CoolSculpting (Zeltiq) for Cellulite Reduction

Does Zeltique work for mild cellulite reduction? I work out daily, am 5'4" and 110 lbs but still have some cellulite on back of thighs.

Doctor Answers 48

Zeltiq is not designed for cellulite

Zeltiq is designed for discrete areas of fat.  It works very well for the areas that it was intended, primarily the abdomen and flanks.  There is no reliable treatment yet for cellulite reduction except for Thermage. Thermage is highly effective for treating cellulite.  I often combine treatments with coolsculpting - such as cool fit or cool smooth for the legs, followed by Thermage for skin tightening and cellulite a week later.  By doing both procedures close together, within a few months you will see excellent results.  

Cellfina produces reduction in cellulite that lasts

Hello and thank-you for your question.

CoolSculpting is a great, FDA-approved treatment for fat reduction of the abdomen and flanks. It can be used safely for off-label treatment of the neck, upper arms, inner/outer thighs, bra-strap area and above the knees. The advance cooling technology selectively targets and eliminates fat cells gently and gradually without affecting the surrounding tissue.Patients in our office have seen an average fat reduction of 20-25% with each treatment. Depending on the patient's body composition and outcome goals, it may take more than one treatment to achieve optimal results. It takes about 2-3 months to get a general idea of the final results. The results are long-lasting as long as you maintain a stable healthy lifestyle. I have seen modest reduction in cellulite only for patients who developed cellulite after a significant weight gain, in areas previously without cellulite.

Cellfina is the latest break though for the treatment of cellulite. The treatment targets the fibrous bands which are the source of the dimpling in cellulite. It is most effective for the treatment of deep dimples and depressions of the buttocks and back of the thighs. it is less effective in the treatment of generalized waviness. Cellfina is a minimally invasive treatment performed in the office. We are seeing an extremely high level of satisfaction for our patients treated with Cellfina. The investigational studies for Cellfina have just been released and have shown an impressive patient satisfaction rate of 85% at 3 months, 94% at one year and 96% at 2 years. This is a very exciting solution for the many women who suffer from the embarrassment of cellulite. I recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring to determine if your an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting or Cellfina.

Best regards,

Andrew Lyos MD, FACS


Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Zeltiq not effecive for cellulite

Even patients who are thin may have cellulite.  Cellulite is caused by fibrous septa between fat lobules.  Zeltiq is not effective for cellulite

Patrick McElgunn, MD
Charlotte Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

LPG For Cellulite

Zeltiq does not work for cellulite.  There are other non-surgical options that work quite well for cellulite though.  We use LPG or Endermologie, a non-surgical cellulite reduction method that uses suction and traction to help smooth the skin.  The session lasts 35 minutes and the entire body is treated.  It feels like a deep massage, a mechanical head with 2 rollers is attached to a powerful suction device and a trained technician glides the head over the area to be treated.  Most people need from 5-15 treatments.  Each session costs $90 or package deals can be obtained.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq and Cellulite

CoolSculpting is not a treatment for cellulite. It is best to use one of the cellulite specific devices, like SmoothShapes, which offers two specific laser wavelengths, suction and massage to provide an improvement in the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite does not have a cure, and no device is 100% effective. Devices like the SmoothShapes may offer a nice improvement, but we always advise patients that due to the ongoing hormonal and biologic mechanism for cellulite, future treatments will always be recommended a few times per year in order to maintain the results.

Zeltiq is not a cure for Cellulite

Coolsculpting by Zeltiq is not a cure for Cellulite - there is no definitive procedure out there that permanently gets rid of Cellulite.  Coolsculpting is to reduce stubborn bulges of fat.  Theoretically, if fat is reduced in a particular area - cellulite might be improved.  We have been able to get the small and medium handpieces onto the inner, outer and posterior thighs on many patients who have had great results in regards to volume reduction. 


Dr. Grant Stevens     

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

CoolSculpting not recommended for cellulite

Zeltiq is not indicated for cellulite reduction, but for fat removal. By "lysing," or destroying fat cells, it can contour areas of the body and reduce areas of stubborn fat. Devices like Thermage [Solta] and VelaShape [Syneron] are more highly recommended in treating cellulite. Your habits make you an excellent candidate, so far, though a detailed consultation and history is always needed if you elect to pursue any of these procedures. 

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

CoolSculpting is Not for Cellulite


Thanks for your question. CoolSculpting is not appropriate to treat cellulite. There are a couple of minimally invasive treatments that do work for cellulite: Cellulaze and Cellfina. Both of these treatments release the fibrous bands under the skin that cause the cellulite dimples to appear.

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 51 reviews


CoolSculpting is non-invasive body contouring treatment to get rid of unwanted bulges.  It does not eliminate cellulite. The good news is that FDA cleared Cellfina, a minimally invasive procedure clinically proven to treat the primary structural cause of cellulite for results that last at least two years.  A Cellfina treatment targets the primary structural septae under the dimpled area. One single treatment can significantly reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

CoolSculpting is an excellent treatment for reducing unwanted fat and not a cellulite treatment

Hello and thank you for asking this question! While it's been awhile, this is still a very popular, perhaps daily question in my practice. We provide CoolSculpting all day in our office, it is such popular and effective treatment for patients to reduce unwanted fat. But CoolSculpting is not a treatment for cellulite and I don't believe you should pursue it because of this.  

CoolSculpting works on nearly every area of the body, including common areas where cellulite appears most often. The upper thigh and lower buttock areas commonly present a combination of concerns for my female patients; unwanted fat as well as the appearance of cellulite. Because of this I believe that women are hopeful to find a single treatment solution, whether liposuction or CoolSculpting, to address both (with less fat in the area, it seems logical). As much as I hope for this outcome to satisfy my patients, I never encourage or lead them to expect it. Dimpled cellulite may become less visible (deep) when we reduce the fat in the area, but because the underlying cause has not been addressed (the (septae or vertical bands that tether the the skin to the muscle become and become fibrous and shorter), there is now way for the surface to appear completely level or smooth.  

In recent months, after personally experiencing the cellulite treatment, Cellfina, I purchased it for my practice. I don't know where you may be today in the pursuit of a treatment for cellulite, however I strongly recommend you consider Cellfina. I am thrilled with the results we're able to provide! If you're goal is to sculpt and rid the appearance of cellulite, a combination of these treatments are going to your very best option. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to share my thoughts and answer this question.

Jenn 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.