How long will it take for my body to start breaking down the fat and disposing of it?

I just had coolsculpting and was wondering if I would be able to tell if I was peeing out the fat cells with ketone strips? And if so how long will it take for my body to start breaking down the fat and disposing of it?

Doctor Answers 13

Fat Fades Gradually Over a Few Months

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I often hear questions about what happens to the fat and how long it takes results to appear after a CoolSculpting. As with other nonsurgical fat reduction procedures, CoolSculpting results show up gradually. I tell patients at my practice in the San Francisco Bay Area to expect to see a difference after about 3 months. In some cases, it may take longer, and it is also possible that a patient will need a second treatment session to produce the desired results.As far as your question about the ketone strips goes, it is possible you may see some changes, but I do not know of any research on the topic.

Coolsculpting results take time

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Like any other non-invasive body contouring procedure, results take time. 
Most patients will notice a difference within 6 weeks, however it may take up to 3-4 months before maximal efficacy is seen. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia. 
Fiori Institute of Body Contouring

How long will it take for my body to start breaking down the fat and disposing of it?

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Typically within 1- 3 months your body starts to eliminate the fat cells that were eliminated by the cold therapy with Coolsculpting. Each individual is different and different parts of the body may also vary as to how quickly the body eliminates the damaged fat cells.

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30-90 days

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hank you for your question. It takes 30 days to start noticing results and a full 90 days for maximal results. 


Elimination of fat after CoolSculpting

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The bulk of fat cell death and fat processing occurs during the first several weeks after CoolSculping.  The tissue realignment and final results as fat as appearance are usually seen in 6 weeks but can take up to 3 months on some patients.  This is why we never retreat an area for at least 3 months.  The actually elimination of fat occurs via the lymphatics draining the treated site and via the liver.  This is then eliminated via your stools.  Although not mentioned in the pamphlets regarding CoolSculpt, we and all our patients comment on 'stinky floaters' to be expected for about two weeks after a CoolSculpt session.  

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Coolsculpting Results

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Ketone strips will not show any signs of ketosis after Coolsculpting since the amount is very little even with multiple areas treated. There is also no increase in tested blood lipid levels as well. This is a very slow process that will be begin to show results as early as 3 weeks for some patients and will continue to improve up to 3-4 months. 


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Thank you for your question. After Coolsculpting in can take approximately 8-12 weeks for optimal fat reduction results. Some patients start to see results as early as 4 weeks. 

Dr. Daniel Ritacca


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You can expect to be swollen for about the first week, and then it will gradually begin to get smaller- you will be at your maximum result at about 12 weeks. 

Be patient & know that your fat cells are dying & your body is excreting them- its a good feeling- but does take some time!

Melanie L. Petro, MD
Birmingham Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Coolsculpting results

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I tell patients to wait about 3 months to make an assessment of their results.  The fat cells do not present in the urine.  

Payman Kosari, MD, FAAD

Coolsculpting Results

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Thank you for your question.  The process by which your body breaks down and reabsorbs fat cells after CoolSculpting is a gradual one.  Results are not immediate. The earliest I tell patients they may start to see results is 1 month.  However, it is not uncommon to take the full 3 months to see results after the treatment.  Ketone strips are not useful in detecting the broken down fat cells and unfortunately there is no other readily available test to track their breakdown either. 

Best wishes,

Cody Koch

Cody A. Koch, MD, PhD
Des Moines Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.