Normal To Have Severe Pain Post CoolSculpt? How Long Will It Last?

I had Cool Sculpt of abdomen, 5 months post lipo, as well as flanks. My flanks was mildly sore. I am two weeks post Cool Sculpt and am wearing Lidoderm patches for severe nerve pain in the ab area. Seems to be radiating out from near the belly button. I have tried Steroid Shot, 3 days neurotin 300mg 3x day, Toradol - on day 3/5. I have a rx to pick up in the am for Dose Pack steroids. Any idea how long to resolve? My dr has not seen this in other patients. Will this resolve?

Doctor Answers 5

Pain After CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Typically, there is minimal to no downtime after CoolSculpting though patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort. Side effects can include redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness to the touch, cramping, itching, tingling, and numbness. Numbness can persist up to several weeks after a procedure. Since it has only been two weeks since your treatment, give your body some more time to recover. Best of luck.

Pain after CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I have not yet had any patient have this much discomfort from CoolSculpting. Possibly the liposuction healed skin had nerve endings that were healing and irritable and the suction or freezing irritated them further. I wonder if external ultrasound therapy done by a physical therapist  could help. If it does stem from the umbilical area, make sure that a surgeon examines you to ensure you don't have an umbilical hernia.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Two weeks post Coolsculpting of Abdomen

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.

It is very common for patients to experience discomfort when the abdominal area is treated.  Normally, this discomfort subsides within 3-5 weeks after the treatment.  Over the counter medication and/or topical creams may be helpful.  The abdomen is  the area of treatment where this discomfort happens most frequently.

Be patient, it should resolve.

Best Wishes!

You might also like...

Pain after CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most people experience some mild discomfort after CoolSculpting to the abdomen, it may last several weeks, but it is always temporary and will eventually resolve.  I have found topical anesthetic cream spread over the area of discomfort several times a day to help control the pain. 

CoolSculpting is still considered a new and novel method to non-surgically reduce fat deposits and tighten the skin.  Therefore, we don't know how each person will react to the freezing.  I have had several people complain of rather severe pain that you have described, always in the abdomen and in fairly thin patients with loose skin.  What I believe is happening is that some abdominal muscles are pulled into the applicator head and bruised or "beat up" during the treatment.  The pain is similar to a muscle strain or sprain and it takes several weeks for the muscle to heal itself.  It is self limiting and in the long term, the muscles are fine. 

I have experienced this discomfort after my second treatment on my abdomen and it did resovle.  By the way, my tummy looks great now, so it was well worth it!!!!

Severe pain post CoolSculpting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although less common than other side effects, significant pain, including cutaneous pain or skin sensitivity has been reported after CoolSculpting.  It seems that this is more common in the abdominal area than in other areas.  This pain is described as pins and needles, tingling, sharp, burning, stabbing, shooting and/or cramping. The onset of pain may commence either immediately after treatment or up to 1 week after treatment.  The pain usually resolves in severak weeks.  The steroids, pain medication and neurontin may help it to resolve sooner.  However, since this is relatively rare complication, it is hard to be an exact time frame on it. 

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.