Does CoolSculpting Really Work?

And how long do you wait between procedures?

Doctor Answers 21

FDA Clearance & Clinical Trials Confirm Its Effectiveness

Gaining FDA clearance for fat reduction is a rigorous process that required CoolSculpting manufacturer ZELTIQ to prove results via clinical trials. Its intended use is specific: fatty bulges in areas that have been resistant to diet and exercise. Common examples include the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, and flanks (or "love handles"). Waiting time between treatment sessions will vary from patient to patient depending on the area being treated, but we generally recommend a minimum of 4 weeks. Results from a session will not be fully visible until about 8 weeks, because the body is gradually removing the destroyed fat cells in the interim. I hope this answer is helpful to you.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

CoolScuplting Effectiveness

CoolSculpting has not proven nearly effective as SculpSure. SculpSure takes 25 minutes while CoolSculpting takes 60-90 minutes. CoolSculpting can be painful and leave you with prolonged numbness, while SculpSure is painless and provides a warming feeling for relaxation.

SculpSure has consistently beaten CoolSculpting in head-to-head studies providing our staff here at Clevens Center to prefer SculpSure. SculpSure is a non-invasive lipolysis device that leverages controlled and targeted hyperthermic laser. The technique dives past your dermis for minimal absorption and then penetrates deeply to destroy subcutaneous fat.

I suggest you consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to receive the highest quality knowledge, treatment, care and skill available.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Cool sculpting results are improved with post procedure massage

Results can be seen in 4 weeks or up to 12 weeks.

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.

CoolSculpting Does Work - but NOT for everyone

CoolSculpting DOES work.  But, I wold strongly disagree with the dermatologist who started her answer with "CoolSculpting works for everyone" It does not.   Most healthy people with areas of stubborn, unwanted fat can achieve wonderful results with CoolSculpting


  Some people simply do not have enough body fat for Coolsculpting to work effectively. There are areas where a person may have unwanted small bulges, but if the handpiece doesn't fit securely, the patient will not see results.  Even people with large bellies, but very firm fat may not be ideal candidates if the handp[iece does not fit securely over the skin and fat .  Additionally people who are obese, and looking for weight loss vs. reduction or elimination of stubborn areas of excess fat are not ideal candidates.

Yes, CoolSculpting works. It works for most people, but not for everyone. Please take your time and ask a lot of questions before and during your consultation. if you feel any pressure during a consultation, do not procedure with a treatment at that time.

We have had people disappointed to learn they are not ideal candidates for CoolSculpting in my practice. But, being turned away with an explanation is far less disappointing than having someone take your money and time for a procedure that may not be ideal for you.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

CoolSculpting Works

CoolSculpting is an extremely effective treatment for the reduction of fat. It is an FDA cleared procedure that is noninvasive with no downtime. The treatment utilizes controlled cooling to damage and kill the fat cells and over time your body eliminates those dead fat cells. You will generally see about 20-25% reduction of fat in a treated area. Some patients start seeing results as soon as 3-4 weeks after treatment and it can take up to 3 months for the full result to be visible. It is recommended to wait until you see your results and if you want to do an additional treatment, then you may do so after about 2-3 months.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Coolsculpting session spacing

I recommend waiting 2-3 months between sessions, because results continue to improve over this period of time. However, a second session can be done one month later if desired.

- Dr. P

Kaleroy Papantoniou, MD, FAAD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

If you can pinch it, you typically can coolsculpt it

Coolsculpting can now be used for the outer thighs, chin, abdomen, flanks, bra roll, arms, and inner thigh.

We have been coolsculpting since 2011.  Several family members and friends have had the procedure done.
We have been very happy with the results as have our patients.  

About 5-10% of the patients we see could do coolsculpting but it would not make sense financially when surgical options could deliver 2 to 3 times the outcome at the same or less cost.  

I would visit with a plastic surgeon if you are more than 20lbs above your ideal body weight to make sure all options are presented to you.


CoolSculpting is an effective treatment option for the right patient. Its novel cooling technology permanently removes fat cells from treated areas. Body regions that we treat most commonly include the central abdomen, waist (a.k.a. “love handles”) and back; these problem areas often remain despite exercise and diet and fat removal of 22% to 25% have consistently been observed. Results are noticeable 1 to 3 months post treatment.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

CoolSculpting results

Yes, CoolSculpting  works for the right candidate. It uses the technology called cryolipolisis to freeze and destroy fat cells, which are then naturally eliminated by the body. Patients can expect a 20-25% reduction in fat after the first treatment although multiple treatments may be needed to achieve a patient’s goals.. Results can be as early as 4 weeks post treatment but full results can be seen in 12-18 weeks.
I recommend visiting CoolSculpting Certified Practice for an in-person consultation to determine if you would benefit from the procedure.

John A. Kotis, DO, FACS, FACOS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Coolsculpting results and timing

I recommend waiting a good 2-3 months to evaluate your results from Coolsculpting. Many patients may find results come sooner if they are doing multiple areas. For example if they are doing a circumferential treatment around the beltline, and repeating the treatment in quick succession (e.g. 2 weeks apart), then they will begin to see results within weeks, but will continue to see improvement until the 2-3 month mark.
As far as efficacy, I would still rate surgical solutions as a more effective tool at achieving the results you may be looking for, however, the trade-off is the downtime.

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.