tightening as a result of the mild inflammation.  So I recommend starting with Tylenol and if the discomfort is not improved then trying Motrin if needed.

Tylenol or Motrin after CoolSculpting

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The thought is that Motrin which is categorized as a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory (NSAID) could reduce inflammation after the CoolSculpting procedure and that this inflammation is needed to get the result. Tylenol does not have an anti-inflammatory effect and so will not alter the results. I'm not one of the believers in this theory and so I tell my patients to start with Tylenol and if that doesn't help then to use the Motrin or another NSAID for post procedure pain.

Tylenol is better

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Because the inflammation is the natural process of cell death, to take an anti-inflammatory could interfere with the results of the treatment. Tylenol can help with the pain without interfering with the process. St. Johns Wort, Feverfew, Skullcap extracts can help with the post treatment nerve pain.

Pain after Coolsculpting treatment

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Theoretically, Motrin is an anti inflammatory and may affect your outcome negatively. I don't subscribe to this and you can take it. Zimmer Z Wave and the new Cooladvantage hand pieces lead to less pain after the treatment. Topical lidocaine seems to work well too. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Burning Feeling After CoolSculpting

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This is a nerve pain that can occur in some patients after CoolSculpting. Either Tylenol or Motrin (Ibuprofen) is fine to control it. In rare cases a prescription medication may be needed. Compression garments, warm/cold compresses, and lidocaine patches can also help. It usually fully resolves after an average of about 2 weeks. We have the new CoolAdvantage applicator and have not seen any cases of this with the new applicator. 

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tylenol or Motrin after treatment

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Following Cool sculpt tylenol or motrin is fine. If you're having discomfort you can also add in icing and compressions. If the discomfort is intolerable call the center, there are options for prescription help like a  lidocaine patch. It can take up to 3 weeks for discomfort to subside. best of luck 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 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.