What Are the Risks of Cool Sculpting on a Patient with a Repaired Incisional Hernia from 1996?

I recently went for a Cool Sculpting consultation. The physician there recommended that I do not have the procedure because of a incisional hernia I had in 1996, although he says the risk is minimal. He did a physical exam and did not find anything unusual with my abdomen. After exploring other options, I still feel the Cool Sculpting would be the best option for me. Am I really putting myself at a high risk by doing this procedure? Has this been a complication for anyone else that has had this?

Doctor Answers 4

CoolSculpting is possible post hernia repair but requires a visit with a physician.

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Thank you for your question, just today I had a patient call into my office with a question very similar to this one so I thought I would share with you what I told her. I let her know that without being seen physically it would be very difficult to tell whether or not she would be a candidate for the procedure. She let me know that she had had a hernia repaired 1 year ago in her abdomen and that she was looking to have coolsculpting performed on the abdomen. She also let me know that she had been to a medspa that did not have a physician on sight and that they turned her away from treatment without doing any type of exam. I let her know that if she would come and meet with me (a board certified plastic surgeon) and allow me to do a phyisical exam of the area where I could feel her abdomen and be sure that she was fully recovered that it was quite probable that we would be able to perform the treatment to the abdominal area.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Can a hernia recur after CoolSculpting fat loss by Zeltiq

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any hernia that is surgically repaired has some risk of recurrence. The weakened tissues, despite how it is repaired, are not as strong as an individual who has never had and is not destined to have a hernia (many hernias seem to be an inherited weakness of the muscular tissues). I am not aware of any study of the recurrence rate of hernias that are surgically corrected in patients who have not had CoolSculpting vs. those that do have CoolSculpting. It may be possible that someone who had a corrected hernia is starting to have some tendency to recurrence from weakening of the tissues and a recurrence of the hernia is inevitable, but the suction pressure from the CoolSculpting might induce the recurrence sooner.

A patient with a history of a surgically corrected hernia in the region of intended CoolSculpting might wish to consult with their surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure.


Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Coolsculpting and previous hernia

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Though Coolsculpting is clearly not a good idea if you currently have a hernia in the area you want to have treated that has not been repaired, it is not contraindicated if you have had the hernia repaired.  For cases like yours, an in person consultation with a surgeon that can evaluate you and that has experience with Coolsculpting is essential.  Coolsculpting is an elective, cosmetic procedure so we don't want to take unnecessary risks with your health.  We have had many patients that have been treated successfully and uneventfully after having surgical repair of a hernia in the past.  Good luck!

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

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CoolSculpting and Hernia's?

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It is not recommended to do CoolSculpting on an area if we know there is an underlying hernia that has not been repaired.  If the hernia has already been repaired, and your abdomen is stable, than CoolSculpting should be safe.  It's important to understand that there is always a risk that the hernia could recur after the procedure, but I suspect that would be rare if your abdomen is currently stable. 

I have had a number of patients with umbilical hernia's who have wanted CoolSculpting on their abdomen.  I send all of these patients to a general surgeon first for repair of their hernia before I do their CoolSculpting procedure.  So far I have experienced no complications. 

I have had great success with the CoolSculpting procedure with respect to happy patients and great results.  It's important to be evaluated by a physician with lots of experience to make sure you are a good candidate.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Harrington MD

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.