My belly looks bigger than before?

I'm a slim woman of 5'5" and weigh about 117. I workout regularly and follow a healthy diet. I just had a bit of fat around my belly and had coolsculpting on my lower abs over 4 weeks ago. Of course I did not expect a sudden change, but i also did not expect my abs to look bigger than it used to. It now sticks out and I can't even suck it in anymore, It's as if the vaccum of the device sucked the fat and shaped it to stick out!!! . Will I at least go back to what it used to look like?

Doctor Answers 5

Bigger Belly Following CoolSculpting

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Thanks for your question regarding CoolSculpting. It sounds like you are quite slim with little extra fat. It is possible that you are experiencing some swelling following the procedure that might not be as noticeable on a larger patient. Your results should continue to improve over the next few months. If they don't, please see the plastic surgeon who performed your procedure to see what can be done.

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews


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Hello, I can certainly understand your frustration. At approximately 4 weeks from the procedure, it is possible (not common) to continue to have edema (swelling) at the treatment site. The maximum effects from coolsculpting tend to occur at 3 months from the procedure -- by that time, the swelling should subside. My advice would be to give it time. At 3-4 months, consult with your treating doctor to assess the areas in question. Good luck!

Jeffrey B. Wise, MD, FACS
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

2-3 Months for full result

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It sounds as though you are experiencing some post-procedure swelling that can occur after CoolSculpting. This timeframe varies from patient to patient but typically resolves after just a few weeks. At my practice we offer patients a compression garment to provide moderate pressure to the treated area. We also provide vibrational plate therapy that assists in the lymphatic process. Both compression and vibrational therapy provide patients who may be experiencing swelling or discomfort relief.

As one of the top providers in the country we are able to offer patients who buy an area to get one free.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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My belly looks bigger than before?

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A percentage of patients who undergo coolsculpting experience swelling beyond the initial post-procedure period. Many patients require more than four weeks to see their final result. Please try to be patient.

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon


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Dear gdashti -

Persistent swelling at 4 weeks is to be expected as well as some numbness and perhaps a little tenderness. Your best results will be visible in 3-4 months after the procedure. If you have any concerns you should contact you doctor's office.

Best of luck,

Dr. Kaniff

Thomas E. Kaniff, MD, FACS
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 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.