Is it typical to notice more fat above and below areas where cool sculpting was performed?

I had cool sculpting 3 weeks ago for back fat both right and left sides .Now I have noticeable fat on both sides of my waist that I didn't have or notice before, it is more unsightly than what I had sculpting for. Then 2 weeks later I had both sides of my upper back fat done where it meets my underarms. No results yet but am afraid the same thing will happen. Have u seen this in your practice. My follow up appointment is 2 month after last procedure.

Doctor Answers 12

CoolSculpting needs sculpting.

CoolSculpting is very efficient at reducing superficial fat but is limited by the shape and placement of the applicators.  In other words, the fat decreases only where the applicator is in contact with the skin.  So we have learned that multiple applications over time, placed in different orientations may be needed to give a final smooth outcome.  Occassionally will will "touch up" uneveness with Liposonix, an FDA approved non invasive fat reduction procedure that uses ultrasound rather than freezing to reduce fat.  Liposonix uses an small flat hand piece so that it can get in areas that CoolSculpting can't.   Both procedures are effective and permanent so you have two great options.

Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

More fat above and below treated areas.

It is important to wait for two months before judging the outcomes. But if you do have under-treated  areas above and below, you should treat those as well.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews


I appreciate your question.
At 3 weeks you may still be swollen.
Also you might be noticing fat above and below the treated area.
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

Seeing fat around the areas that were treated with CoolSculpting

Photos would be very helpful to give you better input.  However, please note that CoolSculpting reduces fat in the exact areas that are treated.  A single treatment in any abdominal area usually leads to thinning of that area and pronounciation of adjacent areas.  Most people need more than a single treatment of a single section of a single area to get great results.

Also, 3 weeks after treatment is when you START to see results.  Your final results will be 3-4 months after treatment, so be patient:)

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Waiting to see your final Coolsculpting result is the key...

You are still very early on in the process for both areas.  Don't worry and as difficult as it may be, try not to focus on the treated areas or the surrounding tissue for at least another month.  While your body is working to eliminate the cells that were treated, there can be some inflammation that makes things actually appear larger or worse for a short time.  Maintain your normal diet and exercise and do your best to ignore it.  Follow up with the provider that treated you at the 8 week mark to evaluate your progress.  Good luck!

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

CoolSculpting Contour

CoolSculpting freezes fat cells that are grasped by the applicator. This could explain why the areas surrounding the treated area appear larger in comparison to the smaller treatment area. CoolSculpting is ideally suited for localized fatty deposits that fit into one of the applicators and there are several sizes of applicators. The solution for your contour issue is either additional CoolSculpting or contouring liposuction. Liposuction contouring can now be done under local anesthetic and is more flexible in its ability to smooth out areas and determine exactly how much fat to remove in each area.

Coolsculpting and fat in different areas other than was treated

Coolsculpting is a great procedure for treating fat in a given area and reducing the fat by approximately 25%.  Depending on how much fat is in the back, or where the applicator was place, you may need more treatments around that area.  Please consult with a board certified dermatologist with expertise in Coolsculpting for the best cosmetic results.

Coolsculpting And Fat Improvement

It takes 3 months to see the results from coolsculpting, but I see in my practice many patients who get minor improvement but also see worsening of the areas around the coolsculpting and this requires either more treatments or liposuction to even everything out.  I suggest going to an expert for an evaluation.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Disappointment with Limited CoolSculpting results

Dear kumateet:

Thanks for your post. This is a common misunderstood limitation of the NON-SURGICAL CoolSculpting (CS) process. While effective for up-to a 20% fat loss; it is limited to the size of the applicator.

This is in contrast to surgical lipocontouring which in capable, skilled hands will reduce up-to 90% of the fat over a larger region and sculpt the body's contour.

Each CS applicator is fitted to allow a maximum of skin and fat bulge to enter the suction cup. Only the region "cooled" or "frozen" under the cooling panel will partially resorb through apoptosis (natural cell death) and inflammation. This will leave a potential edge or difference between the CS area and the adjacent tissue not CoolSculpted. 

For the majority of patients, this is an excellent trade-off as it is not surgery and you can arrange to smooth and contour larger areas with a series of CS sessions. In fact, this is the concept of "Treatment to Transformation" where an individual as yourself will continue the process for as long as you wish to achieve a NON-SURGICAL LipoContouring-like result. 

Remember that like surgical lipocontouring, you MUST reduce "calories-in" or you will redistribute this fat to adjacent or other areas of fat cells. Lifestyle change is an important part of the Body Contouring process. 

I hope this has been helpful and you will continue your quest to "Body Beautiful" using CoolSculpting. All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

More Fat Above And Below The Areas Treated With CoolSculpting

What has likely happened is that the fat in the areas that were not treated has become more noticeable now that you are experiencing a reduction of fat in the treated areas. You may need those other areas treated to give you the optimal, smooth results. Make sure you discuss this with your provider during your follow up appointement. Best of luck.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.