How Can I Get Relief from This Severe Pain I'm Experiencing After Coolsculpting?

I had coolsculpting on my upper and lower abdomen seven days ago. The evening of day 3 is when the excruciating pain started. The only way to describe the pain is to imagine someone is ripping you apart from the inside...graphic, but truthful. The pain isn't easing up and I can't sleep or go to work. Any advice on how to get any relief from this pain? My doctor's office is no help. They told me to take Advil. No OTC medicine is even touching the pain.

Doctor Answers 6

Severe pain 7 days after abdominal CoolSculpting?

It sounds like you are having refractory pain which happens in 12% of post-procedure Cool Sculpt patients.  The good news is -  it will go away at about day 14 or so. The bad news is you have about 7 more days.  I had the same thing and nothing seems to make it better. I have had my patients try BioFreeze which is a over the counter topical which seems to help.  I typically send my patients home with a few pain pills and sleeping pills to try in the event that they are miserable. Typically nothing is needed, but every so often I get a patient like you and I try to keep them comfortable. 

It's hard to believe when you are miserable - but I would do it again and I couldn't be happier.

Hang in there,

Jennifer Harrington MD

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews


It is not uncommon to have delayed onset pain after a Coolsculpting procedure.  This pain is more commonly experienced with abdominal Coolsculpting.  It starts 3-5 days after the procedure and can last 10 days or so.  This pain is nerve based and is best treated with Neurontin.  Ask your physician to prescribe you som

Best of luck,

Sheila Nazarian

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

Relief From Temporary Discomfort After CoolSculpting

What you are describing is a normal side effect when treating the abdomen with CoolSculpting.  Patients may experience discomfort from mild to severe levels of intensity.  Many practices report prescribing a non-narcotic nerve blocker for this specific sensation.  Medications are not required for CoolSculpting and this uncomfortable sensation you have is temporary.  My practice offers CoolSculpting Complete which includes a compression garment for patient comfort.  Compression may relieve or eliminate the undesirable side effects following CoolSculpting. 

CoolSculpting Complete is a complimentary package that my patients enjoy.  Along with compression garments, it also includes dual machines for faster treatment, and vibrational therapy to speed the elimination of fat cells through the lymphatic system.  As the top provider of CoolSculpting in my region, patients at my practice receive Instant Rebates for free CoolSculpting with each session purchased.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Severe sensitivity or pain after coolsculpting

There are rare patients that demonstrate severe pain after coolSculting for fat reduction.This is self-limiting but can take a few weeks. Some doctors report good results with a prescription medication, Lyrica, as an off-label use. This must be discussed with your doctor to determine if  you're a candidate and discuss the risks in consideration of your medical history and concurrent medications.

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 38 reviews

Pain after Coolsculpting

Though it is a small percentage of Coolsculpting patients that experience significant pain, it does happen.  It generally begins after 3-4 days.  It is important that you follow up with the office that treated you, especially if you are not finding relief from OTC medications and NSAIDs.  The good news is that this pain will resolve. We've not have had anyone not recover completely.  Some patients find relief from wearing a tight fitting garment or compression garment (something like spanx or a girdle).  Try ice or hot compresses in the area as well. (some patients definitely prefer one over the other) 

Good luck. Hang in there. Definitely follow up with your treating physician.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Pain After Coolsculpting?

I am sorry to hear about what you are experiencing. Yes, this does happen to a small percentage of patients and it should subside in about a week.

Try OTC pain medication, topical pain rubs and/or numbing creams.

Hopefully you will be very happy with your results and forget the 2 weeks of pain.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.