Had Zeltiq Done 7 Days Ago, It is Still So Painful, Burning, Sensitive, is This Normal?

I just had it done on my abdomen, 2 cycles. Its day 7, i'm still burning, sensitive, cramping..its still really painful..is this normal? its not a mild discomfort! What should I do? Why does it feel this way? Please help! Thanks!

Doctor Answers 10

Discomfort with CoolSculpting

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Thank you for your question.

Yes, some patients do experience discomfort / pain after the treatment but it has been found to be self limiting (it goes away on it's own).  Talk to your treating doctor to see if he/she has any recommendations to help with the discomfort but know that it will go away within the first 2-3 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Discomfort following Coolsculpting

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Coolsculpting works great for fat bulge reductions. However, a small percentage of people will get the post-op symptoms you are describing. Typically time heals this within 2-4 weeks. Discuss with your dermatologist as there are some prescriptions such as topical lidocaine that may help reduce your symptoms.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon


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It is not uncommon to have delayed onset pain after a Coolsculpting procedure.  This pain is more commonly experienced with abdominal Coolsculpting.  It starts 3-5 days after the procedure and can last 10 days or so.  This pain is nerve based and is best treated with Neurontin.  Ask your physician to prescribe you some.

Best of luck,

Sheila Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Had Zeltiq Done 7 Days Ago, It is Still So Painful, Burning, Sensitive, is This Normal?

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Thanks for your question. While Coolsculpting typically has minimal downtime some patients have complained of moderate to severe pain post treatment. Our office prescribes pain medication to help with any discomfort or even an oral nerve blocker to help with the discomfort. The good news is shouldn't last more than a couple of days and will eventually subside. 

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Pain after Coolscupting

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Sorry to hear about your discomfort.  I would recommend using compression and talking with your doctor about some prescription medications that can help with the nerve related pain.  This typically resolves by the end of the second week.

Pain after Coolsculpting

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This is a common complication after Coolsculpting.  It usually subsides in a few days.  If it is unbearable your doctor may temporarily prescribe Gabapentin (Neurontin).  This controls the nerve pain until the condition resolves.

Jeffrey Marvel, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Cool Sculpting recovery

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You can use a binder and take over the counter meds.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it application process.

The discomfort from treatment does resolve. Taking over the counter tylenol or naproxen resolves this in the majority of cases. If you have swelling that is persistent then a waist binder is helpful.

Zeltiq CoolSculpting freezes fat and can cause tingles and soreness for a few weeks

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If you are out on a very cold winter day and your skin gets too cold, you may notice a soreness that can last for many minutes with tingles and sensitivity.  Similarly, after the skin and fat area are frozen for the hour per area treated wtih CoolSculpting by Zeltiq, you may notice this in patchy areas. This is normal although most people are not bothered by this and have no downtime. It goes away on its own, but some people have benefit by taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) if it's OK for them to take these medications.

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

Discomfort after Zeltiq always goes away..

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After the Zeltiq procedure up to 10% of patients may experience some mild discomfort for a few days. Severe pain is not nearly as common, but may happen to a small number of patients particularly after abdomen treatment. The pain goes away quickly after taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. I have had a number of patients with the same symptoms and the pain went away very quickly after taking anti-inflammatory meds. After long term follow up, they all have had a great outcome. I urge you to discuss these symptoms with your doctor, and follow his/her recommendations regarding management of the pain.

Is it normal to experience pain after CoolSculpting?

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Most patients tolerate CoolSculpting with only mild discomfort for several days after their treatment. There are a small percentage of patients who report significant discomfort afterwards. In those patients the discomfort can last up to several weeks but in all cases reported to date it has resolved without any long term issues. I would recommend you try some over the counter pain relievers, topical numbing patches, or cooling packs. If that doesn't help contact your treating doctor who can prescribe a prescription strength pain reliever if still needed.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic 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.