25, 5'5", 165 Lbs, Work out 4x/week, No Kids, Have Always Had a "Tummy"

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I've always been the "chubby" kid despite being...

I've always been the "chubby" kid despite being very physically active all my life. In periods where I didn't consistently work out for 6 months I would gain 20 lbs and one pant size, so I'm currently 165 lbs at size 10-12 depending on the brand. I was size 6 and 140 lbs about two years ago (but even then I had a tummy). So I read about coolsculpting and despite some negative reviews, as well as some scary stories from those who developed hyperplasia, I decided that the potential pros outweighed the cons (hyperplasia affects less than 1% of the population). I booked a consultation and they saw me the next day. They pinched my fat and said, you'd make a great candidate, and were pleased to hear that I worked out and ate healthy on a regular basis. See, apparently once you've stopped growing the number of fat cells you have stays the same, so if you eat right and exercise, coolsculpting results can show, but if you don't, after the 20% reduction your remaining fat cells can grow and net out to no visible change. Additionally, coolsculpting only treats subcutaneous (directly under skin) fat, not visceral fat under the muscle (the vacuum of the applicator essentially can only reach the top few layers directly under the skin). So if you pinch your fat and it's a hard beer belly, you won't have luck. I booked an appointment for 2.5 hours. They recommended the two small CoolAdvantage applicators on the upper abdomen and the large scary applicator on the bottom.

I read that the late onset nerve pain often happens for abdominal procedures (late onset nerve pain is sharp shooting stinging pain that set in 3-5 days after the procedure due to cold sensitivity but no permanent nerve damage happens). I have had carpal tunnel before, so I knew what nerve pain was like. So needless to say I had the jitters for my appointment.

The staff was really nice and gave me tea. For the CoolAdvantage, they put this sticky honey gel pad on you (wear clothes you don't like, this is messy) and honestly those applicators only took 35 mins each and weren't bad at all. I did pretty much feel it the entire time (some people say you go numb but these don't suction enough to do that). Afterwards instead of a massage they used a Z Wave which is like a static shock thing that breaks up cellulite, which is something only available at their practice and they've seen much better results with it. Anyway it wasn't painful, just highly uncomfortable. The large applicator was a different story. The initial suction didn't bother me, but the first 10 minutes I felt was kind of painful. I was like ow ow ow like I had just stubbed a toe. Then afterwards I got used to the painful feeling (again, didn't really "go numb") and that one took a full hour. When I was "thawing out" everything kind of tingled like tiny pins and needles. Not painful, but very annoying.

I came home and was pretty swollen, and it hurt to bend over. So yes I could move around and whatnot, but "back to your daily routine" is an exaggeration.

I just woke up this morning and the swelling has gone down dramatically. So far the pain is less noticeable and only happens when I touch it. So far so good.

Day 3 - still swollen

Skin stings, still swollen and tender, but no bruising. Compression wear definitely helps, also heat patches and these handy dandy lidocaine patches which numb nerves. It's called aspercreme I believe. So far no sharp shooting pain but not in the state to exercise yet, I move around gingerly to avoid hurting myself. Wearing jeans or pants with waistbands definitely stings.

Day 4

Painful, achey, and itchy like a sunburn under the skin. Hot to the touch and very swollen. Did yoga today and it actually felt better afterward for a bit. Lymphatic system is definitely kicking in - I almost look pregnant with all the swelling. Read online for ways to drain lymph nodes. I'm starting to drink lemon water and give myself tiny massages on the belly.

Day 6 - swelling is subsiding but still pain

twinges of pain in two specific spots. read somewhere that coolsculpting can disrupt the fatty protective myelin sheath on nerves, which is something that can regenerate but causes painful nerve pain in the process. so i have two specific spots that keep twinging like bee stings. surprisingly, exercise helps. i'm avoiding ibuprofen because while it does help, it can cause the inflammation to subside, and no inflammation means i will lessen the results of my coolsculpting - going to try to fight through the pain and pop tylenol so i can maximize my results. also drinking lemon water and doing lympatic massage to speed up the process (clearing out the lymph so my immune system can break these cells down faster). the pain is not debilitating but rather annoying and uncomfortable and distracting! not regretting yet as haven't seen results, but really really would have reconsidered getting this done had i known how persistent the pain would be even into day 6.

Day 8

day 7 was the worst. period came and boy was i not ready for that pain - easily cried in my sleep while clutching onto an ice pack. after a day of exceuciating pain, drank ginger lemon and honey tea and instantly felt better. woke up morning of day 8 feeling better. kind of the most comfort i've felt since the procedure. still tender to the touch, but random twangs of pain are occurring much less frequently and not as painful as before. will post pic tomorrow as swelling is almost 100% gone.

Day 9

my pain is gone. i have some slight discomfort now and then, but it is literally gone. i thank ginger and lemon for this relief. i think for my after photos i will be comparing to these photos since my swelling has gone down.

Day 12

some tingling or numbness occassionally but for the most part my body feels back to normal. no changes to report yet. i have still been working out 4x/week. I have cut back on sugars and red meat since I heard read that they are inflammatory foods, and I'd rather any inflammation take place in my abdomen and not in my digestive tract.

Day 14 - itchy

it itches beneath my skin, like an itch i can't scratch. no pain or anything, just so so itchy.

Day 18

starting to notice some very minor differences. maybe.

Day 19

maybe a slight difference?

6 weeks

7 weeks

due to thanksgiving celebrations w/ friends and family i haven't worked out in 7 days. i hope i'm not shooting myself in the foot.
San Francisco Dermatologist

I came 40 mins early for my appointment and they were able to get me started right away. They were very clear about the chances of side effects and all the potential side effects. They gave me tea and kept me comfy throughout the 2.5 hr ordeal. If I don't develop nerve pain I would gladly throw buckets of money on doing this again.

5 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 Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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