Can I Get a Second Zeltiq Treatment After 5 Weeks?

I had a Zeltiq treatment on my love handles 5 weeks ago. My doctor told me to come back after 1 month for the second treatment. I had the second treatment a few days ago at the 5 week mark. After researching online, I'm now worried that maybe it was a waste because I should have waited longer for the fat cells from the initial treatment to be removed. Will I still have the optimal results of getting a second treatment even though I did it after just 5 weeks?

Doctor Answers 11

Ideal timing is still being worked out

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the idea that all the dead fat cells have to clear before retreating i think is a myth.  this may be somewhat true, but on the other hand, retreating means successive tissue injury.  stacking treatments so that they are closer together (some people even do two treatments on the same day back to back) means cells have less time to recover from injury and theoretically could be decreased at a higher rate.  ultimately the answer is that the jury is still out.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

It is safe to have a second CoolSculpting treatment 5 weeks after the first

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Thank you for the question about how soon it is safe to have a second CoolSculpting treatment. I anticipate you're asking about treating the same area as was treated the first time. Many ongoing studies are taking place with CoolSculpting and recommendations to treat an area more than once is quite common, depending upon the amount of fat in the area, patient goals with treatment, and the area of the body we're treating. In recent months, CoolSculpting has been determined effective to treat as early as 3-6 weeks following the first treatment in the area, and there are even studies showing great improvement repeating treatment earlier than this time period. 

Patients need to make the decision on how soon they want to be retreating an area, however if enough fat is in an area, there may not be reason to wait until you've seen your results of the first treatment. Consistently, CoolSculpting reduces 20-25% fat in the treated area. If your goals are to see greater reduction, a second treatment is strongly advised. Because the

fat cells die and take time to leave the body, it takes 12-16 weeks before final results of any treatment. The area that is treated consecutively in a shorter time frame (i.e. 5 weeks apart) will show greater reduction (results) more rapidly than waiting 12-16 weeks before the second treatment.

The abdomen and waistline, bra fat, areas, etc are commonly re-treated 4 weeks apart in our practic. Areas to be careful about re-treatment too early may be arms, thighs and knees. The goal is to lean and reduce, but we often wait 8 or more weeks to make some assessments as to the reduction and take into consideration the elasticity of skin. Again, a good measure is a thorough consultation before starting treatment and recommendations and guidance from your physician and provider.  

I hope this is helpful feedback as you make your decision on when to have your second treatment. 

The very best to you. 


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Coolsculpting is best when performed on an area that has an excess number of fat cells.  For example, women say, "When I gain weight, it goes straight to my belly."  That means that you were born with more fat cells in your abdominal area.  It would be great to perform coolsculpting in that area to reduce the number of fat cells there and make that are more proportional with the rest of your body.  Then, if you gain weight, it will be more evenly distributed over your body.  It won't just "go straight" to one area.  

The fat loss is permanent after Coolsculpting.  You typically lose 20-25% of the fat in the area treated, each time you treat it.  I have done it to myself and my staff.  It is truly effective and has no down time.

We have our patients wait 2 months before re-treating the same area.  This allows enough time for the cells to be
cleared out.  Because we have so much experience with Coolsculpting, we can tell you before we treat how many times you can expect to have the
treatment performed

Best of Luck, Sheila Nazarian

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

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Second Zeltiq Treatment After 5 Weeks

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The FDA approval allows for a second treatment to be done any time after 30 days. Our preference is 6 weeks but a couple of weeks either way will not make a difference.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
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When can you do a second Cool Sculpting treatment

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First there is usually a 2-3 month time between treatment areas.  Of course areas can be treated in a stacking manner where the applicator is put right back on the area.

How long is best to wait between CoolSculpting treatments?

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If you need to remove a significant volume of fat to achieve your desired result, I would not hesitate to retreat the area a month later, as long as any symptoms you might have had have resolved. 

If you have a small to medium increase in the fat layer (about 1 to 2" thick when pinched), you might want to wait two to four months to assess the full effect, as you may not need to have another treatment.

There may be one caveat to this:  if the skin and fat were not drawn far up into the applicator, waiting for the adipocytes (fat cells) to be resorbed after undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death) can result in a thinner layer of fat which can more easily taken up fully into into the applicator the next time, resulting in a larger area of treatment.  For most patients this is not an issue, because the skin and fat must be very thick (about 3" or more when pinched) to resist being taken up completely into the applicator.  These patients should try to lose 5 to 15 lbs before treatment to get the best results, or be willing to have more than one treatment in multiple areas.

We have calipers to measure the thickness of the fat to assist patients in these decisions.

Sheryl D. Clark, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Retreatment with Zeltiq's CoolSculpting to reduce fat is fine from four weeks on

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We routinely do Coolsculpting in our NYC practice every four to six weeks if multiple treatments are performed and find the results excellent for a majority of patients. There is a very high patient satisfaciton rating with this treatment.

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
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How long between CoolSculpting treatments

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The timing between Coolsculpting treatments can vary between 4-8 weeks.  Having treatments 4-5 weeks apart should not be a problem.

Lorrie Klein, MD
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Wait time between treatments

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In our practice we wait two months between repeating any Coolsculpting. We have been doing it this way for over 2 years and have not had any problems with this approach.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Zeltiq CoolSculpting for Fat Removal - How long between treatments?

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It can take as long as ten weeks to begin seeing results from CoolSculpting. However, it may take some people more than 1 session to achieve the desired result. For qualified patients in a hurry to have the best result possible there is no reason you can't receive a second treatment soon after your initial treatment.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
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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.