Who is Qualified to Operate the Coolsculpting Machine? Should It Be Only a Doctor?

Who is Qualified to Operate the Coolsculpting Machine? Should It Be Only a Doctor?

Doctor Answers 12

Certification of CoolSculpting training

Doctors do not need to be the ones who apply the applicator and do the treatment. In our NYC practice, we, as many others, have taken extra effort to become certified by Zeltiq to perform CoolSculpting. The medical assistants are trained well and supervision is provided by the physician.  As the physician of the patient, I, or another physician, see the patient in consultation and determine if the patient is a candidate for the procedure and discuss the treatment and its consequences, along with its risks, and measure the patient for which applicator is fits best per area to be treated and mark the exact site upon which the applicator is to be placed. In this way, any of my assistants can apply the CoolSculpting applcator.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Coolscultpting and Certification of Training

Coolsculpting certified practices receive special training with hours of supervision from the company.  I personally believe that the physician should evaluate all new coolsculpting patients.  There is a learning curve to this procedure and nurses can perform this procedure in a doctor's office if they are properly trained and supervised by a physician.  Please be certain to consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in coolsculpting for the best cosmetic results.

Coolsculpting provider qualification

I was the first plastic surgeon in the Houston area to bring on Coolsculpting.  I would say with any device, there is a learning curve.  Both in terms of knowing what the limitations of the device is, and gaining experience if this is something that can be delegated within a physician practice.
I have found in my own practice that when I delegated completely, the results were more inconsistent.  Today I am involved in every consult and draw out the treatment plan for every patient prior to their treatment.  I still do many of the treatments myself depending on my schedule, but I do have a team that supports me. 
I would be weary of going to place where you don't see a physician or where the surgeon is not an expert in body contouring.

Qualification to Operate the Coolsculpting Machine

Coolsculpting is a class 2 device which requires that any one working with the machine to be under physician supervision. Unfortunately, physician supervision varies from state to state, and applied differently in each area. I believe that it is my responsibility to be hands on in charge of each phase of the process from examination, consultation, marking, treatment, and post operative care. I will utilize trained people but they need to meet my quality standards. It is important to constantly review your standards to determine if there ways to increase the efficacy, safety, and comfort of the procedure for patients.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

CoolSculpting Can Be Operated By Healthcare Providers - Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, or Physician Assistants

                  Coolsculpting is usually performed by a healthcare provider who is under the supervision of a physician. This includes nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who manage the coolsculpting machinery and apply applicator heads.

                  Decisions regarding patient selection and formulation of a treatment plan are made by the supervising physician. This physician would perform a comprehensive evaluation on the patient before proceeding with intervention. This approach ensures appropriate patient selection and optimizes results.

                  It’s important to understand that coolsculpting may not necessarily be the best choice for some patients. It’s therefore important, to see a physician who is familiar with the complete range of therapeutic options. 

CoolSculpting Treatments

CoolSculpting can only be performed in the office of physicians with physician supervision. The treatment can be performed by technicians with proper training. Highly trained and experienced technicians are important as the procedure is technique dependent. Nurse practitioners and PA's may, if needed write prescriptions for medications. On rare occasions, a patient will have discomfort that can be treated with a prescription of Neurontin. However, most patients fdo very well wearing the compression garment our office provides every person as part of our CoolSculpting Complete package. We have also noted that arnica montana, a homeopathic remedy that helps with bruising and swelling after surgical procedures can help people with comfort following a CoolSculpting Complete treatment. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Coolsculpting Center of Excellence

We suggest you find a Coolsculpting Center of Excellence. This means that the physician has undergone rigorous training, testing, and treated numerous patients. This is probably the best way to find a Coolsculpting center.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Training for performing Coolsculpting Procedure

Thank you for your question.

Zeltiq will only sell this machine to medical doctors but they will come in and train the staff to perform the procedure.  The doctor and staff will go through training (written as well as practical/ hands on) prior to being able to perform the procedure.

I examine all potential patients in my practice to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure and then either myself or my staff will administer the procedure once the patient decides to return for treatment.


Doctors and selective properly trained staff can operate a Coolsculpting Machine.

When patients are evaluated as potential candidates for Coolsculpting treatment, they should be seen by a licensed medical provider such as an MD, DO, or PA-C. However, at the time of treatment, the applicator may be applied by a non-medical provider as long as the medical provider has cleared the patient for treatment and identified the area to be treated.  A properly trained nurse, esthetician, or cosmetologist may safely apply the treatment tip to the treatment area as designated by the medical provider.   

Amy Forman Taub, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Who should be performing CoolSculpting

As with a number of procedures a very important part of the procedure is determing who will and who will not benefit.  This should absolutely be performed by a qualified and expereienced physician.  In fact Zeltiq, the manufacturer of the device has certified some practices that have gone through extra training and achieved special listing as a CoolSculpting Certified practice (this information can be obtained from the company's website).  Once it has been determined that one is a good candidate I feel that although ancillary staff can assist in preparing the patient for the procedure, the physician should be intimately involved in choosing the proper placement of the applicator in order to maximize the patient's outcome.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.