My friend is 88 year old and wants Coolsculpting performed on her abdomen. Is it safe for her?

Should I have her doctor order labs (kidney function test, etc) prior? She is wheelchair bound because of a bad back and is not mobile, otherwise in generally average health. My concern overall is her advanced age.

Doctor Answers 2

My friend is 88 year old and wants Coolsculpting performed on her abdomen. Is it safe for her?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. I would recommend getting a clearance from her physician before undergoing CoolSculpting. Regards,

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

CoolSculpt and age

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your question is an interesting one.  How old is too old for CoolSculpting or any other cosmetic procedure.  The question with regards to CoolSculpting has multiple parts.  1) Is it safe?  2) What will the results be?

1) Is it safe?  Coolsculpting has not been shown to decrease kidney function or other organ function; however, these studies were not done on patients with kidney disease or other forms of organ failure.  If her kidney and other organ functions are normal then it is unlikely to cause organ damage.  The rate by which your body resorbs the damaged fat cells is thought to be fairly slow which is one reason it takes weeks to months to see results.  

Another issue is that many people that are over 88 years of age are on some form of blood thinners such as aspirin (baby or full strength) or even stronger ones such as warfarin or coumadin.  Blood thinners could lead to an increased chance of bruising or even hematoma (collection of blood under the skin) formation.  Just check to make sure your friend is not taking any of these.  

It isn't a bad idea for your friend to talk to her primary care provider just to make sure there aren't any underlying health concerns that you are not aware of.

2) What will the results be?  Coolsculpting has been show to lead to decreased fat cells after treatment; however, it does not tighten skin.  At 88 years of age the skin has lost a lot of its elasticity (ability to spring back).  So while I don't have a reason why an 88 year old's fat cells wouldn't respond the same to the treatment as a 30 year old's your friend may be left with pocket of saggy loose skin which may or may not look better and could look worse than it did before treatment.  Your friend should discuss the treatment with an experienced provider to get the most accurate assessment.

Best wishes,

Cody Koch 

Cody A. Koch, MD, PhD
Des Moines Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.