Is it common for Coolsculpting to make surrounding areas carry more fat, or make the untreated area clearly uneven? (Photo)

It has been 2 months since I got coolsculpting on my lower stomach & love handles. I'm happy with the results. My stomach is flatter & the love handles are smaller. I'm worried b/c everything looked perfect until a week ago. Now I have noticed that the upper part of my stomach seems to be uneven & sticking out. I'm wondering if this is common? I'm nervous it won't even out or I'll distribute weight unevenly in that area. I've never had a problem there before. My pictures are below. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 12

Uneven CoolSculpting result

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Dear JeanineRose:

CoolSculpting (CS) is tried and true as you have experienced. It does have its limitations and that includes:
  1. a "patch-work" of applicator position to achieve fat reduction in the sites selected
  2. limited amount of fat reduction which varies among patients and technical placement.
  3. and others. 
You have also discovered that if one area is treated, an adjacent area may appear fuller. This is to be expected and may appear more pronounced if you should gain weight. 

Thank you for sharing your photos! You appear to have achieved an excellent result. I would recommend that you discuss further CS sessions with your Certified CS Specialist to cover the mid and upper abdominal areas. 

Good luck with this!

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Coolsculpting results uneven

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A skilled and certified Coolsculpting technician will offer you a thorough evaluation before undergoing Coolsculpting treatment. It is extremely common for us to recommend 4 applicators be placed on the abdomen(diamond technique)  for full treatment and coverage. 

When the abdomen is dissected into "upper" and "lower" regions, you may end up with an uneven appearance should you choose to forgo treatment in one of the two areas. We typically require our patients to treat the entire abdomen for this reason. We are dedicated to the "treat to complete" philosophy, as our patients are more satisfied and we are very results driven.

Thank you for your question!

Uneven after Coolsculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
We make sure to tell out patients which areas will need Coolsculpting and what they can expect if they don't treat all of the areas.  Your outcome is not unusual if you only treated the bottom of your abdomen.  You just need to treat the top now.

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

You might also like...

CoolSculpting Result

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
When patients only treat one area (ex. lower abdomen), it is not uncommon for them to feel the fat has "moved" to another area.  In reality, the other area is now simply more noticeable due to the treatment of surrounding areas.  This is likely what you are noticing.  You appear to have achieved a great result on the lower abdomen, and, as a result, the upper abdomen appears more prominent.  I would follow up with your provider to compare before and after pictures and discuss the possibility of treating the upper abdomen.  Best of luck!

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Fat Distribution Post Treatment

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
CoolSculpting effectively eliminate the number of fat cells in the treated area. After the CoolSculpting procedure fat is still evenly distributed among the remaining fat cells all over the body. However, there is less ability to store fat in the treated area since there are less fat cells there. Patients may start to see changes as early as three weeks. The most dramatic results can be seen after one to three months. The body will naturally process and eliminate injured fat cells from the body for approximately four months. The fat cells eliminated from CoolSculpting are gone for good.

Most of the time, patients have troubled areas that they focus on. Once the area is treated and improves, patients tend to notice other areas that were not as troublesome before. It would be a good idea to visit the provider to follow up and see if you would benefit from additional treatments.

Coolsculpting and Ultrashape

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question and for posting the pictures.

I recommend limited area treatments with Ultrashape to correct this deformity.

Ultrashape is great technology.

Dr. Karamanoukian

Uneven Coolsculpting results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
No. You shouldn’t carry more fat in surrounding areas. However, if you flatten a specific area with a cool sculpting applicator then it may appear visually that a non treated adjacent areas looks “fatter”.Of course, if you do either cool sculpting or liposculpture and gain weight afterwards then interrupted areas will gain fat because they have residual fat cells.

Andrew B. Menkes, MD
Mountain View Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

CoolSculpting Question

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. I think that from your description and pictures that what you are noticing is because you did not get the upper stomach area treated. This area can look more prominent because the other areas look smaller. I suggest a V-shaped  treatment to address the upper abdomen.  Good luck. 

CoolSculpting the upper abdomen

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Since you had your lower abdomen done and these photos are 2 months post-treatment. You have a great result and if you wish to even out the area, you can choose to also treat the upper abdomen. I wish you the best of luck.

Robert G. Aycock, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I appreciate your question.
You probably need more treatments and overlapping with the applicator

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

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.