How does CoolSculpting effect areas that have surgical scarring?

Doctor Answers 7


I appreciate your question.
Coolsculpting can be used around surgical scars. Its important to make sure you do not have a hernia from the previous surgery

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Coolsculpting and Surgical Scars

Coolsculpting is a fabulous procedure for reducing the fat in a given area by as much as 25%.  If there is a surgical scar in the area, it may make the placement of the adaptor more difficult in terms of proper placement.  An in person consultation is advised to get the best cosmetic results. 

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

CoolSculpting In Areas Of Scarring

Great question Linda! The answer really depends on the area and extent of the scarring. We have treated fat around areas such as c-section, tummy tuck, or appendectomy scars with great success. The scar itself, and any scarring below the level of the skin in the subcutaneous tissues will not be affected by the CoolSculpting treatment. If the scar is causing distortion of the tissues around it, there may be some improvement in fat reduction of the area, but the results will not be as optimal as if there were no scar there. To assess your particular situation you should schedule an in-person consultation and evaluation with an experienced CoolSculpting provider in your area. Hope this helps!

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

CoolSculpting the fat adjacent to a scar

Hi Linda:

Without photos or an examination, it is difficult to answer your question.

In general, scar, ie. collagen does not contain fat. Scar remodels over 3 to 12 months or more contracting, tightening and then softening. The fat will tend to bulge on either side of the scar due to its displacement. It is this fat that is amenable to CoolSculpting (CS) without requiring surgery. Scars will also depress inward which is contrary to the need for the CS applicator to vacuum the bulge into the cup. There is no ability for the unit to "freeze" the fat without the cooling plates of the applicator cup touching the skin-fat bulge, 

Sometimes it is better to revise the scar and lift the fat with it (like a tummy tuck following a C-section) to stretch and redrape the flap and create a better scar. 

It is best to consult a well versed, Plastic Surgeon with experience performing all these options so he / she, other cosmetic surgeons will not be biased by the only procedure(s) they perform. 

I hope this was helpful. All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

How does CoolSculpting effect areas that have surgical scarring?

CoolSculpting freezes fat.  The fat surrounding a surgical scar will be less responsive to CoolSculpting because that fat has already been traumatized due to the prior surgical procedure.  Post some photos of the areas being considered, and we will be able to provide additional advice. 

R. Stewart Collins, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Coolsculpting over scars

It depends.  If the scar is just in the skin I.e a tummy tuck or c-section scar Coolscultping can be performed. If the scar is pulled in creating an area of demarcation due to scar tissue then this maybe less responsive as the fat won't be drawn into the hand piece.  In this situation SmartLipo would work better as the scar attachments can be cut by the laser and then the excess fat auctioned out.  

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 153 reviews


  • Hello, and thank you for this question. That is a difficult question to answer and it certainly depends on the extent of the scarring. As a general rule for the machine to be effective we need to be able to pinch a significant volume of fat with the cooling device. In many instances, scarring may inhibit back. We have had patients have had a effective outcomes benefits some scarring. I would recommend you seek out a qualified board certified plastic surgeon for an inpatient consultation and physical examination to discuss this at length. Best of luck.

John J. O`Brien, Jr., MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.