Should I do Coolsculpting with a BMI of over 29 and 30 pounds overweight? Is this a good idea for an overweight woman?

I am 5'2", 66 years old, weighing 170. I haven't excercised in months (and am flabby all over) and plan to get back to it and to lose at least 20'. Last night I signed up for 10 hours around my belly. When I look at photos, I don't see any that resemble anyone as overweight as I. Should I lose the weight first and then do the procedure?

Doctor Answers 7

Is CoolSculpting a good idea for an overweight woman?

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One of the most important things about having cosmetic procedures performed is making sure that during your consultation the person you are speaking with is honest, forthright and is not just about selling a procedure. Having performed cosmetic procedures for over 25 years now, I understand there is a temptation out there to want to treat everyone who comes into your office. But if you are going to a board-certified dermatologist's or plastic surgeon’s office, the first thing you would be told is that “after” you get on your diet and exercise program and do what is needed, perhaps, a procedure like CoolSculpting might be something that might benefit you. But if you are not willing to do that work, get rid of what you can, this procedure, no matter how many hours you do, will probably not do much good for you at this time.

I see these kinds of concerns often — as I also do liposuction and laser liposuction and it is hard to say no. You should not have been sold the package you were and when you lose the weight, you might want to go somewhere to get treated by someone very skilled in the concept and the procedure.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

CoolSculpting works regardless of weight

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There is no doubt that CoolSculpting will work, regardless of the weight, but as you pointed out, one will need more cups to address their concern. If you are truly committed to losing weight, you can wait so that you require less cups, but in my personal experience I have noticed that patients put it off and never really get down to the weight they want and delay having the procedure they want for years. When the procedure sometimes helps they jumpstart into a more active lifestyle. Just something to think about. Good luck!

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Being a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting is Important

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Based on your description, it does not sound like you fit the profile of a good CoolSculpting candidate. The best candidates are men and women who are overall happy with their weight but find that they have pockets of stubborn, unwanted fat that don't respond to diet or exercise. The reason it's so important to be a good candidate for this procedure is that the best candidates tend to achieve the best results with the fewest complications. I would not recommend someone in your current situation undergo CoolSculpting as it is not a treatment for weight loss. It's very important that you lose the excess weight first and re-evaluate from there. If you do reach your goal weight and find you have a few areas of stubborn fat that remian, you also may wish to seek out treatment from another provider, as the advice you have received is not consistent with other expert opinions.

Am I a candidate for Coolsculpting?

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From the description you provide, you don't seem to fit the ideal CoolSculpting profile.  Your best option is to be evaluated by someone who is experienced with the procedure and protocols and have a discussion with them about exactly what your expectations should be.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Should I do CoolSculpting?

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I am so glad you asked this question!  

I have been very lazy about answering questions on RealSelf, but when I saw your question I could not resist!

I have been a speaker for the company both in the States and abroad because my results and enthusiasm for this procedure could not be more positive!  Saying that, I think one of the most important components of meeting a patient's needs is all about fulfilling their expectations.  I have always been a believer that trying exercise and weight loss is always the first step.  CoolSculpt reshapes you. IT IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM! I have had many an overweight patient be thrilled with their results... but it's important to understand what can be accomplished given your starting weight and shape.

I would strongly recommend you see a board certified physician that does CoolSculpting in your area for a second office consult before proceeding. Given what you have said, I think it's admirable for you to want to lose that 20 pounds first... that may be all you need.  If that does't do it, CoolSculpting may be a great addition to your plan.


Jennifer Harrington MD

CoolSculpting When 30 Pounds Overweight

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Hi Docking. CoolSculpting is more of a body contouring procedure and not a weight loss treatment. The best candidates are those who are within 10-15% of their ideal body weights. Of course, the best way to determine whether CoolSculpting is appropriate for you is through an in-person consultation. We generally do not treat those individuals who are more than 20 pounds over their ideal body weights until they have lost some of the excess weight through diet and exercise. The amount of treatments needed to give a noticeable result often costs thousands of dollars. There are some "non-ideal candidates" who we achieve amazing results with through our Treatment to Transformation protocols, but patient selection is essential. You may want to get a second opinion before you commit to such an extensive treatment. Best of luck to you.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Coolsculpting and Weight

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Coolsculpting is a fabulous procedure for the abdomen, thighs, flanks, and love handles.  the best results come from treating a bulge when you are within a few pounds of your ideal weight.  If you are 30 pounds overweight I would continue to exercise and eat healthy and after you reach your goal consult a board certified dermatologist with experience in Coolsculpting for the best results.

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.