Why does CoolSculpting work for some people and not for others?

It's been 6 months since I had my procedure done on my upper and lower abs. I see no results at all. As a matter of fact my stomach is bigger. I continue to workout and eat healthy but this belly won't go anywhere. I have an appointment to see the technician that performed the procedure. I just want to know what other possibilities could it be as to why it did not work for me. Thank you

Doctor Answers 9

Coolsculpting and No effects

Coolsculpting works on everyone provided you are the right candidate for the procedure.  I suggest you return to your treating physician for examination and discuss the results.  For the best cosmetic results you may wish to consult with a board certified dermatologist who is an expert in Coolsculpting. 

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Why CoolSculpting May not have worked

I'm sorry to hear CoolSculpting did not work for you. Not everyone is a candidate for the CoolSculpting procedure or it just may be that you need multiple sessions to achieve desired outcome. Talk to your practitioner and see if additional treatments are needed. 

Good luck!

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

No results after Coolsculpting. Why?

I'm sorry to hear this did not "work" for you, but I would want to see before and after photographs, as well as know your weight before Coolsculpting and now. The only reason I ask this is that I hear nearly daily that "I eat healthy and continue to workout, but this belly won't go anywhere . . .but bigger!" I'm not accusing you of anything, but let's just say that this is something I hear pretty frequently, and it's not usually due to failure of a modality or poor work, though it certainly CAN be!

So that's one possibility: you out-ate and under-exercised your results. Let's hope not.

Another is that you had inadequate treatment, and that additional or "better" sessions are required.

Another possibility is that you had unrealistic expectations, or really are a candidate for other options.

One other possibility is that the fat was not external as much as internal, and a lax abdominal wall may be allowing the intra-abdominal contents to protrude more, even though the subcutaneous fat was indeed reduced.

Check the credentials of the "technician" who performed your procedure. What kind of doctor supervises this person, and have you considered seeing this doctor instead of the technician? Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Coolsculpting Results Poor, Now With Bigger Stomach

Ive had many patients who have not seen results from coolsculpting or gotten reactive fat cells.  This is variable.  In general though, the area only improves 15-25% each treatment, so multiple treatments are needed. I suggest hi definition liposuction if you want a more defined and dramatic appearance.  There is only so much that can be done by non-invasive options. Best, Dr. Emer.

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

Why CoolSculpting May Not Work

Hi Marilyn. Thanks for your question. Without seeing your before and after pictures and doing an in-person examination it is extremely difficult to determine why CoolSculpting did not work for you. In general, the main reasons someone may not see results from CoolSculpting include not being a suitable candidate for the treatment in the first place. It may also be that you need multiple treatments to see results. Another possibility is that the incorrect applicators were chose or they were not appropriately placed. If you have not already, make sure you go over your before and after pictures with your provider. Sometimes we don't notice the results ourselves, but they are clearly noticeable on the before and after pictures. Make sure all of your concerns are addressed by your provider. Hope this helps.

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

Coolsculpting question

 Thank you for your question. The biggest factor I've seen in my practice regarding whether or not people see results with coolsculpting is their starting point. Those patients that are close to their ideal body weight and have discrete bulges of  fat resistant to diet and exercise normally see the most results.  If you are significantly overweight it is hard to see results with coolsculpting. For those patients I normally recommend other liposuction or surgery.

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews



Thank you for your question, It would be great if you can post before and after pictures. Going to see a board certified plastic surgeon about your concern would benefit you as they can assess the fat you have and make some recommendations.

Best regards 

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews


I appreciate your question.
What we've noticed is that some people benefit from 2 treatments in some areas. 

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

No Results

Sorry you aren't seeing the results you had hoped for!  It is hard to say what the exact reason for that is.  Depending on the severity of fat in the treated areas prior to treatment could be one reason you aren't seeing results.  CoolSculpting is not a weight loss procedure and is only beneficial for certain candidates.  I hope you are able to get the answers that you need!

Thank you for your question,

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 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.