Does Cool Sculpting Potentially Leave Saggy Skin, Like Liposuction Can?

I'm looking for non-surgical ways to get rid of small saddle bags and slim down thighs. I have had 2 children so I already have a little loose skin on the inner thigh, but not nearly enough for me to justify the down time or scarring to do a thigh lift. I am 34, 5'2" and weighing around 100lbs. I don't want to do anything that potentially leaves me with sagging skin....

Doctor Answers 6

Coolsculpting and Skin Laxity

The great thing about coolsculpting is the fat cells slowly die off. This gives the skin time to "spring back" and gain its elasticity again. For the saddle bags or outer thigh area, you use a flat applicator called the coolsmooth. It gives you a nice even fat reduction without the result of loose skin afterward. The inner thigh uses an applicator called the cool fit. Typically you will not have a lot of sagging skin, but everyone is different. It depends on how much loose skin you start with and how much elasticity you have in your skin. The majority of the time you do not have excess sagging skin. If you do experience loose skin afterwards there are some other treatments you can try such as Viora Reaction, which is an excellent treatment for skin tightening.

Sugar Land OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

CoolSculpting and Excess Skin

The applicator that is normally used to treat the inner thighs is the CoolFit. The applicator suctions the tissue in order to bring it closer to the cooling panels to freeze the fat. Each cycle takes 1 hour. Normally patients do not have problems with sagging skin post treatment if the skin was supple and not sagging to begin with. CoolSculpting is noninvasive and no downtime fat reducing treatment and does not offer skin tightening as a benefit. It is always best to have a consultation so that you may be assessed in person to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

CoolSculpting and Skin Tightening

CoolSculpting is an excellent non surgical method for fat cell reduction.  The cells are broken down and eliminated from the body over the three months following treatment so the body has time to tighten.  Naturally the skin should retract when the fat mass reduces, similar to fat loss through diet and exercise.  There may be indications before treatment, such as existing laxity that you mentioned, that tell the provider that you are more likely to not see the skin retract as much as desired.  If you are not ready for surgical methods, CoolSculpting with a follow up treatment of laser skin tightening is a great combination that we offer patients in my Raleigh NC practice. 
Laser Skin Tightening is a series of laser treatments, using the Candela GentleYAG laser, designed to stimulate dermal collagen production and regeneration of damaged skin cells. The single-wavelength light energy produced by the GentleYAG targets fibroblasts in the dermis, which produce new collagen in response to laser energy. Increased turnover of skin cells is also stimulated, helping to regenerate and replace damaged cells.

My CoolSculpting patients have access to free CoolSculpting through Instant Rebates.  This special pricing is available because of our status as top CoolSculpting provider in our region.  Coolsculpting patients who desire laser skin tightening in the area of treatment are also given discount for that laser treatment series. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Skin tightening with Coolsculpting?

One of the perks of Coolsculpting is because it takes 90 days to get full results from the treatment if gives the skin time to "snap" back. Having said that this is obviously weight and age variant. If you do not have much laxity left in your skin your problem could seem worse as it will reduce the fat but not tighten the skin. If you are wanting skin tightening there are much better options out there for you then Coolsculpting. 

Frederick Lester, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

CoolSculpting for fat loss as an off-label procedure for the thighs

Irregularities after liposuction are not uncommon on the inner thighs. The fascial supporting structures may hold the tissues in this area differently than the outer thighs. Although the CoolSculpting technology by Zeltiq is not FDA cleared for thigh fat loss, physicians may use the technology as an off-label procedure. There seems to be a more even reduction of fat in the inner thigh with CoolSculpting as the tissues are evenly frozen unlike the cannula that is passed back and forth with liposuction creating a mechanical trauma, which could weaken the support.

There is no guarantee that dimpling, uneveness, asymmetry, and skin sagging wouldn't occur, but there is less of a chance in the inner thigh using the CoolFit flat applicator. Every patient needs to be evaluated and counseled individually about the risks vs. the benefits and to determine if they are a candidate for CoolSculpting fat loss by Zeltiq.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

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

Skin after Coolsculpting

One of the benefits we have seen in patients after Coolsculpting is in fact skin tightening.  If your primary concern is loose skin and not fat, perhaps you wouldn't get the tightening you are hoping for but Coolsculpting hasn't left any of our patients with any complaints of loose skin following treatment.  The inner thighs are quite a common area to treat but the outer/lateral thigh saddlebag area is not quite as easy, especially if the area is small.  For an area to be treated, we must be able to not only have the applicator attach but it needs to be able to draw in a certain amount of fat/tissue into the applicator itself so it can freeze those fat cells effectively and eliminate them.  For the best answer for you, you would be best served by having an in person consultation with an office that is experienced with Coolsculpting. Good luck!

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 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.