Coolsculpting didn't work, I had a total of 9 treatments and I actually gained an inch. What's the best alternative?

I had 9 total cool sculpting treatments, 4 in one day 5 in the same day two months later. I have gained three lbs since the last treatment and one inch around my waist. I was told if the coolsculpting didn't work, the company that makes the machine would pay for Lipo. I have heard Lipo can leave lumpy marks. I want my love handles gone and a flat stomach. I am 49 and a smoker, 5'5 and weigh 134 lbs, would a mini tummy tuck work or would I need a full tummy tuck, would I need Lipo? Thanks Teri

Doctor Answers 8

Coolsculpting didn't work, I had a total of 9 treatments and I actually gained an inch. What's the best alternative?

Thank you for your question.
It is difficult to give you accurate advice without an examination.  You may be a good candidate for liposuction and/ or tummy tuck surgery - best to meet with an experienced plastic surgeon who can go over the pro's and con's of each procedure and show you examples of their work.
You may find the link below (dedicated to tummy tuck surgery) helpful as you do your research.
Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews


I appreciate your question and am sorry as we have had many happy patients.
At this point I would probably recommend surgery such as liposuction

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

CoolSculpting not producing desired results could be for several different reasons

Thanks for your question, and I'm sorry you have not had the results you had expected with CoolSculpting. This is a really wonderful procedure when done correctly and when you are the proper candidate for it. I always recommend you have a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to assess that you are a candidate for the procedure and whether this will be the best treatment for you. There are many out there using this procedure that may not be the best clinicians to be using this – that discussion would be way too long to write here. That’s why derms and plastics are the best ones that can assess, diagnose, and treat your fat concerns.

So if you have not had the results you want, it may be you, it may be too much lax skin, or it can be that the procedure needs to be continued or performed by someone more skilled in using CoolSculpting. And diet and exercise are also important – so that must be part of the treatment plan as well.

Good luck.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Coolsculpting didn't work, I had a total of 9 treatments and I actually gained an inch. What's the best alternative?

You must also have a healthy lifestyle for coolscupting, liposuction, or abdominoplasty to be effective. If exercise and eating healthy do not work then you should see a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the options of other procedures.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

CoolSculpting didn't work

Dear ChelsieChance1:

CoolSculpting (CS) works in those patients who work with CS. A small loss of fat in multiple areas will accumulate to a minor liposuction-like result when the applicators are properly placed. Just like liposuction (or tummy tuck) you may improve your contour but you must lose the weight removed by these techniques. Otherwise, the calories will make larger fat cells elsewhere. 

  • Since CS may achieve up to 20% reduction of the fat cells captured in the applicator, this leaves over 80% of the fat cells to enlarge. 
  • CS, LipoContouring and excisional surgeries (like a tummy tuck) will improve form but are not designed to reduce calories. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with this.

There are so many causes for weight gain particularly around menopause. 

A full medical evaluation is required help direct you. A consumption diary, work-out diary, hormone levels and more must be reviewed.

At this point, Zeltiq has assisted patients in liposuction when a rare occurrence of Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia occurs; not when weight loss is not attained. 

It is best to re-discuss your goals with your CoolSculpting Specialist or obtain a 2nd opinion from a well experienced, Board Certified, Plastic Surgeon who performs all of the above. 

I wish you all the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Coolsculpting versus Liposuction

Thank you for posting this question.  Without photos it is difficult to ascertain what is going on and why coolsculpting did not work.  It is very important for you to be the same weight and continue to diet and exercise to have the best results.  Many surgeons will not operate if you are currently smoking.  I suggest you consult a board certified physician for an in depth consultation before proceeding with an invasive alternative.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Coolsculpting NO Improvement, Consider A Hi Definition Lipocontouring Procedure

I suggest seeing a body contouring expert who does both surgical and non surgical contouring.  You may be more of a candidate for hi definition fat removal and shaping through liposuction, especially energy based devices like VASER or ThermiRF.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Coolsculpting didn't work

If CS didn't work, you may want to inquire about liposuction.  Just make sure you are the same weight as before CS.  If you are the same weight, talk to your plastic surgeon.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.