Does Zeltiq still work if no massage is given after the hour of treatment?

I have had Zeltiq in the past (abdomen, inner thighs, and love handles) but the area was never massaged after the hour of treatment. Has this negatively impacted my results? Does this mean the process was worthless and a waste of money?

Doctor Answers 8


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Immediately after Coolsculpting treatment, massage is very important. It helps break down the fat cells and  improves your results by 60 percent.

Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Massage after Cool Sculpting

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No. The cool sculpting procedure still froze the fat and killed the fat cells. The massage would have possibly helped dispense some of the cold to the surrounding tissues and fat cells, but the procedure itself should have still been effective.  

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Massage post coolsculpting

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Massage will improve the efficacy of the treatment. However, coolsculpting will work even without the massage. It would be a good question why massage to your treating physician why massage was not done.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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Cool Sculpting

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It will enhance your results to have massage.  Sometimes this creates the most disc fort in the entire experience.

Massage After CoolSculpting Yields Ideal Results

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After CoolSculpting was FDA approved, a study was released in 2013 indicating best practice is to massage the treated area aggressively for 2 minutes. Fat loss was up to 68% better when the massage was performed. This massage should be performed immediately after the device disengages from the area of treatment. So, the bottom line is if you did not get massaged, you should still have gotten a result, but not an ideal result. 

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Massage after Coolsculpting

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We have had our Coolsculpting device since 2009 (one of the first in the US) and have extensive experience. Initially, there was no post treatment massage recommended. There was a study published Lasers in Surgery and Medicine by Gerald E. Boey, M.D., and Jennifer L. Wasilenchuk, from Arbutus Laser Centre in Vancouver, Canada in 2013 that showed post operative massage improved results. Others have confirmed these results and currently post operative massage is recommended. Your results are not negatively impacted by not receiving massage just not optimized.

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Massage After CoolSculpting

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During the last 5 minutes of a CoolSculpting treatment the device actually performs a massage. We also perform a manual massage for 5 minutes after we take the applicator off the treated area. There has been a study which shows that massage after CoolSculpting does help to optimize the results of the treatment, however, you should still see some results even without a massage if you are an appropriate candidate for the treatment. You have raised an important issue that CoolSculpting treatments are not just about attaching and detaching the device. There is great skill involved in treating the areas correctly in order to give you the best results. That's why you should always see a provider who is experienced in providing CoolSculpting treatments. Best of luck to you.

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

Zeltiq and Massage

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Massage is a very important part of the Zeltiq procedure.  The Zeltiq company confirmed that massage post-treatment is essential for the best results.  I am unsure why they did not massage the treated areas.  For the best results please seek out a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience in cool sculpting.

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.