Does Coolsculpting Run the Risk of Adding More Fat to Other Unwanted Areas of the Body?

Will your body compensate for the lost cells by just adding more fat in a different area? For example if you use cool sculpting on your thighs, will you gain more fat around your waist?

Doctor Answers 7

Cool sculpting and Fat On Other Areas of the Body?

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Thank you for the question.

As with any “body contouring” procedure,  surgical or nonsurgical, it is best to have these procedures done when patients have achieved a long-term stable weight.  Cool sculpting, like liposuction surgery, is indicated for patients with diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue (with acceptable overlying skin elasticity attributes). Assuming patients maintain a stable weight after these procedures, fat cells in other areas of the body should not increase in size.

I hope this helps.

No, not unless you gain more weight in general

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Any treatment that involves the removal or elimination of fat cells will do so permanently.  That is, those fat cells that were removed will not come back.  Fat cells however, can increase in size.  If you have had liposuction or coolsculpting to reduce fat and you gain weight afterwards that extra fat has to go somewhere.  It will go everywhere just as it has before with a little less to the area that was previously treated since there are fewer fat cells there.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Coolsculpting and liposuction can redistribute fat

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Coolsculpting and liposuction are the only permanent  methods of fat removal.  Because your body often wants to keep itself at a certain percentage of body fat it can cause fat cells in other areas to take on more fat.  Losing weight would help avoid this.

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

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A regular exercise program will help to maintain fat loss

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It isn't known if this occurs after a Coolsculpting treatment as no research on the subject has been done.  It would be much less likely than with liposuction for the following reasons: much less fat is treated at once, and only 20-40% of the fat compartment in a small area is targeted; the fat cells are lost slowly through a more natural process than forcibly removed all at once. To be on the safe side, continuing an exercise program which will be helpful to maintain a normal weight anyway should be employed to reduce the chances of this happening.  In the study on liposuction that showed that some people increased their deeper fat by 10% it was also shown that those who exercised regularly did not have this problem.


Amy Forman Taub, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

CoolSculpting Does Not Add Fat

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CoolSculpt was developed by Harvard Scientists and is a clinically proven procedure with thousands of happy patients that involves freezing fat cells without damage to your skin. A Vacuum pressure is used to pull targeted areas between cooling plates that over a period of an hour cause fat cells to begin a process called cryolipolysis. This breakdown of the fat cells is complete over a period of 2 to 4 months, during and after you will see a reduction in the size of the treated areas.

Coolsculpting won't increase fat elsewhere on your body

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When the fat cells are removed after Coolsculpting, your body will dispose of them just like clearing an infection.  So, the fat won't go anywhere else on your body.  As long as you eat healthy and exercise, you can maintain the results for a long time!  Good luck!

CoolSculpting doesn't typically lead to adding fat on other areas

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Some people who have had liposuction have noticed fat accumulation in other body sites after the liposuction. This may be because they had a large amount of fat removed and that was reflective of them consuming a larger number of calories than needed. The excess calories turn in to fat. If someone has liposuction, but continues to eat as much and does not increase their exercise, then they may put on more weight. They need less calories per day than before liposuction.  Some weight can go on areas treated by liposuction and the rest can go to other areas.

CoolSculpting removes less fat than liposuction so there shouldn't be as much a differential in the caloreis needed for maintenance of the body shape, before and after the procedure. However,  as we are doing multiple adjacent sites and repeating treatments as a series often, six weeks apart, we are seeing more fat reduction so that it may be that there can be some fat accumulation in other body sites after the CoolSculpting is completed. This can be minimized by eating a proper diet, the total calories of which are appropriate for your body, and to maintain an exercise regimen. Remember that energy consumed as calories of food, are used up with normal metabolic functions and exercise. If you consume more than you need, you will accumulate fat. You need to reduce this positive caloric balance if you want to maintain keeping the fat off after a cosmetic procedure.

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.