Is there any death or complication risk associated with Coolsculpting? What about more than one session?

Doctor Answers 5


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Coolsculpting is a great option for patients who wish to avoid the downtime, risks and complications associated with liposuction. The CoolSculpting procedure is completely non-invasive, which allows immediate return to normal activities such as work or exercise.There have been no reports of death from Coolsculpting by Zeltiq. Side effects after Coolsculpting include firmness, redness, bruising, swelling, numbness, muscle aches, itching and pain at the treatment area. These side effects are not permanent and can last anywhere from one to eight weeks depending on the patient. The risk for complication does not change with more than one session.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Risks of CoolSculpting

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Dear foreveryoung908,

CoolSculpting is a technique where specific section applicators are applied to unwanted localized excess of fat and the fat is subjected to 5 degrees Celsius. This cold induces non-inflammatory death of fat and reduction in the contour. At SpaMedica we have been performing CoolSculpting longer than most centres in Canada and have a lot of experience with a non-invasive destruction of fat both through CoolSculpting, UltraShape, SculpSure, BodyFx and other non-surgical fat destruction techniques. CoolSculpting is generally very very safe. Patients can experience post CoolSculpting mild sensitivity, bruising and discomfort.

Approximately 5% of patients can experience a very significant painful dysesthesia that may require some Gabapentin pain relief medication until it resolves which can take 6-12 weeks. Fortunately, 95% of CoolSculpting patients do not experience this. It is extremely rare, but patients who suffer from some rare blood disorders such as cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, which living in Toronto and our cold weather would have likely been diagnosed in you by now, can suffer complications that can be serious following CoolSculpting. Short of these rare blood disorders, CoolSculpting is extremely safe.

It’s also important to remember there are other permanent reduction techniques that don’t involve cryolypolisis or cold induced fat death such as UltraShape which uses gentle high frequency focused ultrasound or SculpSure which uses warmth rather than cold to kill the fat cell or even BodyFx which will use electrical poration to kill the fat cell. At SpaMedica we have one of the most successful non-surgical liposuction programs in Canada as we could deploy several techniques such as CoolSculpting combined with UltraShape and BodyFx and even SculpSure to achieve the absolute best perimeter non-invasive reduction of fat.

I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.

For more information, please review the link below as well as the sections in CoolSculpting and SculpSure.
To schedule a consultation simply fill out the consultation request form and a client service representative will be with you promptly.

R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
Certified Plastic Surgeon
Yorkville, Toronto

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

CoolSculpting Risks

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Because CoolSculpting is a noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure it is very uncommon that patients experience anything more than temporary swelling, numbness, and a dull itch around the treatment area.

Risks are minimal with CoolSculpting

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Complications from CoolSculpting are uncommon.  The vast majority of patients tolerate this procedure extremely well.  Some will experience temporary bruising, soreness, or numbness.  

Unless the patient has an uncommon disorder such as cryoglobulinemia, paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, or cold agglutinin disease, serious side effects are extremely rare.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Complications with Coolsculpting

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The main complication with Coolsculpting is localized redness, swelling, bruising, or discomfort.  This is a localized non-surgical procedure without any surgical risks.  Best, Dr. Green

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.