How long of a massage is needed after CoolSculpting?

I received 2 treatments, one on each love handle of CoolSculpting a week ago. I am worried since I only received 2 minutes of massage on each area afterwords. I am now just seeing that many recommend 10 minutes... Freaking out!

Doctor Answers 12

Answer to patient question: How long of a massage is needed after CoolSculpting?

The good news for you is that 2 minutes may have been enough. Although we don’t really know the ideal amount of post-treatment massage, the only published medical journal article that looked scientifically at the question used 2 minutes of massage. (Boey GE, Wasilenchuk JL. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2014.) Among their 10 patients, they massaged one side for 2 minutes and didn’t massage the other side at all. The massaged side had 44% better reduction in fat 4 months later, as measured by ultrasound. Interestingly, the difference between the two sides was even greater (68%) at 2 months. This may indicate that the massage accelerates the fat loss in the early healing period. In medicine, more is not always better (for example, think of prescription drugs where the right dose makes you well and too much can make you sicker than you were before) and right now we don’t know if 10 minutes of massage is better than 2 minutes. So don’t “freak out”, because your treatment was right at the current scientific standard!

Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Massage Time Length

Thank you for your question. Zeltiq recommend a 2 minute massage that consists of a vigorous kneading motion for the first minute and then followed by a circular massage for the second minute. It is important to immediately massage the treated area(s) because it helps break down the fat cells and improves results by 60%. I hope this helps. 

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews



Immediately after Coolsculpting treatment, the two minute massage is extremely important. It helps break down the fat cells and  improves your results by 60 percent.

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

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

How long of a massage is needed after CoolSculpting?

Thanks for your question. Zeltiq recommends a 2 minute massage that consists of the first minute in a vigorous kneading motion followed by a one minute circular massage. It is a little uncomfortable but studies have found it to be 68% more effective. 

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Massage Time Length

2 minutes of massage is the recommended amount of time that the area should be massaged immediately after each cycle, so you shouldn't be concerned. You should start seeing results in about 4 weeks.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Manual Massage

The manual massage is administered immediately after the treatment is complete. Zeltiq recommends doing a two minute massage: 1 minute of kneading and 1 minute of rubbing the treated area in circular motion. The two minute manual massage is very important. The crystalized fat cells have sharp edges that will damage additional fat cells in the area during the massage. There have been findings that show better efficacy when patients receive the two minutes manual massage vs. patients that don't.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

2 Minute Massage After CoolSculpting

A 2 minute massage after CoolSculpting is actually the perfect amount of time.  Zeltiq has found the first 2 minutes after treatment to be the most important for massage.  Now you can relax and look forward to seeing great results in a few short months!

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Massage After CoolSculpting

you only need 2-3 minutes but I like to do 5-10 along with Zwave therapy.  Studies show this enhances the results, which are still minimal compared to tumescent liposuction.  If you need 3 treatments of Coolsculpting you may not be the best candidate for it.  I suggest going to a body contouring specialist for all your body shaping.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Massage After CoolSculpting

A 2-3 minute massage is recommended after CoolSculpting treatments. Some people do more, some do less. Some don't do any massage at all. In your case I don't think there is any cause for concern. Enjoy your CoolSculpting results!

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


coolsculpting selectivelty freeezes fat cells to induce programmed cell death. The goal of the massage at the end of the procedure is to massage out the frozen tissue and any of the ice crystals that have formed. The actual massage can vary in terms of length of time. No reason to panic!

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.