Does pain during and after Coolsculpt depend on the amount of fat in abdomen?

I've read so many scary reviews about the pain of Coolsculpt, especially in the weeks following the procedure. I'm a female and my abdominal fat rolls are definitely bigger than many I've seen here. Is it any less painful when you have bigger rolls that are easy to grab? Do those with a small bump suffer more? I have more that 30 lbs to lose, but doc said my fat was easy to pull so I was okay to proceed if I'd like to. Please help me decide! What % of people really have bad pain?

Doctor Answers 6

Does pain during and after Coolsculpt depend on the amount of fat in abdomen?

Thank you for your question. I do not believe that the pain has anything to do with the amount of fat in the abdomen. We do recommend for patients to be at their ideal weight for the best results. A second opinion may not hurt. Ensure that you always see a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in CoolSculpting.Regards,

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 415 reviews

Pain associated with CoolSculpting

Thank you for asking about this common concern.

Patients can experience a range of pain and symptoms after cool sculpting.  On a scale from 1-10 most patients are around a level 5 that last for 2-3 weeks post treatment.  Some patients are at a level 1 (little to no pain) while some are at a level 10 (pretty uncomfortable) .  A patients pain level varies from patient to patient and unfortunately there is no way of knowing where you will fall on the pain scale until you have the treatment.  I treated a patient yesterday that told me she was very sensitive to pain but experienced little to no pain during the entire treatment.  One thing is predictable though and that is the happiness you will experience after you start seeing your results.

Good luck with your CoolSculpting treatment.

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Coolsculpting and Pain, Try Sculpsure or Vanquish

I find that a combination approach of other non invasive devices does better than coolsculpting with less downtime.  Hi definition liposuction can give full body contouring too.  Best, Dr. Emer.

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

Does pain during and after Coolsculpt depend on the amount of fat in abdomen?

Thank you for your question.  Each patient differs with the discomfort they feel after coolsculpting treatment but I am not sure if it has to do with the amount of fat being treated (I do not think it is).
Coolsculpting treatment is not a weight loss treatment and only reduces the fat in the area treated by 20% and so since you are wanting to lose 30 pounds of weight, you may want to hold off on having this treatment until after you have lost the weight.
Best to see a board certified plastic surgeon (who also works with Coolsculpting) so that you can have an evaluation and receive good advice as to what the best procedure would be to achieve your goals.
Best wishes.

Does pain during and after Coolsculpt depend on the amount of fat in abdomen?

Not really. Discomfort is temporary and occurs at the initiation of treatment in some patients when the applicator is applied to the affected area to be treated. It does not occur in all patients and is not noticed with the newer flatter applicator that do not suck the skin into the applicator. 

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS, FICS
Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Coolsculpting pain and amount of fat

Dear Crazypants,
Interesting question. The pain with Coolsculpting is typically greatest in the first 5-10 minutes before and after the procedure, then for most patients it is tender and a little sensitive but not bad. Occasionally patients can have some prolonged nerve pain which we have treated successfully with just topical medications. The worst scenario of pain from Coolsculpting is still far less that the pain typically experienced after a surgical procedure.
What concerns me the most id that you do not sound like a patient where Coolsculpting is the best form of treatment, and this is an unfortunate situation if you have seen a practice that cannot also offer you a surgical procedure. If you have 30 pounds more to loose, and already some degree of laxity, I am afraid Coolsculpting will be a tremendous waste of money. I would recommend you see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon (who can also offer you Coolsculpting) for an unbiased consultation before deciding. Remember too that "Cosmetic Surgeons" are not Plastic Surgeons.

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.