How many sessions of cool sculpting are needed to be effective?

I have started a fat reduction treatment - this begins with 40mins cryolipolysis, then a massage of 20 minutes and then cool sculpting for 20 minutes (on either side of my stomach) - It's been almost two weeks since my first session, and I have signed up to a total of 5. I'm now getting a bit paranoid about whether this will work and the results.

Doctor Answers 10


Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what. It is the only FDA approved device  for fat reduction by freezing it.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

This Doesn't Sound Like CoolSculpting

I'm a little unclear on the treatment process you're describing, but it sounds like you may be undergoing a "knockoff" version of CoolSculpting. The CoolSculpting process doesn't allow for a lot of customization -- and that's by design. It needs to operate at a very specific temperature and for a very specific amount of time in order to work effectively. The device needs to be in place on a treatment area for 1 hour, with a brief period of massage afterward. Please be sure your practitioner is qualified and that he or she is using a genuine CoolSculpting device, manufactured by ZELTIQ. Best of luck to you.

Katherine A. Orlick, MD
Tucson Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Effective CoolSculpting

The CoolSculpting procdure/device by Zeltiq is the only authentic, FDA Cleared procedure to eliminate fat cells by Cryolipolysis. If you are doing any other type of treatment that is outside of Zeltiq direct, then this is not an authentic device/procedure. All treatments, in the areas you are describing being treated, are 60 minutes per area.

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Cool Sculpting

This is not protocol for Zeltiq's product so you are not getting Cool Sculpt by a clinically safe device. Make sure you are at a reputable center with a real physician. This is not a usual protocol for Zeltiq.

John K. Wakelin III, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Bogus CoolSculpting

Dear shah210:

If cryolipolysis is not performed with the #CoolSculpting device manufactured by Zeltiq, it is unlikely to be effective. There are no studies proving efficacy of any other similar device. With the Zeltiq device, up to 28% of the fat cells in the treated areas will be eliminated permanently. It is sad, but true, that there are bogus devices out there.

...Another reason to go to a board-certified, reputable dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your treatment. 

All the best,
Dr. Clark

Sheryl D. Clark, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Not Authentic CoolSculpting

The treatment you are describing is not authentic CoolSculpting.  Unfortunately, other companies have tried, unsuccessfully, to "knock off" the proprietary CoolSculpting treatment.  Authentic CoolSculpting treatment is a 60 minute treatment with an applicator, followed by 2 minutes of massage.  This differs slightly for the CoolSmooth applicator, which requires 75 minutes, and the CoolMini applicator, which only takes 45 minutes. CoolSculpting is the only cryolipolysis procedure FDA approved to reduce fat.  I would consult with your provider to determine exactly what type of treatment you are receiving.  CoolSculpting has done extensive clinical studies to determine the safest, most effective way to reduce fat with cold.   

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

CoolSculpting Sessions

The treatment you describe doesn't make any sense. CoolSculpting of the abdomen is a 60 minute treatment followed by a 2-5 minute massage. There is an approximately 20% reduction in fat with each treatment. The number of treatments needed depend on the amount of fat in the area and will vary from person to person.

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

How many sessions of cool sculpting are needed to be effective?

Thank you for your question. CoolSculpting is slighly different from the treatment you've described. I would recommend speaking with your provider. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 458 reviews

How many CoolSculpting sessions are needed?

The treatment you described is not real CoolSculpting.  The real system by Zeltiq is a very standardized treatment where applicators are applied to the desired areas and the fat that is drawn into the cups is frozen for exactly one hour. The treated fat looks like a frozen stick of better when the treatment ends.  This is followed by vigorous massage or treatment with a Zimmer Z-wave to further increase fat cell death.   I am afraid that only 20 minutes of whatever you are getting will be of no benefit to you.  Make sure you are getting the real thing.  It works.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How many sessions needed of Coolsculpting

Patient selection and understanding patient's 
expectations in relationship to what Cool sculpting
can do is key for good outcomes.You should see
some benefit with each treatment but the number
of treatments vary per patient. The results are subtle 
at first. It is reasonable to expect up to a 20% 
reduction per treatment but it could be less.
Best wishes.

Fernando Colon, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 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.