Coolsculpting: Does the Stretched Skin from Suctioning Stay Partially Lax or Does It Tighten Back Up Completely?

Watching Coolsculpting videos shows a very stretched out block of fat cells and skin after device is removed. I want to know, if after that trauma, all that skin tightens back up 100% - also how long until that huge solid brick goes down after device is removed. Looks rather scary.

Doctor Answers 8

The stretched skin goes back to normal from coolsculpting after about 1 week

Coolsculpting reduces the fat underneath the skin but does not change the skin at all.  The suction device only temporarily stretches the skin.  After the suction is released, however, the fat and skin are swollen from the treatment for a week or so.  Next, the skin returns to normal but the area will feel numb for several more weeks.  Over the 2 month post-treatment time, the fat under the skin will get smaller but the skin will not be changed.  Because there is less volume under the skin, there is more skin laxity - but it is usually not noticeable.  Alternatives to Coolsculpting that tighten skin include Smartlipo and various radiofrequency treatments.

Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

CoolSculpting and Skin Quality

The skin is stretched into the CoolSculpting attachment for a short period of time. The skin will go back to its normal state.  CoolSculpting is not designed for improving skin tone and it is not indicated for loose or sagging skin, so we would not treat someone interested in skin tightening.

The fat under the skin that makes a "stick of butter" kind of shape is massaged by the CoolSculting technician following the procedure. This massage is a critical part of the treatment and important in order for patients to see results

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Skin retracts 100% after CoolSculpting

The bulge of frozen fat with red skin noticed right after the CoolSculpting Zeltiq device is removed, referred to as a "slab of butter", always retracts 100%.  As the fat cells die, there is gradual retraction of the skin so that there is no sagging similar to liposuction.

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

Skin tightening after Coolsculpting


Don't let the frozen brick after treatment fighten you. Not only does the brick resolve within a short time after treatment (within minutes if massaged) but we have actually seen tissue tightening in our patients after Coolsculpting. So don't worry about the chance of a lingering brick or a deflated balloon of skin after treatment.

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Skin returns to normal appearance post Coolsculpting.

The skin is only stretched for a short time during the coolsculpting procedure. Once the procedure is finished, the skin returns to it normal appearance. The skin doesn’t stay stretched out or loose from the procedure. In fact, some patients even see a tightening of the skin in the area of treatment post-treatment.

Amy Forman Taub, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Skin stretching during the Coolsculpting Procedure

Thank you for your question.

The suction is in place for one hour.  Once it is removed, the skin that was in the suction will be raised and red.  This will subside within 10-15 minutes after removal of the handpiece.  Coolsculpting procedure does not have any long term effects on the skin being stretched out.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Does the skin stay stretched after Coolsculpting?


The suction of the Coolsculpting applicator is only for one hour.  After you remove the applicator, the fat and the skin look like a block of butter but it quickly goes away within 15 minutes.  Long-term, as the fast is taken away  by your body, the overlying skin actually tightens in the treated areas as you can see in many of the before and after photos shown.  We do not recommend the procedure solely as a skin tightening procedure but instead it is an added benefit to the procedure.


Dr. Liu


Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Does one get stretched skin as a result of CoolSculpting?

Immediately after the CoolSculpting applicator is removed from the treated area the bulge will be red, have a rubbery firm consistency (this represents the frozen fat), and protrude outwards.  This will all dissipate within five to 10 minutes upon removal of the applicator.  There will be no long term strecthing of the skin or issues with elasticity as a result of CoolSculpting.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.