Would a lidocaine patch be a possible treatment option for late onset CoolSculpting pain?

The pain is bad. It's causing me to not be able to sleep. I whimper when I move. It's so bad that had I known it would be like this there is no way I ever would have gotten this procedure. It has brought me to tears!!!

Doctor Answers 12


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So sorry to hear that you are having that much pain.
After I had Coolsculpting, I used heating pads and Spanx for compression and the pain never came.  Try those first.
If not, ask your practitioner for a prescription for neurontin... that helps with the nerve pain.
Thankfully, the pain is self-limited and usually doesn't last more than 2 weeks.
Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Pain after cool sculpting

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I know this is not fun but is a rare and known side effect with cool sculpting. If you have a reputable practice, call them right away and have the physician help you with medication management during this period of time. We have a protocol that includes ice, compression, lidocaine patches and if NSAIDS or tylenol aren't enough you can try neurotin. This would all be short term and will cease. Sorry you are experiencing it. Best of Luck. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Pain after Coolsculpting

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If you have the rare side effect of significant pain after Coolsculpting that is not responding to Aleve or Motrin then you should contact your physician for the appropriate oral prescription medication.  Best, Dr. Green

CoolSculpting Swelling and Bruising -- Use Cellutone/Z Wave After and Venus Legacy / Vanquish for Best Results

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A lidocaine patch can help manage pain and discomfort after CoolSculpting. You can also try massage. I like CoolSculpting in combination with other modalities, such as Cellutone, Venus and Vanquish to give the best results. If the lidocaine patch doesn't help, please see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Pain treatment following CoolSculpting

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Dear jco3:

So sorry to hear of your discomfort!! Hyperaesthesia and pain are very rare concerns with CoolSculpting (CS) but obviously can happen. I believe that the sensory nerves within the CS treated areas are temporarily injured during the cooling process but not permanently injured. It will improve. 

Based on a single patient who had this problem among over a 1000 of our CoolSculpted patients, I have come up with a pain assistance protocol. It includes different levels of care based on the amount of discomfort and includes:

  1. Tylenol
  2. NSAID's: ibuprofen / naproxen
  3. LidoDerm patch
  4. Topical hydrocortisone or benadryl
  5. Topical lidocaine or LidoDerm
  6. Oral antihistamine
  7. Cool or warm compresses
  8. Compression garment
  9. Narcotic 
  10. GABA medications and sedatives

Please review this list with your CoolSculpting Specialist to see what is appropriate and helpful to you. 

I wish you the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Would a lidocaine patch be a possible treatment option for late onset CoolSculpting pain?

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Thanks for your question and as always we recommend that you consult with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see what your treatment options are at this time.  Post-treatment pain with CoolSculpting can and does happen on occasion and as noted by Dr. Stevens, one of the world’s experts on CoolSculpting, this is usually short-lived and can be associated with even better results.  Use the lidocaine patch and you will be fine --- we know it is a little discerning now, but it will subside and you will do just fine.  If you have questions, ask your provider.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Topical lidocaine patches for coolsculpting pain

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Topical lidocaine patches, oral anti-inflammatory medications, oral pain medications and muscle relaxers can all be used to treat post-procedure pain from coolsculpting.  Make sure to see your physician for evaluation; thankfully, this usually resolves in a week or so.  Best of luck.

Kyle Coleman, MD
New Orleans Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Post Coolsculpting pain

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These are a good method to treat this condition. I would ask your physician to treat with these. The new CoolAdvantage handpieces combined with Zimmer Z Wave has just about eliminated this problem in our office.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Lidocaine patches are safe and effective

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Lidoderm/lidocaine patches are our preferred treatment for patients with delayed onset pain such as yours. Contact your doctor and inquire about a prescription. 

Sarah A. Mess, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Pain after CoolSculpting

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While a lidocaine patch could be helpful for pain after a CoolSculpting treatment, there is also a prescription medication that can help.  If you have not already, I would contact the physician who treated you to let them know about your pain and see if they can prescribe the medication (gabapentin) for you.  

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