CoolSculpt, upper arms. Is there any pain during the procedure because a nerve is in the arm?

is there pain during the procedure because a nerve is in the arm? does this pain/discomfort last?

Doctor Answers 7

Coolsculpting may be painful anywhere it is performed because nerves are everywhere in the body.

There are many more than "a nerve" in the arms, just as there are nerves all over the body, some large, and many smaller ones, and at different depths within the tissues. Pain is both subjective and different with different patients in different areas of the body, not to mention with different practitioners and settings/times.

Proper patient selection, applicator placement, and procedural details are essential for not only good, but safe, results. While many patients experience some discomfort with Coolsculpting, arms or no more painful or dangerous than other areas of the body. The key is to select an experienced practitioner. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews


As long as you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting in the arms and have the procedure done by a well-qualified practitioner who has experience using the machine on the arms, you should be fine. There should not be an extra amount of pain or discomfort due to the location; you may experience numbness in the arm and fingers, however. I recommend having an in-person consultation with a board-certified dermatologist who is familiar and comfortable with off-label CoolSculpting uses to discuss your goals and concerns. 

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Coolsculpting and the Arms

Coolsculpting can best done successfully with the upper arms.  Special care, as always, must be done with applicator placement.  Please consult an experienced board certified dermatologist for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Coolsculpting and Pain

I find that coolsculpting in this area does very little especially for scultping or defining, but does help with some fat reduction. I have fixed a few patients recently with dents and irregularities since the applicators are not designed to go in a 3D approached around the arm.  Regardless, it is a safe procedure.  There is always pain and chance of numbness/nerve change for a few months but this improves over time.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews


I appreciate your question.
There isn't any pain during the procedure since the freezing also has a numbing effect.
You may be numb in the treated area up to 6 weeks from the procedure.
There is minimal discomfort (no pain medication necessary) for about a week or 2.

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

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Upper arm coolsculpting

The upper arms are among the best tolerated areas for Coolsculpting. There is minimal discomfort both during and after the procedure. 

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

CoolSculpting for upper arms

There is not much pain involved when treating the upper arms with CoolSculpting.  There can be some numbness during the treatment in some of the fingers however, due to the nerve in the arm.  This numbness normally resolves fairly quickly after the treatment is completed.    

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.