Cool Sculpting Flanks - Are the Swelling/after Symptoms the Same As the Lower Abs?

I had my lower abs with the small applicator done 6 weeks ago. I am already happy with the results. However, I am thinking about getting my "flanks" done. Have you heard from previous clients that the "after effects" (swelling & such) the same as the lower abs? I want to go ahead & do it, but don't know if I want to wait until the fall if my "sides suddenly" get larger rather than smaller for 3 weeks. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling at Flanks After CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Most people experience less swelling at the flanks as opposed to the abdomen after CoolSculpting, but it is hard to predict how much swelling you will have since it varies from person to person. You may also experience more swelling if you have overlapping treatments during the same day as well.


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

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. It is a very safe procedure. immediate adverse reactions are rare but could include bruising and swelling. Every treatment, 20 to 25% subcutaneous fat is reduced in the area the treatment was performed on.

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

CoolSculpting Flanks

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

each person does respond differently, so it is possible to have swelling in the area following a CoolSculpting treatment. We have not known of patients in my pratice with excessive, persistent swelling. It is very common that patients elect to have CoolSculpting Complete and treat two areas simultaneously. CoolSculpting Complete also includes vibrational therapy which can help with lymphatic drainage. Enhancing lymphatic drainage can also help with minimizing swelling.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

You might also like...

Swelling/Symptoms after CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. Since each patient heals differently, it is impossible to determine how much your flanks will swell in comparison to your abdomens. However, generally patients have reported that there is less swelling of the flanks than of the abdomen after CoolSculpting.

In our experience with Coolsculpting

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

In my experience with Coolsculpting , the side effects of pain, numbness , swelling and tingling is much less common to virtually absent when comparing treatment of flanks to lower abdomen.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Coolsculpting for the Flank Area

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

Thank you for your question.

From patient feedback that I have received, I have been told that the "tingling" and "numbness" that patients experience when treating the abdominal area is usually minimized when treating the flanks.

Each patient differs with how they recover so plan your treatment according to your summer schedule.


CoolSculpting on the flanks and abdomen

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

it is possible that you might be more swollen on the flanks for the first few weeks than you were on the abdomen. However, I could say the same in the reverse order if you had your flanks done first. There is an unpredictability as to who will have considerable swelling but usually it is not severe.  

As we have begun to overlap applicators and use more than one per cosmetic unit, in the last year, physicians have noted some patients to have slightly more swelling at times. This stands to reason as more treatment is being done compared with the one applicator per site treatment and as more fat cells die, there is more of the body's response (inflammation) and potentially more swelling. It is temporary. Wearing a store-bought compression garment can help.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.