How effective is CoolSculpting? pain?

does cool sculpt ALWAYS get results? if I am NOT experiencing any pain, stabbing pains, etc. as others do, what does this mean?

Doctor Answers 10

Effectiveness of CoolSculpting and pain with procedure

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CoolSculpting is effective in reducing isolated areas of unwanted fat, but the results can vary by individual.  I would say in almost all cases, there is some fat reduction in appropriately chosen patients.  Most patients do not have pain after the procedure and the presence or absence of pain does not influence the ultimate result.  

San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Coolsculpting and Efficacy

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Thank you or your question. CoolSculpting is a safe non-invasive method for permanent fat removal. Having pain and tingling is a side effect of treatment. However, if you have no side effects it does not mean that your CoolSculpting treatment did not work. The area that typically has the most side effects is the abdomen. It always best to see your treating physician for any concerns. Best of Luck!

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician


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The FDA indicates that coolsculpting can result in up to a 20-25% reduction in the areas treated. The pain you described are just some of the side-effects that can result but not all patients necessarily experience this pain. I would contact your CoolSculpting provider if you have any additional concerns about your treatment. Best of Luck.

David P. Rapaport, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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Coolsculpting and Efficacy

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Coolsculpting is an effective way to decrease the fat in a given area.  Coolsculpting has excellent results that are repeatable and will reduce a bulge by 25% in a given area.  Please be certain to consult a dermatologist with expertise with Coolsculpting.

CoolSculpting Efficacy

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Hi, there!  Thank you for your question.  While there certainly are limitations to non-surgical body contouring, CoolSculpting truly does offer excellent results with approximately 20-25% reduction in fat cells in the treated area(s) per cycle.  To ensure optimal treatment, a comprehensive assessment must be performed and appropriate applicator(s) be selected and properly positioned.  Inadequate tissue coverage from an inappropriately selected, or improperly positioned, applicator may result in under-treatment or contour irregularities. 

Regarding your lack of post-procedure symptoms, I have observed that the amount of discomfort, etc. following CoolSculpting various from patient-to-patient, as well as treatment areas.  If you were properly assessed and treated by an experienced provider, you will see results.  It is important to note that more than one treatment cycle may be required to achieve ideal results.

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 body procedures.

Best of luck!
Dr. Schwartz

Coolsculpting and Results

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I see many patients a week who are disappointed at how little the procedure did.  However, the expectation should be 20% at a single treatment -- which means it will take a number of treatments overlapping to get improved contours AND size reduction.  There is pain, swelling and bruising and often requires taking oral gabapentin for improvement.  I suggest only seeing an expert or considering a body contouring procedure if you are have shaping/etching that needs to be done.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Experience is Crucial

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For the right candidates and in the right hands CoolSculpting always produces results. This can be anywhere from a 20-25% reduction in fat on average. But it is important to know which applicators to use and how to position them in order to get the best results. If you are undertreated, or are not a candidate for the treatment then you will not get results. Not everyone experiences pain and discomfort. It's all relative to each individual. But the take home message is this: Do not underestimate the skill and experience required to perform this procedure. Hope this helps answer your question.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Coolsculptig results and pain.

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Coolsculpting does indeed freeze and kill fat cells, depending on the appropriateness of patient selection and skill of the operator. In other words, if you are skinny, have tight skin, and cannot get much tissue positioned properly within the Coolsculpting instrumentation, there is little or no improvement that can reasonably be expected.

No pain is a good thing, unless this means your operator did not adequately freeze the tissues. In our office we have found that some patients experience fairly significant discomfort initially, but that this typically passes as the treatment progresses. Pain may be a sign that the treatment is indeed effectively freezing tissues, and therefore causing loss of fat tissue, but is not necessarily a requirement for improvement in outcome.

Bear in mind that as with many technology-related non-surgical procedures, it's not about the machine, the brand name, or the advertising, it's about the skill and experience of the operator. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews


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We only offer coolsculpting to patients who we know will have good results. If you are not a good candidate or a different treatment is better, we will let you know. Pain depends on the area... We can let you know what to expect with that as well.

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

Cool Sculpting Results

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Cool Sculpting will definitely freeze fat cells, barring any technical problems which is unlikely.
If you a have a large amount of fat you may require multiple Cool Sculpting treatments or traditional Liposuction  

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.