3 Weeks After CoolSculpting I'm Bigger than Before Surgery From Bloating, Normal?

Hi. I had CoolSculpting done three weeks ago. I know the results can take two to four months but I'm nervous that I still feel very bloated and bigger than before I had the treatment on my stomach and inner thighs. I have been very careful with my diet...even better than before treatment and exercise regularly with running, biking, and home workout videos? My weight is also up on the scale and not changing even though I'm following my Weight Watcher point system carefully? I'm scared.

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after CoolSculpting

Typically, there is minimal to no downtime after the treatment though patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort. Side effects can include redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness to the touch, cramping, itching, tingling, and numbness. It sounds like you are experiencing swelling, which is normal and not permanent. You will experience the most dramatic results after two months. But your body will still flush out fat cells and continues doing so for up to four to six months after treatment.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Swelling after Coolsculpting

It sounds like you are swollen.  This is a normal part of the process.  The Coolsculpting treatment causes the fat cells to die.  As this happens, your body will begin an inflammatory response to remove these dead cells.  This will cause some swelling and sometimes some discomfort.  This would possibly explain the weight gain as well. But definitely contact and talk with your doctor.

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Swelling and weight gain after CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

Fluid retention is part of inflammation which occurs during the processing by your body of the dead fat cells from CoolSculpting by Zeltiq. It is probably the water that is being retained in the dermis and subcutaneous tissues that accounts for the weight gain despite your careful observation of your dietary caloric intake. Not everyone sees the gain that you've noticed, but continue to exercise and watch your meals and you should see the improvement in the next several weeks.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Swelling is Normal and Temporary

Hello.  There is no need to worry.  What you are describing is perfectly normal.  The areas treated with CoolSculpting will always experience swelling.  This feeling that one is larger than pre-treatment is experienced by most patients post treatment.  The body is sending in extra fluids to the treated area in order to remove the cells which have been destroyed through the lymphatic drainage system. This process takes a little time, and varies from patient to patient.  Because the body is actually temporarily retaining fluids in these areas, that can cause some short-term experience of weight gain as well.  So, just relax, do some medium pressure self massage of the treated areas, and you will be experiencing some amazing results in no time.

Edward Stokes, MD
West Hollywood Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

3 Weeks After CoolSculpting I'm Bigger than Before Surgery From Bloating, Normal?

Thank you for your question. This can be completely normal. A compression garment may help. If you are concerned, speak to your chosen provider. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Cool sculpting and swelling that remains

I recommend compression for the swollen areas.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it application process.

The discomfort from treatment does resolve. Taking over the counter tylenol or naproxen resolves this in the majority of cases. If you have swelling that is persistent then a waist binder is helpful.

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.