What if my Fat Did Not Crystallize?

I have had coolsculpting several times, with huge results! They did a diamond shape with the no. 8 applicators on my abdomen. My lower was completely flat and my upper, which was much larger, reduced 3 inches. I had upper done again with two no. 8s. The tech said it did not crystallize and it just flopped down and did not form a stick of butter. The tech says it worked because it was very cold, but if it didn't crystallize, could it have worked, and why wouldn't it crystallize? It has been sore.

Doctor Answers 7

Fat Did Not Crystallize

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Sometimes the treated areas may not form the usual "stick of butter", but that does not necessarily mean you will have a less than optimal result. Perhaps you had less tissue in the applicator than you did previously due to improvement in the area with your previous treatments. As long as there was good tissue draw and the tissue was treated correctly, then you should notice results within a few months. Give it time and definitely contact your physician with any concerns.

Coolsculpting freezes and kills fat cells to make you lose fat

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The coolsculpting device does not always produce the stick of butter, in other words, the firm raised red skin and fat lump, which is caused by the frozen fat, may not always be seen after treatment. This may be because in some areas or some patients there is less proportion of fat to skin. This may also happen in subsequent treatments as the initial treatment caused fat loss and there is less to freeze, proportionally, the second or further treatments.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Results from treatment

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The way the skin and tissue look after each treatment,  or even different sides of the body on the same day, can vary greatly.  Seeing the "stick of butter" isn't essential to a good outcome. It's difficult to say what else may have played a factor that day or if you may have had such a nice reduction from the previous treatments that perhaps a smaller applicator may have been better and pulled in more tissue more effectively.  Don't worry.  Though results may not be as dramatic as your previous treatments, you certainly got some further benefit. 

Stick of butter is a good indicator but not everything

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your tissue has clearly responded well to the treatment.  there could be technical reasons why you did not see as as profound of a "stick of butter" at the end of the treatment, such as a less than ideal draw.  however, it is possible that your abdomen is changing with the treatments and there is less tissue to actually draw in.  i would be patient and wait to see your effects prior to making any early judgements.

Did not crystallize?

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I'm glad that you are getting great results with the CoolSculpting treatment.
In terms of not crystallizing with your last session, it makes we wonder whether the applicator was applied to an area that was too tight to pull up, or whether the vacuum setting was too low to get a good draw of tissue into the applicator.


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The results you're getting are obviously excellent.  With each treatment, it takes up to 3 months to see the best results.  If after 3 months the results are less than you expect, there is no harm in repeating the treatment.  The technician doing the treatment should be able to assess the "draw" on the skin and fat to make sure there is adequate suction.  As long as there is a good draw, the treatment should be effective.  Good luck.

CoolSculpting Results

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Congratulations of your great CoolSculpting Results.  The handpiece needs to fit very securely to pull skin and fat into the the handpiece. If there was not appropriate suction, the treatment will likely not provide ideal results.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 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.