Stubborn Arm Fat Needs to GO! 5'3"/115 lbs

For as long as I can remember, I felt my arms were...

For as long as I can remember, I felt my arms were always disproportionate to the rest of my body. And no matter how thin I got (I got down to 102 lbs with extreme dieting and exercise), if I left my arms up the fat was still hanging there. I had been considering lipo for the longest time, but I just didn't feel doing something invasive for such a small amount of fat was worth the risk (even though lipo is a guaranteed result). So for now, I decided to go the non-invasive way with Coolscupting and hope for the best!

The office I went to had both the old and new applicators. The new applicator require less time (about 30-35 min), and is associated with less pain and bruising. I asked if there were any differences in results and they said they were getting good results from both the old and new. I looked at before and after photos on both applicators and saw great results from both. So I opted for the newer applicators.

As far as the procedure, overall my experience was not bad at all. I do have a high tolerance for pain. One of my arms has a little more fat than the other so that arm got a curved/cupped plate while my other arm got a flat plate. When the applicators goes on, there is slight suction as the machine pulls in the skin and fat -- didn't hurt or anything. When the cold starts, I thought it felt good. It felt like a cool breeze was blowing under my arms. The arm that had more fat, I really didn't feel any discomfort and went numb after 3 minutes. The arm with less fat, I had a slight "burning, pin-and-needles" sensation that probably lasted about 8 minutes and then went numb. The PA and I deduced that it most likely was because I had the minimum amount of fat there so it might have been affecting the nerve endings.

Unfortunately for me about 8 minutes into the treatment, both applicators lost it's suction so I had to restart all over. They said if the treatment is interrupted within 10 minutes that it's ok to restart. In order to prevent the applicators from falling again from my arms, I had to have my arms propped up in a way that wasn't the most comfortable and they had to wrap tight straps around my arms and the applicator. Good thing it was only for 30 minutes and I had Netflix to distract me! I'd say around 15-20 minutes is when some of my fingers and hands went slightly numb.

When it was all done, I braced myself for the hand massage as I read from other reviews that it was so painful. The place I went to doesn't do the hand massage any more, but found using the machine for cellulite gave better results (http://zimmer-aesthetics.de/en/zwave/). I will say this is the "worst" part of the whole procedure but it was tolerable. If you've ever had any sort of laser treatment, the massage with the zimmer machine feels exactly like it -- tiny rubberbands slapping on your skin.

As of now, all I have is some slight numbness to the back of my arms and when I touch the area it gives a slight burn sensation. Not bad at all. I went to the gym as usual and went to work fine. I won't be changing my diet and exercise habits as I want to see if Coolsculpting really works.

I'll try to document my journey as often as possible. Hopefully I won't have any pain a few days from now!

Before Measurements
Left (measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.25"
Left (measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12"

Right (measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.5"
Right (measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12.5

Day 2

As of now, still no pain. But the little numbness on the arms is still there. If I put any pressure on the arms or if someone pokes my arms, it just feels like my arms are sore after a REALLY hard triceps workout. It's a very manageable soreness--so hoping to avoid bumping my arms or having anyone touch my arms. I'd say it's about a pain level of 2 of 10 when I poke the area. No burning or tingling sensations.

I forgot to mention in my first post that I did have a little swelling right after the procedure. But today, all the swelling is gone. I put up a photo of what my right arm looked like after I had the Coolsculpting done -- mild swelling, no major bruising, and slightly red.

Day 3/Difference between the new and old Coolscupt

Today, little less numbness and little less soreness/tenderness when my arms are touched. Since my recovery seems so much easier compared to others I've read on Realself.com, I hope this doesn't mean it's not going to work on me or it was done improperly.

I thought I would briefly mention the difference between the new Coolsculpting applicators (or CoolAdvantage) vs the old applicators because I haven't seen any reviews of anyone using the newer 35min CoolAvantage. The CoolAdvantage has different size plates so it's customizeable to the size and area to be treated. For me, my right arm had more fat and a more noticeable curve so cupped plate was used while a flat plate was used for my left arm.

The time is decreased to 35min from 60min because the CoolAdvantage goes to the cold temperature faster and also it's one degree even colder (-11C) compared to the old machine (-10C). Fat cells need to reach 4C in order to die.

Doctors also explained that results with the CoolAdvantage are similar or better compared to the old applicators because more surface area is being treated. The old applicators had cooling plates that were only on the sides so only the fat cells on the skin in contact with the plates were being chilled. The entire applicator is being cooled down in the CoolAdvantage.

Crossing my fingers it works!

Day 4....still no pain but bracing myself

Numbess and 'muscle-ache-like' soreness is still there -- it's either the same or maybe improved a little. For sure, it's not getting worse. No shooting pains have happened. No change in measurements of arms.

The only thing new that happened today is I felt a slight tingling sensation that radiated from the area treated on my arms to the back of my shoulder. Kind of felt like when you get a sudden chill, but more muted. It happened while I was working out at the gym doing upper body moves. Maybe it's just blood rushing into the area and my nerve endings are just responding??? But after I finished my workout, the feeling went away.

From other reviews, it seems those who had pain starting feeling the most pain/tingling/itchiness etc between Day 5-7 so I'm hoping I don't get the stabbing pain that a few have described.

Just a quick note, I haven't taken any medications this whole time -- no anti-inflammatories, Tylenol, gabapentin, opioids, or lidocaine patches.

Day 5

The numbness is still the same in both arms. The 'soreness' feeling is almost completely gone in my left arm. My right arm has decreased in the soreness feeling when it's touched.

I'm assuming I've passed the hump where the "pain" should have appeared. I had asked the PA if any of their patients had complained of any sort of pain. They said most of their patients did not complain about pain. But the ones that did, they said it was just a tingling sensation not any stabbing pains. She said she hasn't had to give any lidocaine patches or gabapentin to anyone. She did mention that the ones who did say they had pain, most had it done in the stomach area . No one had mentioned pain when done on arms.

1 Week

It's been 1 week since my coolsculpting and I have negligible 'muscle ache/soreness' pain in my arms. The numbness in both arms is very slight. I had been massaging my arms for about 30 seconds a day because it helped me with the soreness feeling.

No change in measurements as of now. Since results take awhile to show, I'll update either every week or every 2 weeks or whenever I see any change. Now it's just being patient and hoping to see something.

I posted a photo of when I got down to 102lbs and I still had the hanging fat under my arm. It's not the best angle. I'm flexing super hard in this photo, so to have anything hanging even when I'm flexing was very frustrating. At least when people tell me to just diet and exercise, I can say that I did and still didn't budge!

Photo of coolsculpting up close

Found a photo that was taken of the cooladvantage on my arm. You can see the gel pad between my skin and the machine, and the white straps wrapped around so it wouldn't lose suction.

Clarification on Arm Measurements

I had some people ask me what my arm measured when relaxed and just hanging down by my side (and NOT pressed against my body). My arms actually look symmetrical when they are just hanging down and don't look "big". I am more self conscious when I ever had to lift my arms up. Ideally, I'd love a 1/2 - 1 inch (a little more in the right arm so they can be closely symmetrical) difference.

Again here are my before measurements:
Left (arm relaxed by my side, largest part of my upper arm): 11"
Left (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.25"
Left (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12"

Right (arm relaxed by my side, largest part of my upper arm): 11"
Right (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.5"
Right (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12.5

2 Weeks

Unfortunately, nothing too much to update. So it's been 2 weeks and I have had no excruciating pain. I still have some mild numbness but it hasn't affected my life in any way.

This week is my time of the month so I'm retaining water everywhere so taking measurements/photos wouldn't be accurate. I gain 5-10lbs every month during this time so trying to tell myself that it's only temporary!

My Before Pictures

Here are my before pictures of my right and left arm. You can see I have more fat on one of my arms compared to the others. I'm crossing my fingers that Coolsculpting works!!

3 Weeks

Hoping I'd be one of those lucky ones that would see changes by 3 weeks, but to me they look the same. Though maybe my right arm MAY have decreased?! Bc when I lift my arms up they look identical (the fat amount hanging down). At first, I thought maybe I had gotten hyperplasia in my left arm and freaked out!

Here are my measurements:
Left arm is the same as before...
Left (arm relaxed by my side, largest part of my upper arm): 11"
Left (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.25"
Left (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12"

The right arm seems to have decreased by 0.25" in my arm lifted measurements
Right (arm relaxed by my side, largest part of my upper arm): 11"
Right (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, mid-arm): 11.25"
Right (arm lifted at shoulder level, measured at largest, closer to armpit): 12.25"

No pain, no soreness, only mild numbness which is almost gone.

Hoping to see more changes over the next few weeks!

4 Weeks Since CS

Hello all. So here is my quick update. Almost all the numbness is in my arms are gone, but not completely. I'm not seeing a change, but my husband says there's a subtle difference as he mentioned it looks like my arms look similar (and not that the right arm is noticeably bigger). I do notice that some of my long sleeves do feel a tad looser around my upper arms. In the photos, I don't see a difference but my measurements are showing there's a change!

I've posted some photos comparing how they looked at Day 0 vs Week 4. I tried to take it in the exact same position.

My current measurements:
Left (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Left (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): 11" -- Week 0 was 11.25"
Left (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 11.8" -- Week 0 was 12"

Right (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Right (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): 11.1" -- Week 0 was 11.5"
Right (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 12.25" -- Week 0 was 12.5" <--ugh want this to decrease!

I'm wondering if I should take my measurements to heart since I am measuring on myself and am not sure if I'm measuring them consistently....

Freaking Out......

So I thought to measure my arms today (it's not the Week 5 mark yet) just to see if there's progress. It looks like some of my measurements have gone back to pre-CS days :(

I'm just HOPING it's because I was bad with my diet this past weekend so lots of salt. My time of the month is coming and I do tend to retain water, and I also did a tough arm workout yesterday. **Crossing fingers**

I'll try to update once it looks like I'm not too swollen and get my diet back together

More tingling all of a sudden

I've noticed for the past few days that I'm having more tingling sensations in the back of my arms and it becomes more prominent if I do a hard arm/upper body workout or if I'm close to a fan constantly blowing air on the backs of my arms. I'm not sure if it means anything.....It's weird because in the beginning I really didn't have any symptoms except numbness and a little soreness. The soreness is gone but I still have some faint numbness.

The tingling doesn't cause any pain nor does it affect my daily routine or work. Maybe I'm having a delayed onset and now the fat are starting to die??? At least that's what i'm hoping for since I haven't really seen any drastic change. Hopefully I won't have any delayed onset of pain.

Week 5

Hi all!

I finally got around to taking some photos. To me, I still don't see too much of a change. But it looks like my fat hang is smoothing out rather than looking like a rounded bulge (more so it seems on my right arm). The change in my left arm seems very subtle, but I knew I didn't have much to lose there.

Man, measuring yourself is so hard. I tried to have my husband help me and he's so bad (i.e. the tape measure is crooked, he tends to squeeze a bit of my arm so it seems my measurements are more drastic). I wouldn't take my measurements to heart and judge if you see any changes based on my photos. If this the first post of mine you've read. I'm hoping for a change in measurement when my arms are lifted rather than when they are relaxed hanging down by my side. If I happen to get a decrease in the overall when the arms are relaxed, then it's an added bonus! But my goal is getting that little fat hump that hangs down gone or at least minimized! I should also mention that I'm 2 days from my period starting and I do tend to swell up during this time (at least 5 pounds in weight).

My current measurements (Week 5):
Left (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Left (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): borderline 10.9/11" -- Week 0 was 11.25"
Left (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 11.9" -- Week 0 was 12"

Right (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Right (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): 11.1/11.2" -- Week 0 was 11.5"
Right (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 12.25" -- Week 0 was 12.5" <--WHYYYY, won't you just get smaller more!?!?!?

If I have time later, I'll try to upload my "wish" pictures. Maybe what I'm hoping for is not possible with CS and I'd actually need lipo and/or an arm lift. I know for sure I do not want an arm lift because having a scar under my arm is NOT worth losing that little bit of fat.

I think all the numbness is gone, and once in awhile still get some tingling sensations that I mentioned in my previous post.

I'll have to make an appointment for my 2 month follow up soon, and ask them for my before and after photos. I'm starting to think CS did not work for me :(

Wish Pics

This is how I wish my arms could look. Not sure if it will ever be possible without surgery or lipo....The arms look reversed because my husband took these photos for me. The other photos I've posted are me taking photos of myself in the mirror.

Today, my husband took some photos of my arms with me holding an object so when we compare to subsequent photos in the next few week, we can make sure the object is the same size. That way we can definitely see if there's a change in my arms. I'll post that with my arms at Week 8.

Week 7

My 2 months since coolsculpting is coming up and I made a follow up appointment at the office to take after photos. I will ask them to send them to me so I can compare them to the photos I've been taking.

I was hoping for a more drastic change as I saw 'before and after' photos from their other patients with a huge difference in their arms after one treatment. My husband says my right arm (the one with more fat) is almost identical to my left arm so he thinks it's working and that I need to be more patient.

Here are my updated measurements -- again, not sure how reliable as I can't be 100% certain that I'm measuring in the exact same spot.

My current measurements (Week 7):
Left (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Left (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): borderline 11" -- Week 0 was 11.25"
Left (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 11.9" -- Week 0 was 12"

Right (arm relaxed by side, largest part): 11" -- still the same
Right (arm lifted, largest, mid-arm): 11.1" -- Week 0 was 11.5"
Right (arm lifted, largest, closer to armpit): 12.25" -- Week 0 was 12.5"

Visually, it looks like I may have had some changes (maybe in only the right arm, though I feel there's still a fat hump hanging). To me, my left arm looks basically the same. What do you think??

2 Month Update (Week 8)

This will be quick as I only had time to take photos this week. I'll try to take measurements next time. The lighting today wasn't the best so I look super tan compared to my before photos -- haha!

Yesterday, my husband commented that my arms do look smaller and they look identical. From the photos, my right arm does look like it's improved a lot compared to my left. I don't think there's any change in my left arm.

I'm going back to the center next week for my follow-up photos. Right now, I'm debating if a second treatment is worth the money. If they were to give me a partial refund since my left arm didn't change at all or a free treatment on them, then I might consider doing a 2nd treatment. But spending another $1500 for both arms on a 2nd treatment doesn't seem worth it as I could have spent that $3000 (plus another $1000) towards lipo and get a more dramatic and guaranteed result.

Any thoughts?

Follow-Up Appt Tomorrow

So will be taking my 2 month follow-up photos tomorrow. I'll try to get a copy of them as well to see if there any differences. If there is no changes, will ask the staff the possibility of any refund or additional treatments at no cost (or super discounted rate). Wish me luck!

2 Month Follow-Up with Office (with Office Photos)

Hi all!

Got back from my 2 month follow-up at Marina Plastic Surgery. So we all could see from the photos that my right arm did have more of a change compared to the left arm. If the left arm did have any change, it is VERY slight which they acknowledged too. Oh, I do want to mention that they did not photoshop or alter any of my photos as I was in the same (slightly larger than a closet) room and I had a clear view of the large computer screen. Just wanted to say that because I know some people on RS think before and after photos are altered to sell certain procedures.

I inquired about any sort of refund (for the left arm) or options I had moving on from this point. They said I should give me another 1-2 months as the firming/tightening has not reached it's peak and I could still continue to see changes. They said that with most patients 2 treatments per area gives the best results, but they understand that I really don't have a lot of fat and paying an additional $1500 would be a lot for such a small difference in my arms. They said they would see if they can get me a discount of some sort. Hey if they offer me an additional treatment on both arms for $500 I might be tempted to do it as it would come out to me spending $2000 total (about $500/treatment per area).

I definitely do see a difference in my right arm as the hump is flattening out rather than being so rounded. The left arm, if you look really close, there MAY be a slight flattening out of my arm. So right now, I'm going to see if there are any more improvements over the next month and depending what discount they are able to give me will help me decide if I'll do a 2nd treatment.

I wanted to end this post by saying Cory and all the other staff ladies I've had encountered here have all been wonderful---so sweet and upfront with you! I asked their opinion on lipo of the arms and they all said that it's a very difficult area as there's a risk of having sagging/wrinkling of skin, which they thought it wouldn't be worth the risk for me. I also inquired about some skin laser treatments and botox and Corey flat out said that I don't need it right now (botox) and to try topicals first before laser as Asian skintone seems to be difficult to work with using lasers and could have negative effects. I liked how she didn't try to convince me to do laser/botox just to get the sell. I haven't met Dr. Grant but I assume he would be great in person as well. Even if I don't get the dramatic results from Coolsculpting, I'd definitely come here for other things in the future as I know they care to make me a happy satisfied client.

Week 12

So another month has passed and I'm at the 3-month mark. I definitely see my right arm starting to tighten up more and there is a change compared to what it was before. My left arm I still feel has a very slight change if even. At least my right arm looks identical to my left arm now!

I am going to change my review to "worth it" as with strict diet and exercise I could never lose the rounded hump on my right arm. I can't believe it's smaller even though I've been pretty bad with dieting and exercising for the past month. It would be even more 'worth it' if I got a refund on my left arm! :) Now would I pay another $1500 for a 2nd treatment? Unfortunately no. Because if one treatment on my left arm didn't do much, I can't see how a 2nd treatment on both arms is going to change my arms significantly. I can handle paying $1500 for one treatment, but $3000 for a POSSIBLE slight change would not be worth it --- might as well get lipo now if I'm going to pay that much money.

So for those who are debating about coolsculpting. It did work for me but only in the arm that had a significantly more fat. I would tell someone to try it if they want someone non-invasive BUT I'd only pay for 1 treatment upfront. I wouldn't suggest paying for a package upfront until you saw some results from 1 treatment.

4 Month Update

If you want the exact weeks then it's 15 weeks since my coolsculpting procedure, but it's pretty much 4 months. I'll try to update every 1-2 months to show the longevity of the results.

So no drastic changes in the last month that I can see. Though my husband feels my right arm seems to be a bit tighter than before. Left arm still looks fairly unchanged.

5 Month Update

Hi everyone.

Coolsculpting definitely worked on my arms. I'm glad I waited a little longer to see if there was more improvement instead of rushing in to get a 2nd treatment.

My right arm has a lot less fat than before -- I don't have that big round hump any more! My left arm didn't have much fat to begin with but I now see even a slight decrease in that too. Both my arms are symmetrical now!

Also wanted to say that I have not lost any weight or changed my diet or workouts so all the changes are purely due to coolsculpting.

I think with coolsculpting one has to have realistic expectations or you will be disappointed. If you want a really drastic change and can afford taking time to recuperate (and the money), then I think lipo would make you happier and coolsculpting is not the procedure for you.

Hope this helps anyone!
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Cory Felber, PA

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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