Cool sculpting-potential long term side effects?

My understanding is that Cool sculpting works by destroying fat cells. Are there any potential long-term side effects with these dead fat cell remaining in the body? Besides dead fat, are there any other substances these cells contain? Thank you for your input. The results of this procedure are quite impressive.

Doctor Answers 11

No Long-Term Side Effects From CoolSculpting

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 CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis to destroy fat cells. The dead cells do not affect the body or raise the levels of cholesterol in the blood. The destroyed cells are processed by the lymph system and excreted in the urine over time. The results are, indeed, quite impressive, and the side effects are minimal. Consulting a board-certified dermatologist will alleviate your worries and help you decide if CoolSculpting is right for you.

Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

No Long Term Side Effects For CoolSculpting

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CoolSculpting is a very effective way of permanently eliminating fat cells from your body. After being frozen, the fat cells undergo apoptosis, a slow shrinkage and dying of the cells over a two week period. The fat cell, composed of triglycerides and enzymes, is degraded by the body’s immune system and its components are processed through the lymph system and excreted through urine. There is no change in cholesterol levels during this process. Dead fat cells will not return, which means that barring a further weight gain, your results are permanent.

CoolSculpting is a safe, noninvasive means of ridding yourself of excess, stubborn fat that does not respond to diet and exercise. Side effects are minimal and transient and may include slight pain, coolness, redness, bruising and swelling. These generally resolve in days. There are no known long-term side effects. Please consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine if you are a candidate for CoolSculpting.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


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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. 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.

Coolsculpting Long Term effects

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Typically, there is minimal discomfort and recovery time after the CoolSculpting procedure. Most patients are able to return to their daily routine immediately after the procedure. The treated area may be red for up to a few hours after the applicator is removed.Many patients have minimal discomfort following the procedure, however you may experience one or more of the following sensations: deep itching, tingling, numbness, tenderness to the touch, pain in the treated area, strong cramping, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, muscle spasms, aching and/or soreness. Consult your doctor if these conditions persist beyond two weeks or worsen over time. Since there are no know long term side effects with CoolSculpting.

Coolsculpting is an excellent treatment in properly selected patients. I would recommend meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Coolsculpting Side Effects

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Coolsculpting is a fabulous non-invasive fat reducing procedure.  There are no long-term side effects from this procedure.  The procedure is FDA approved and we have been doing it with great success for four years.  Please find a board certified dermatologist who has experience with cool sculpting for the best results.

Side Effects with CoolSculpting

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CoolSculting is able to target the fat specifically without damaging surrounding tissue. CoolSculpting is FDA cleared for fat reduction. There are no know long term side effects with CoolSculpting

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

CoolSculpting side effects

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There are no known side effects from the CoolSculpt treatment.  The fat cells are killed by the cold.  Studies have been done to assess the blood levels of cholesterol and fatty acids after the process which have not shown a substantial change in these blood chemistries.  The process is quite effective in the right candidate.

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

What happens to fat cells after CoolSculpting

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When the fat cells are frozen during a CoolSculpting treatment they undergo a natural cell death. Over the course of the next few months these fat cells are then naturally excreted from your body. So far, there have been no long term side effects reported after CoolSculpting. 

CoolSculpting produces a natural death cycle of fat cells which are naturally removed from the body

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The human body has a natural death cycle of about 10% of the bodies fat cells a year. These are normally replaced in a natural cycle. CoolSculpting freezes the fat cells which turns on the same natural process of fat cell death of about 20-25% of the frozen fat cells. They die and are removed naturally but they are not replaced. It doesn't appear that there are any other short or long term consequences. In fact you can go from CoolSculpting to the gym.

Coolsculpting and long term effects

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 permanently losing fat cells is the prime reason for undergoing Coolsculpting procedures. As opposed to liposuction, where the fat cells are physically removed, coolsculpting leaves no remnant signs of a person's previously existing fat cells will be seen.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 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.