If a Person is Obese, Does Coolsculpting Help with Weight Loss?

Is there a BMI requirement in order to use coolsculpting? Is this primarily used for final shaping after a person has already lost a good deal of weight?

Doctor Answers 20

No BMI Requirement, But Not Advisable for Weight Loss

Thank you for your question. CoolSculpting is a body contouring tool designed to target fatty bulges that have been resistant to diet and exercise. Because of this, I always advise patients that they should be at or near their ideal weight before seeking treatment. "Ideal weight" is a personal decision about what you like your weight to be and what you can realistically maintain long term. To your point about BMI: There is no numerical requirement, and it's quite possible that a patient could be classified as "obese" by his or her BMI while still being at or near an ideal weight. However, if you still would like to lose a good deal of weight, it's not the right time to pursue a CoolSculpting treatment. As a doctor, I am always an advocate for my patients being at a healthy weight. I hope this is helpful, and best of luck to you.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

CoolSculpting not a weight loss treatment

CoolSculpting is not a weight loss treatment or program.  CoolSculpting treats fatty areas that do not respond to diet and exercies.  A patient can expect to lose 20 - 23% fat in the treated area after one treatment.  This is not a replacement for surgery or a diet.

Mitchell F. Grasseschi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is not indicated for fat reduction in obesity

As there is only 20% reduction of fat in the average CoolSculpting Zeltiq treatment, it would not provide any appreciable improvement in shape or weight reduction.  The CoolSculpting treatment is only indicated for certain areas of the body and wouldn't cause a generalized fat reduction.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Coolsculpting and Weight Loss

Thank you for the question.

No, cool sculpting will not help with weight loss. Similar to liposuction surgery, although less effective,  cool sculpting is meant to treat diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,462 reviews

CoolSculpting Is Not For Weight Loss, But May Still Be Helpful For Shaping.

This is a very common question that we hear all the time.  First, there is no BMI required in order to have the CoolSculpting procedure performed.  However, for optimal results, we do advise that a client be within ten pounds of their goal weight.  Frequently, those who are quite overweight come in for evaluations, and we let them know what to realistically expect.  This treatment will not bring about weight loss.  Only from between 20-25% of the fat in any area treated will be removed.  So, this would not impact weight.  However, many plus size individuals will benefit greatly by smoothing out the rolls of the heavy areas.  CoolSculpting can greatly improve the silhouette. 

Edward Stokes, MD
West Hollywood Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

CoolSculpting is not a weight loss procedure

Coolsculpting is not a weight loss procedure.  It can reduce volume by approximately 20%, but cannot reduce pounds.   Coolsculpting is a volume reduction procedure that targets the subcutaneous fat which is the soft “squishy” fat.  If the fat in the area of your concern is hard to pinch, Coolsculpting would not be the best treatment for you.  

Shehla Ebrahim, MD
Vancouver Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Coolsculpting is not for weight loss

While there is not a BMI requirement in order to use coolsculpting, it is not meant to be a weight loss solution.  It is used for final shaping or handling pockets of unwanted fat in troublesome areas once someone has reached their goal weight.  CoolSculpting can give about 20-30% reduction in fat after one treatment in the area treated so it is not a good method for weight loss.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


Thank you for your question. SculpSure targets subcutaneous fat which tends to be a troublesome area for people of all shapes and sizes. I suggest you consult with an experienced board certified facial plastic surgeon to understand how SculpSure can fit within your broader body sculpting goals and plans.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

CoolSculpting is not meant as a weight loss tool.

CoolSculpting is not meant as a weight loss tool. It works best on people who are already at or near their ideal weight but who have pockets of stubborn fat. CoolSculpting can provide approximately 20-30% reduction in fat after one treatment in the area treated, and should be used mainly for contouring rather than actual weight loss. 

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

CoolSculpting is not weight loss

Ideal candidates for the CoolSculpting procedure are men and women close to their ideal weight who find that they have stubborn pockets of fat that don't respond to diet or exercise. If a person is obese, this is not the right treatment for them. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss treatment but rather a tool to sculpt the body to improve areas of stubborn fat.

Steven Gabel, MD, FACS
Portland Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.