Zeltiq CoolSculpting - Extreme Side Effects

8 days post Zeltiq for my abs (lrg device). Immediately I had EXTREME swelling. Day 8 & I'm still VERY swollen (hot to the touch). 4 days ago this 24/7 SHARP bee sting-like pain started. Not all over, random 'spots'. Nothing helps (creams, pain relievers, ice). I haven't slept in 3 nights. Went back to the doc today. She said inflammation is the body's natural response & this may indicate a better result. Does this make sense? Stinging pain is from inflammation pinching nerves? RX'd steroids?

Doctor Answers 17

Pain post treatment

Each patients body will handle the treatment differently. It sounds like your body is simply more sensitive in the treated areas than someone else may be, but rest assured that this is common, especially in the abdominal region. Speak with your provider about using Lyrica or Neurontin to help relieve nerve pain. Compression is also helpful.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Side effects of coolsculpting

Swelling and inflammation is a normal response. The treatment targeted the fat cells and the macrophages from your immune system eat the cells.  The swelling and inflammation is an indication that your body is getting rid of that fat. Compression garments  are really helpful. If the pain persists than follow up with your Dr. 

Robert G. Aycock, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Pain and Swelling after CoolSculpting

Inflammation and stinging pain after a CS treatment is a normal, expected side effect. Aleve twice a day and compression garments can help reduce the swelling. Talk to your provider about possibly giving you a prescription for Lyrica or a Lidoderm Lidocaine patch for the stinging pain.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Rare but it happens

The intense pain that you describe is different than what most people experience, that being said, in a small percentage of patients the larger device (size 8) can lead to intense, deep, pain, most commonly experienced in day 3-4 after the procedure.  NSAIDS (motrin,advil) around the clock for a few days can help to remedy this.  if this is not enough talk to your doctor.

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Side Effects of CoolSculpting

Thank you for your question.

I am glad that you are following up with your doctor.  Some patients do experience these side effects (usually when the abdomen is treated), but normally after 2-3 weeks, the side effects go away.

Keep in close communication with your doctor and they should be able to get you through this.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,461 reviews

Zeltiq Pain

I have had several patients experience very uncomfortable pain even up to 3 weeks after a Zeltiq treatment.  I am not sure what causes it, but it is always temporary and goes away with time.  It has always happened on the abdomen, so I think it is an injury to the abdominal muscles that have gotten sucked into the machine and experienced some bruising. It does not affect the outcome of the procedure.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Coolsculpting side effects

For whatever the reason, the prolonged suction during the treatment or the exposure of the skin and it's nerves to the cold treatment, a small percentage of patients will have pain as you describe. Typically, a few days and topical analgesics work well to resolve the discomfort.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Zeltiq Side Effects

The first thing that you need to know is that there are zero permanent side effects that occur with cool sculpting. With that being said there are a few more extreme temporary side effects that can occur. The most common include swelling or bloating in the area, bruising, hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin that improves over time) to the area that was treated. Some thing that people can experience is called delayed on set pain. Delayed on set pain can happen about 3-5 days after the treatment and can last anywhere from 3-7 days after that. The that occurs can present itself as itchy, pins and needles, and can feel like broken glass underneath the skin. It is completely manageable people have reported that ice, compression, tylenol, or heat can be helpful when experiencing the delayed onset pain. 

Edward Stokes, MD
West Hollywood Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Side Effects of Coolsculpting

Nerve pain what you are describing and the stinging pain.  Also swelling is common for the first 2 weeks after treatment.  I would follow up with your physician for medication to help alleviate the pain.  Good luck with your recovery.

Michelle Ellern, DO
Livingston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

CoolSculpting - Extreme Side Effects

It is not unusual to have swelling and inflammation post treatment. With the coolmax applicator (the largest applicator), there may be 1 day of soreness which sets in generally about 4 days post treatment. It generally will last 1 day. Your reaction is extreme. It is hard to know if you were treated with the correct applicator. Patients with too little fat to normally treat with coolmax will have a more extreme reaction. Ensure that you go to a Certified Coolsculpting Center where the treatments have direct involvement of an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon for the best quality treatment. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 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.