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 13

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 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!

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 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

Delayed Pain

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

CoolSculpting Side Effects

Sometimes nerve pain can be a result of treatment with coolsculpting, especially with the CoolMax applicator. The never pain can have a delayed and prolonged onset. Over the counter pain meds can be helpful, but you may also ask your provider if they recommend a prescription medication for nerve pain such as neurontin. Many patients also find relief with some compression on the area as well. I'm not sure the amount of pain is indicative of the result you will get at all, but all of the symptoms normally always get better with time. Definitely consult with your provider if things do not improve.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Pain Following CoolSculpting Usually Resolves In 2-3 Days

It’s not unusual for patients to experience some pain following abdominal coolsculpting. This pain is often described as dull and achy and typically improves in 2-3 days.

                  Rarely the pain is more severe and is characterized as sharp and stabbing. The origin of this pain is unclear, but is probably related to traction on the soft tissue related to the suction from the applicator device. The pain usually resolves spontaneously without treatment. Occasionally, non-steroidal anti- inflammatory agents may be used to minimize pain following this procedure. 

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.