How long does severe sharp pain last from Cool Sculpting?

I received my first Cool Sculpting treatment exactly one week ago today. Four days after my treatment I developed severe pain. Feels like stinging sharp pain, sometimes so bad it causes me to jump. It appears to be worse at night. It also resonates to different parts of my abdomen. I am extremely swollen, I am also numb and itchy. I saw my doctor yesterday, he suggested tylenol 3. Unfortunately that does not touch the pain. I have been awake now for 4 nights in severe pain. What can I do? Thank you

Doctor Answers 10

Pain after coolscupting

sorry to hear you have such discomfort. I've seen this happen more with the Cool max applicator. It will go away and narcotics or Gabapentin is often necessary. I've seen this type of pain last around 5 days. Hopefully it's gone about now. Best of luck

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews


Sharp pains after CoolSculpting normally dont last for much longer than 1 week and if they do then starting Neurontin would lessen the pain until completely resolved.

Payman Danielpour, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Side Effects of CoolSculpting

One of the rare side effects of CoolSculpting is late-onset pain. This typically begins three to four days after treatment and will resolve naturally on average within two weeks. The exact etiology is not known however it is believed to be associated with nerve inflammation. Pain can be described as deep pain, stabbing, shooting, burning sensations, hypersensitivity, and severe pins and needles. There are several ways to mitigate late onset pain which are: wearing compression garments, icing, heating pads, stretching, Benadryl or Ambien at night for sleep, and Gabapentin/Neurontin/Lyrica for nerve pain.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Pain after coolscupting

Thank you for your question. What you are experiencing is late onset pain, which typically begins 3-4 after treatment. This can typically take up 2 weeks to resolve. In the meantime, you can take Neurontin to help reduce the pain. This will need to be prescribe by your treating physician. I recommend following up with your physician for treatment. Best of Luck!

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


I appreciate your question.
It usually lasts 1-2 weeks

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 93 reviews

How long does severe sharp pain last from Cool Sculpting?

Typically this resolves by the second week. See your provider or family doctor if it persists. There are medications that can be used to help.  

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 469 reviews

Pain after Coolsculpting

Very few of our patients get the delayed pain you are describing with Coolsculpting.  It usually does not last beyond 2 weeks and neurontin helps.
My best,
Dr. Nazarian

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

Pain After CoolSculpting

Thank you for your question. Pain is not something we see beyond 24-48 hours. We implement Vasershape which seems to reduce the discomfort substantially. I hope this helps!

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Late Onset Pain

It sounds like you are experiencing a side effect called late onset pain.  This pain typically occurs a few days after treatment and can last up to two weeks.  The cause is not known.  Thankfully, it only occurs in a small percentage of patients, but it can be very uncomfortable.  Our office has seen good success using a medication called neurontin and topical lidocaine patches.  Other patients feel wearing a compression garment and using ice intermittently help minimize the pain, as well.  It is always best to consult with the physician who performed your treatment, as they will be most familiar with your situation.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Lyrica and Zwave can assist with pain post CoolSculpting

Typically the pain, if it occurs, is usually for about 3-7 days 1 week after the CoolSculpting was performed. However, some people experience it as itching or burning sensation and not as a sharp pain, which is merely annoying but doesn’t interfere with daily activities. That said, about 2% of people get a significant discomfort that actually interferes with daily life. This latter is more common with the large handpiece (CoolMax) which is used on the abdomen. This pain can last for a week up to 3 months. The oral pain medication Lyrica works extremely well to significantly reduce the discomfort. One new way to potentially prevent it is to follow the CoolSculpting with a Zwave procedure. This is a device that uses “shock waves” that are painless that replaces the typical massage of the area after the procedure. This breaks up the cold fat more efficiently and it is believed to not only reduce the possibility of getting pain after the procedure but also appears to improve the actual result and make it occur more quickly.

Amy Forman Taub, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 11 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.