Numbness, soreness and swelling after Coolsculpting.

Before I had 2 side areas done below my belly button, & the left & right sides of my love handles done, I measured 42" around. The day after (& now - 9 days later) I measure 46" around while still being numb & sore. Coolsculpting was to reduce my fat in each area by 20-25% with each treatment, yet now I'm fatter around the belly. What gives?

Doctor Answers 11



It is very common to have swelling for a couple weeks after CoolSculpting. It takes approximately 3 months before you will see full results of your treatment. If you feel the swelling is getting worse, it is best to contact your doctor and have them assess you. Good luck!

Delray Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

CoolSculpting Side Effects

Thank you very much for your question. At nine days’ post-treatment, it is far too early to see any results from your CoolSculpting procedure. It is not uncommon to have mild swelling along the treatment area, as well as numbness, tingling, and tenderness in this area for a few days or even several weeks. Itching is also normal. Over the following several months, however, you should notice normal sensations return to the treatment site and the fatty tissue diminish. Full benefits of a CoolSculpting treatment can take up to three months to appear. If you have further concerns, however, I would contact your CoolSculpting provider, who can then provide additional advice.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Initial Swelling from CoolSculpting

Most patients have swelling to the area treated up to 2-3 weeks after their CoolSculpting treatments.  Abdomen swelling can feel and look like menstrual bloating.  We call CoolSculpting - Slow Motion Liposuction.  Best results are at 90 days, not 9 days.  Make sure your weight remains the same too.  Most patients do see a visible difference with Coolsculpting at around 45-60 days post treatment.  Keep in mind that the 20-25% fat reduction is only for the specific area treated.  CoolSculpting does not offer what Liposuction can.  Moderate to dramatic results that are quickly achieved are a result of Liposuction, not CoolSculpting.  The ideal candidate for CoolSculpting is within 40 pounds of their ideal weight and have a stubborn or trouble spot/region.         

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


Fat reduction from Coolsculpting takes around 3 months to see results to the full 20-25%.  You appear to be experiencing the normal side effect of pain, numbness, and welling that can occur in the few days, often up to 2 weeks, following treatment. With regards to measurement it depends on measuring tape placement, but also you are likely still swollen and need to give it time.  It is a wonderful treatment and you are very likely to have a successful treatment once the initial period of side effects has passed. Good luck with your transformation!

Michelle Ellern, DO
Livingston Physician

CoolSculpting Treatment

CoolSculpting is a permanent fat reduction technology that uses cold to destroy fat cells.  This process takes time so full results are not typically seen for 3 months.  Some of the known side effects of CoolSculpting are swelling and numbness to the treated areas.  These effects are typically self-resolving in a few days and do not require any interventions. Some patients experience a burning sensation around 5 to 10 days after the treatment as well. However, if you have any concerns, it is best to follow-up with the provider that preformed the treatment.

Generally waist circumference measurements are not a good clinical indicator of efficacy.  There are many variables that can affect the waist circumference, including tape placement and amount of pressure used to take the measurement. Before and after photos taken 3 months after treatment are usually the best measure of success.  Also, the 20-25% reduction refers to the total number of fat cells in the area, not the number of inches.  These numbers were derived from clinical studies using ultrasound to assess the thickness of the layer of fat. 

CoolSculpting is a wonderful treatment for stubborn areas of fat, but results do take time. At nine days, you are still certainly swollen from the treatment. Most patients notice early results around 5 weeks post-treatment.  Best of luck in your recovery!

Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Coolsculpting and swelling

Due to your description , it sounds like you are still swollen post treatment. The swelling a numbness is normal and can last a few weeks. I usually suggest that patients wear a compression garment for the area treated for a minimum of 7 days to help minimize this. In regards to measurements, this may not decrease, however most people can expect a decrease in the fat in the area treated by 20%. Please be patient and allow the area to heal, this can take a full 12 weeks.

Steven H. Dayan, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swelling, Soreness and Numbness with Coolsculpting

Swelling, soreness and numbness are all very common with Coolsculpting.

Do not worry...these symptoms will all subside very soon. If the numbness continues past 3 weeks, please see your doctor who can place you on medication to help with this numbness side effect.

As for your results- you are still very early! You need to give at least 8 weeks before you start to see results and sometimes, many individuals require multiple sessions. Again, speak with your doctor to discuss your progress.

Helen Perakis, MD
Nanuet Plastic Surgeon

Swelling from CoolSculpting

Swelling is a very common side effect and can last for a few weeks for some people.  Be patient and wait the full 12 weeks to see what your results are.  

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Coolsculpting, SculpSure, Vanquish for Fat Reducing / Sculptra for Facial Sculpting Collagen Building

Sweling can last for weeks after coolsculpting, combine with vanquish and cellutone/z wave and this will improve the outcome and decrease swelling over time.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Numbness, sore, and larger, 1 day after Coolsulpting

These are all normal at 1 day. It takes 6-8 weeks to see the effects of Coolsculpting. The other side effects are normal and should subside in a couple weeks. Your measurements won't decrease by 20%, only the fat treated will.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 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.