What To Expect During And After Your Coolsculpting Treatment

Coolsculpting is a new non-invasive treatment for reducing fat over certain areas of the body. It uses a special cooling mechanism to trigger the death of fat cells while not harming the muscle and skin cells in the same area. If you have been wanting to reduce the amount of fat in an area such as your thighs, buttocks, or upper arms, coolsculpting can be a great choice and a safer alternative to more invasive measures like liposuction. But even though the procedure is simple, it's important that you know what to expect.

During the Treatment

When you arrive for your coolsculpting appointment, your doctor will often begin by marking off the area to be treated. Then, you will be allowed to get comfortable either in a chair or on a table — depending on the area to be addressed. Your doctor will then hold a special device against your skin, and you will feel a blast of cold, similar to what you would feel if you held an ice cube against your skin for an extended period of time. Within about five minutes, this coldness subsides and the area instead becomes numbed. You may also experience some suction sensations since, on some areas of the body, the treatment apparatus must "pinch" your fat in order to work properly.

Most treatments are over in less than an hour. Before releasing you, your doctor may give you some soothing gel that you can use later on if your skin becomes sore or tight. You can return to home or work as soon as you're finished. There's generally no reason to take the day off.

After the Appointment

Side Effects

Most patients experience only very mild redness, tingling, and cramping in the site that was treated. This may last a few days or up to a week. You might feel like the area is overly full or a bit swollen. If you are uncomfortable, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers, use the soothing cream your doctor provided, or massage the area gently with some lotion.


The results of coolsculpting are not immediate. In fact, the treated area may actually look larger than normal for a week or so after treatment, since it will be a bit swollen and filled with fluid. But slowly, your body will begin absorbing the fat from the dead fat cells, which will cause the area to tighten and shrink. Your skin may appear a bit loose, but it should tighten up within a few months.

Note that the results of coolsculpting can be permanent as long as you avoid behaviors that cause you to gain weight. There are some fat cells remaining in the treated area, and they can swell and take on more fat if you begin overeating and taking in too many calories. So, to maintain your new look, make sure you are following a healthy, low-calorie diet and getting plenty of exercise.

Subsequent Treatments

Many patients only need one coolsculpting treatment to get the results they desire. However, if a few months pass and you are not happy with the extent of your results, your doctor may be able to administer a second treatment to yield more dramatic results. You may also wish to make a subsequent appointment if you discover another area you want treated.

Coolsculpting can result in noticeable fat loss without the need for surgery. Don't worry too much in the days leading up to the appointment. The procedure is only mildly uncomfortable, the side effects are mild, and the results are apparent — though they will develop slowly in the months that follow.

To learn more about coolsculpting, contact a medical center like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center.