Zeltiq -- So Swollen I Could Wear Maternity Clothes? (photo)

I got cool-sculpting on my abdomen yesterday afternoon. Within an hour or two, the area began to swell, It is now so large -- I look like I am six months pregnant. It is extremely painful, and so large, I have to hold my arm under my belly to keep it still when I walk. Is this normal? The DR. I saw insisted on doing two one-hour treatments back to back. I am wondering if that is okay, given how swollen I am.

Doctor Answers 6

Mild to moderate swelling with CoolSculpting no unusual

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Having done over one thousand treatments in a 2 year period with CoolSculpting I can say that mild to moderate swelling or bloating can occur.  We routinely do treat more than one area on one day but do not "stack" (that means we  don't treat the same spot twice on the same day).  I have not seen swelling to the extent that you are experiencing although I am confident that with time and some compression( Spanx for comfort)  you will feel and look normal quickly.  CoolSculpting gives consistently good to excellent results so I think you will be happy. As with any unexpected event after a treatment I advise you call your doctor and let them know what you are experiencing.

Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after Coolsculpting

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Short term swelling may occur after Coolsculpting though typically resolves without any residua. In properly selected patients, excellent results should be expected.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Swelling After Coolsculpting

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It is normal to have some swelling immediately after Coolsculpting.  Since it appears you had two treatments on top of each other, the swelling is more.  Rest assured that this will go away in several days.  You should ace wrap the area and if you are uncomfortable, take some Advil, Aleeve, or Motrin. 



Dr. Liu

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

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Back to back treatments can lead to more down time

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the 1 hour period for coolsculpting is prescribed by the company to fall within safe parameters, with minimal side effects.  when you effectively double the amount of treatment time, with 2 back to back treatments, swelling will be worse, as will the cramping and pain you experience.  the results will probably be more rapid as well, but obviously you are experiencing the negative side effects at the moment

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

CoolSculpting ans swelling

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Excessive swelling is a highly unusual response to CoolSculpting.   Treating two areas simultaneously with two devices using CoolSculpting Complete has been found to be safe and effective. Some physicians do use a treatment called stacking. Stacking means treating the same area twice in a row. We do not offer stacking treatments at this time in my office.  I would imagine that would mean more swelling to the area. The physician who performed the procedure should be able to give you more information about this.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Coolsculpting for fat loss if done by stacking may lead to more swelling than one treatment

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Freezing one area right after it was just frozen with coolsculpting treatment for fat reduction, attempts to kill more fat cells than what is accomplished with one treatment. However, the inflammation created for some patients might be considerable. The blood vessels dilate (enlarge their diameter) temporarily, to help bring in the inflammatory and immune cells to start processing and clearing away the dead fat cells, but the enlarged vessels can also contribute to serum leaving the vessels and engorging the surrounding dermis with fluid. I do not know of any chronic cases of swelling; given enough time (weeks to rarely months) the swelling goes away. Possibly lymphatic drainage or massage may help. Please see your doctor for an evaluation.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

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