Can coolsculpting cause excess skin?

With cool sculpting of the torso, if the fat is effectively removed, can there be a potential for excess skin in those areas due to a void being created by the fat removal? Will the skin look more saggy or is the skin also tightened?

Doctor Answers 9

Coolsculpting and excess skin

Coolsculpting has been approved by the FDA for nonsurgical fat reduction. Patients generally get an additional benefit of skin tightening. To see if coolsculpting is appropriate for you, then you should consult in person with a board certified physician who can offer surgical and coolsculpting procedures to see which option is best for you.  


West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

CoolSculpting and Sagging Skin?

CoolSculpting usually removes between 20-30% of fat in the area so the potential of experiencing loose skin would be unlikely. Repeated treatments of CoolSculpting to the same area can be performed, but again the chance of any detectable loose skin (that wasn't already present prior to treatment) would be highly unlikely. 

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Cool sculpting

With the assessment you should be guided on where it is appropriate to have Cool Sculpting.  Excess skin should not be an issue.

There Shouldn't Be Excess Skin

Thanks for your excellent question. The fat that is damaged by the CoolSculpting process is absorbed over a 4-month period. This should not leave excess skin, and in many cases, there has been contraction of the skin in the same fashion that occurs after liposuction. Liposuction can leave excess skin because more fat is removed at one time. In CoolSculpting, the fat is resorbed over a prolonged period of time, which helps the skin to "bounce back" into place gradually.

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Coolsculpting and excess skin

One of the fabulous things about this technology is that the fat is slowly resorbed over a period of months.  Unlike liposuction which immediately removes large areas of fat, cool sculpting gradually reduces the fat in a treated area by 20% over a period of 2 to 4 months.  Because the effect is gradual, there is little chance of saggy skin.  Sudden weight loss can cause saggy skin but I have not witnessed this with Zeltiq.  For the best results please find a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with Coolsculpting.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Can CoolSculpting cause excess skin?

Coolsculpting does not claim to tighten skin. And, when fat is removed there can be the risk of having excess skin. Different from liposuction which can debulk a large area of fat relatively quickly, CoolSculpting works slowly by cryolipolysis (freezing the fat). The fat cells die and are swept away through the lymphatic system. This happens over weeks to months. This longer time period allows the skin to react to the changes in your fat layer a little easier than removing a larger chunk at one setting. A plastic surgeon should be able to evaluate skin quality, as well as, the amount of fat and its distribution at the time of the consult to determine if a patient is a good candidate for CoolSculpting. 

Warren Schutte, MD
Fort Collins Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Will CoolSculpting cause saggy skin after the fat is gone?

CoolSculpting results come through a process that occurs over a number of weeks. This certainly gives the skin time to contract.

Typically the only reason you would have "excess skin" is if the amount of fat that removed was of a large scale. This would have to be considerably more than CoolSculpting could destroy in a single session.

CoolSculpting is not a weight loss device, so it's best to assess your personal situation. Obvious fat bulges and fat pockets are the targets of cryolipolysis. For broad fat areas that are more weight related, CoolSculpting is not your answer.

Any major weight loss could result in saggy skin, but again, CoolSculpting is not intended to reduce weight.

CoolSculpting candidates fall within a certain range of viability. Ideally you are of normal or very close to normal weight with an acceptable BMI and the fat you wish to get rid of is fat that has been resistant to diet and exercise.


Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

CoolSculpting usually results in improvement, yet excess skin can occur in some individuals.

CoolSculpting can result in some wonderful improvements, but it is sometimes going to be accompanied by a little excess skin, just as in liposuction.  It all depends on your skin turgor/laxity and where you begin and end with after the treatment.  
The good news is that in 2 years + of having CoolSculpting in my practice, I haven't EVER had someone who said they looked worse after CoolSculpting than before it. That's a pretty good recommendation in my mind!  Good luck!

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Can CoolSculpting cause excess skin?

In most cases, when CoolSculpting is performed, it does not produce saggy skin.  Usually the skin is elastic enough to conform to the new shape.  There are some people that have excess skin prior to treatment, and this excess skin will not be improved with the treatment.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.