Do varying CoolSculpting side effects varying mean I will get different results?

I did CS on my love handles 2x now. The first time I had bruising, pain, and numbing after the treatment. I was pretty happy w the results 3 months later. I recently (last week) did my 2nd treatment in the same area at the same clinic but with a different nurse. This time I have no bruising, pain or numbness. Does this mean it won't be working as well? I spoke to the nurse who said side effects doesn't impact result. I still have a good amount of fat in that area that I would like to disappear.

Doctor Answers 9

CoolSculpting Side-Effects

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After treatment with CoolSculpting, some patients experience more sensitivity than others. Side-effects are not a determinant of results from the procedure. Because it takes time for patients to see their results, it is important to be patient. Follow-up with your board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure your satisfaction.

Side effects and results

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Lack of side effects does not mean there will be a lack of results. Different areas of the body and different treatment number are just that different.  Be patient with your results and your body.  Good luck with your transformation!

Side effects after Coolsculpting

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No, your results do not correlated with post-treatment side effects.  Nerves and vessels often travel in bundles and if those bundles are caught in just the right way the vessels can stretch and break causing a bruise and associated pain.  The nerve travelling with that vessel is caught up as well. It gets affected leading to some numbness and sometimes increased pain.  You have the applicator placed a 1/64 of an inch in a different direction and that neurovascular bundle is not affect and your symptoms are less.  The affect on the surrounding fat is the same in both cases.  Bottom line- your CoolSculpting is going to continue to work.  Happy Sculpting!

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Does lack of side effects mean results won't be as good?

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I would agree with the nurse that performed your CoolSculpting treatment and say that the lack or presence of side effects should not impact results.  People can have variation in numbness, pain and bruising and as you have seen, this can vary from one session to another on the same patient.  Wait the full three months to assess your final result.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Side effects and the results of Coolsculpting

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It is not unusual for patients to have different sensations and different side effects from their second Coolsculpt treatment compared with their first. I wouldn't worry about this.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.

Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Do varying CoolSculpting side effects varying mean I will get different results?

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Thank you for the question. Coolsculpting is a noninvasive way to reduce fat. Regardless of the side effects you experienced it does not impact your final results. Depending on the amount of fat you have, you may need multiple applications. It is best to be enrolled in a great fitness program and healthy eating to achieve optimal results. Good luck.


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The lack of adverse reactions doesn't mean the treatment was not successful. Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Still Great Results--with Coolsculpting, Venus Legacy, Exilis Ultra, Thermage, VASER HI DEF

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No, this doesn't mean you won't have great results. With Coolsculpting I recommend adding a combination with radiofrequency treatments such as Thermage, Vanquish, Venus Legacy, Exilis Ultra with Z wave/Cellutone for best results. VASER Hi Def with ThermiRF, ultrasound and fat grafting are also options, if you're a candidate. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Side effects from Coolsculpting doesn't correlate to results

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You shouldn't be worried about your outcome. It is funny, sometimes people worry about the side effects, and now you are worrying about not having side effects. Especially with the new CoolAdvantage handpieces, side effects are less and effects are as good or better. See link.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 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.