16 days post op of 3 area tummy Coolsculpting. I'm still very swollen, numb and painfull. How long will it take to recovery?

16 days post 3 area tummy sculpting - distended, numb, bruised and in pain in various areas. My doc says nerve endings have been damaged (the reason for pain) and that the swelling will go down in time. My question is can there be permanent nerve damage and what are the outside recovery times?

Doctor Answers 9

CoolSculpting and Recovery

Coolsculpting is great for reducing the bulge in a given area.  You can have some localized bruising and numbness that generally resolves in a few weeks.  If you have having pain and are concerned I would return to my treating physician.  I have never seen any permanent nerve problems from Coolsculpting.  For the best results please consult a board certified physician whose practice has been certified in coolsculpting.

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

What to Expect Following Your Coolsculpting Treatment

Thank you for your question. Temporary numbness is common after the Coolsculpting.  It is not uncommon to have delayed onset of pain around 5 days after Coolsculpting.  The numbness and discomfort are due to inflammation of the tissue, including the nerves. Not everyone has pain or numbness.  The intermittent discomfort tends to subside within a week. It generally takes a couple of weeks for the swelling  subside. The numbness frequently improves after 3 weeks, but can take longer to resolve, especially with the larger abdominal Cool Max applicator.  I do recommend compression for at least 3 weeks or until he numbness has resolved.  I have not seen permanent nerve damage or numbness following Coolsculpting.  I recommend keeping in touch with the office of your treating provider and regular follow-up.  Best wishes.

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling after Coolsculpting

It is not uncommon to have post swelling but it usually occurs in the area that was treated. It typically takes 2-3 months to see peak results. I would suggest seeing your provider at your 2 mo follow up to discuss outcome and additional treatments.
Best of luck!
Sheila Nazarian

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

16 days post op of 3 area tummy Coolsculpting

Sorry for your distress and pain. Patients will have different recovery times and experiences from treatment. Many patients will have no discomfort or tenderness that will resolve itself in a few patients. Most patients who have more severe side effects will recover from any side effects three weeks post treatment while others may have side effects for a month or more. Unfortunately, you seem to have particularly severe side effects. We do not have detail of your medical history nor the manner that the coolsculpting was performed to properly guide you. Your treating physician will be best able to guide you. Wish you a quick and complete recovery.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

How long does it take for swelling, pain and numbness to resolve if coolsculpt was performed 16 days ago?

Swelling, pain and numbness after a CoolSculpting treatment can be individualized. It varies from 1-4 weeks. I have personally treated patients that experience little discomfort and swelling. While others state they have experienced pain, numbness, tenderness and cramping sensations that has lasted up to 4 weeks. It's my experience that women are more likely to report these side effects.  T Ryan RN Injector and Aesthetician for Dr. Peter Capizzi at Stillwater Plastic Surgery. 

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Cool Sculpting

Your swelling can be treated more effectively with compression.  Please consider a neoprene waist trimmer.  I recommend it for patients.


Coolsculpting is a very safe and reliable technique ( as long as it is the original Zeltiq version and not a copy).
Expect total recovery in around four weeks.
There are some individual variances. Most Coolsculpting patients do not even have much swelling while others may, this is with the scope of the individual response of living tissue.

Alexander Aslani, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 302 reviews

CoolSculpting Recovery

Hi Michael. Bruising, numbness and swelling are commonly seen in various degrees after CoolSculpting treatments. Distention is not a common risk of the procedure, although it may occur in rare cases. Regardless, most of these adverse effects resolve completely within 2 weeks of treatment. Numbness can sometimes persist for as long as 4-6 weeks for some people. I have never heard of permanent nerve damage occurring as a result of CoolSculpting. Best wishes in your recovery.

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

Recovery after CoolSculpting

As with most procedures, recovery times can vary from person to person.  Distention, numbness, bruising and pain are all possible after CoolSculpting but I have never seen or heard of any of these issues being permanent.  Numbness can take up to 8 weeks to resolve completely, bruising can last days to weeks, distention normally resolves within days but can take longer and pain normally resolves within days to weeks. The temporary numbness occurs with most people after CoolSculpting, but bruising, pain and distention may or may not occur.  All of the issues you are having should go away with time but be sure to follow up with the physician who treated you.  

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.