side effects from coolsculpting

Okay so, you’ve made all the research you possibly could make on coolsculpting and you think it’s just the perfect thing to help you get rid of those stubborn fat standing in the way of your much desired flat belly but one thought just keeps nagging at your heart and you just don’t know to go  about it: what are the side effects from coolsculpting? You need not worry anymore, Nairacloset brings you answers to give you clarity on this and more. Read on….


How safe is CoolSculpting?

Demand for non-surgical fat removal is at an all-time high. Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure is one of the most popular, with a reported 4m-plus procedures performed worldwide. And for good reason. The procedure is FDA-approved, backed by hundreds of clinical and scientific studies, and studied in over 5,500 clinical trial patients. The procedure remains one of the safest, most effective fat removal options in the cosmetic industry. But how safe is CoolSculpting? Is it risk-free? Are there any potential complications and adverse side effects?

Side Effects From Coolsculpting

CoolSculpting Side Effects: What’s Common, What’s Normal?

The Cryolipolysis CoolSculpting procedure uses an applicator device which relies on a kind of suction cup to pull the skin and fat in the target areas. The applicator then freezes these areas to temperatures of about 4 degrees Celsius.

Obviously, the skin and tissue around the target areas will face some negative effects. Most patients report some redness, tenderness, numbing, tingling, and bruising.

Potential complications include scarring, severe or prolonged pain, abrupt changes to skin and fat layers, Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH), and skin ulcerations.

Most of these side effects are temporary and go away within a day after treatment. For anyone wondering how safe is CoolSculpting, the scariest of these risks is PAH, which causes a gradual enlargement of the treated body area. It’s not life-threatening but scary in that it totally negates the reason for having Cryolipolysis in the first place.

The condition appears as a reaction to the freezing. When the applicator comes into contact with fat cells, instead of damaging and killing the target fat cells it stimulates a process that thickens and expands them. This makes it nearly impossible for the body to break down and eliminate the fat from the body.

Reduce CoolSculpting Risks Image - BHRC

How Can You Reduce CoolSculpting Risks

CoolSculpting risks are rare and short-lived. For instance, PAH has a recorded incidence rate of less than 0.0051%. Which means, out of the 4 million procedures, only about 200 cases of PAH have been reported. PAH can be treated by subsequent CoolSculpting treatments, though if it persists you may require laser treatment or liposuction.

As with all technology, it’s imperative for device manufacturers to educate users on potential complications and provide real product manuals. CoolSculpting safety risks are higher if you opt to use DIY CoolSculpting methods and store-bought applicators. Doctors, dermatologists, and other CoolSculpting experts use professional-grade applicators and are well trained to avoid the common side effects.

For instance, CoolSculpting doctors always use a well-lubricated gel pad with their applicator to reduce burn risk. The applicator should also be used on naturally tapered edges to avoid sharp changes in body contour.

Remedies For Alleviating CoolSculpting Side Effects

For pain, most doctors will only prescribe short-term weak painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for comfort. In very rare instances will the patient need opioids such as codeine or dihydrocodeine. Extreme cases that may require painkillers as strong as methadone or morphine are practically unheard of.

Some patients may require some light dressing or bandaging to cover short-term bruising. Skin ointments may be used to alleviate discomfort and reduce redness and numbness.

How Safe CoolSculpting Is Image - BHRC

Final Verdict: How Safe is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting remains one of the safest and most effective fat removal procedures. It has no reported debilitating effects and none that are even remotely life-threatening. You are not likely to end up with an ugly scar or addiction to medication.

One side effect that may cause concern is PAH, which has a 0.0051% incidence rate and can be easily corrected using laser treatment and

CoolSculpting, also called cryolipolysis, is a medical procedure that helps get rid of excess fat cells underneath your skin. While there are several benefits to CoolSculpting, it’s important to be aware of the risks if you’re considering this procedure.

During a CoolSculpting procedure, a plastic surgeon or other licensed practitioner uses a special tool to cool certain parts of your body to freezing temperature. The procedure freezes and kills fat cells in the part of your body that you’re having treated. Within a few weeks of treatment, these dead fat cells are naturally broken down and flushed out of your body through your liver.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has certified CoolSculpting as a safe medical treatment. CoolSculpting has many benefits over traditional liposuction. It’s nonsurgical, noninvasive, and requires no recovery time. And it’s effective in reducing fat cells in a given treatment area by up to 20 to 25 percent.

However, CoolSculpting can cause several side effects, and it’s not recommended for everyone. Keep reading to learn more.

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Risks and side effects

Some common side effects of CoolSculpting include:

1. Tugging sensation at the treatment site

During a CoolSculpting procedure, your doctor will place a roll of fat between two cooling panels on the part of your body that’s being treated. This can create a sensation of tugging or pulling that you’ll have to put up with for one to two hours, which is how long the procedure usually takes.

2. Pain, stinging, or aching at the treatment site

Researchers have found that a common side effect of CoolSculpting is pain, stinging, or aching at the treatment site. These sensations typically begin soon after treatment until about two weeks after treatment. The intense cold temperatures that the skin and tissue are exposed to during CoolSculpting may be the cause.

A study from 2015 reviewed the results of people who had collectively done 554 crypolipolysis procedures over one year. The review found that any post-treatment pain usually lasted 3-11 days and went away on its own.

3. Temporary redness, swelling, bruising, and skin sensitivity at the treatment site

Common CoolSculpting side effects include the following, all located where the treatment was done:

  • temporary redness
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • skin sensitivity

These are caused by exposure to cold temperatures. They usually go away on their own after a few weeks. These side effects occur because CoolSculpting affects the skin in a similar manner as frostbite, in this case targeting the fatty tissue just below the skin. However, CoolSculpting is safe and will not give you frostbite.

4. Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia at the treatment site

A very rare but serious side effect of CoolSculpting is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. It occurs most in men. This means the fat cells in the treatment site grow larger rather than smaller. It’s not fully understood why this occurs. While it’s a cosmetic rather than physically dangerous side effect, paradoxical adipose hyperplasia doesn’t disappear on its own.

Who should avoid CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a safe and effective treatment for reducing body fat in most people. However, there are some people who should not receive this treatment. People with the following conditions should not do CoolSculpting:

CoolSculpting could cause serious complications for people with these disorders.

Whether or not you have these preexisting conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor before seeking out a plastic or cosmetic surgeon to perform the procedure.

It’s also important to note that CoolSculpting is not a treatment for obesity. Rather, it can help eliminate small amounts of excess fat that doesn’t easily go away with diet and exercise alone.

The takeaway

If you’re a good candidate for it, CoolSculpting has some benefits over other fat-elimination procedures. Fat cells frozen by CoolSculpting never return because the body eliminates them. There are no incisions because it’s a noninvasive procedure, and there’s no scarring after treatment. There’s also no required rest or recovery time. Results may begin to show in as little as a few weeks, with most people experiencing full results three months after their final treatment.

liposuction if necessary.

To minimize any of these risks, avoid DIY procedures with store-bought products. Instead, consult a CoolSculpting expert who will assess whether you qualify as a CoolSculpting candidate. The expert will also use FDA-approved and medically sound products and techniques while monitoring your progress for months after treatment.

CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a nonsurgical body contouring procedure. A plastic surgeon uses a device to freeze fat cells under the skin. Once the fat cells have been destroyed, they are gradually broken down and removed from the body by the liver.

Most CoolSculpting sessions take around an hour and cost about $1,000 per treatment area.

CoolSculping is a fairly new technique, only approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012. CoolSculpting and cryolipolysis are registered trademarks of Zeltiq Aesthetics.

While the number of independent clinical research studies backing the procedure is still relatively small, Zeltiq Aesthetics claim CoolSculpting lowers the amount of fat cells in the treatment area by between 20 and 25 percent.

Most people start to notice the effects a few days after the procedure, but it often takes 1 to 4 months for the full results to show.

What are the risks?
CoolSculpting involves freezing fat cells to contour the body. It is a relatively new procedure.

Although research is still limited, CoolSculpting is generally viewed as a safer, non-invasive type of fat reduction surgery than traditional procedures, such as liposuction.

Most people do not feel anything during the procedure, aside from a tugging sensation where the skin is between the device’s two cooling panels.

As the procedure does not involve any cutting, tissue manipulation, or anesthesia, most people do not need any recovery time and can immediately resume normal activities.

The only noticeable side effects of the procedure tend to be minor and occur only around the area of treatment. Most minor side effects reduce or go away within a few days to weeks after the procedure.

It is normal, however, to experience numbness or loss of sensation in the treatment area for around a month.

Common immediate side effects of CoolSculpting include:

  • redness
  • firmness
  • pinching sensation
  • minor swelling
  • tenderness
  • bruising
  • stinging
  • tingling
  • numbness
  • skin sensitivity
  • mild to moderate pain
  • muscle cramping

A person may continue to experience these side effects for a few weeks after the procedure. Other common side effects that a person may experience in the first few weeks after CoolSculpting include:

  • itchiness, especially a few days after the procedure
  • diarrhea, as dead fat cells are removed from the body
  • a feeling of fullness in the throat after treatments involving the neck or chin region
Additional considerations
It is important to choose a plastic surgeon with experience and good patient reviews.

The risk of side effects and complications often depends on the medical professional performing the procedure.

People should make sure to choose an experienced, trusted professional, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Individuals can do this by researching local options and asking questions before committing to the procedure.

CoolSculpting is relatively new, and so the full extent of risks, side effects, and complications associated with the procedure is still unknown.

A 2017 study reviewing all available research papers from two major medical research databases found only 319 studies linked to the terms cool sculpting, cryolipolysis, fat freezing, and lipocryolysis.

As it is relatively new, few medical professionals are aware of the procedure or have much experience with it

CoolSculpting is also only approved and proven effective on a limited number of body areas.

Body regions where CoolSculpting is considered safe and effective for removing minor fat deposits include:

  • abdomen
  • thighs
  • under the chin or upper neck
  • flanks
  • under the armpit
  • back
  • buttocks and under the buttocks
Who should avoid it?

CoolSculpting is considered a safe, effective way to reduce the number of fat cells in a small target area. It is not considered a form of weight loss and not recommended for the treatment of obesity.

The procedure is designed to help dissolve stubborn fat cells that usually only shrink through diet and exercise.

People with weakened immune systems are not ideal candidates for surgeries such as CoolSculpting. People with certain conditions that weaken or change the body’s ability to handle the cold can also experience serious medical complications.

Conditions that rule out the use of CoolSculpting include:

  • pregnancy, attempting to become pregnant, and breast-feeding
  • cryoglobulinemia, a disorder where proteins that usually only increase in response to cold are in abnormally high concentrations
  • cold agglutinin disease, an autoimmune condition where temperature change kills red blood cells
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, a condition where red blood cells die in response to temperature change
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • chilblains
  • reduced circulation or skin sensation at the treatment area
  • nerve conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy
  • skin conditions related to the immune system, such as eczema and psoriasis
  • inflammatory skin conditions, such as dermatitis and hives
  • a recent injury to the skin area being treated, including scar tissue
  • long-term use of blood thinning medications
  • bleeding conditions that thin the blood
  • history of a hernia or a hernia in or near the treatment area
  • active, implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers
  • allergy to propylene glycol or isopropyl alcohol
  • chronic pain conditions
  • severe anxiety disorders
What are the rare long-term effects?
Reduced tongue and lip movement, as well as dryness in the mouth, are potential side effects of CoolSculpting on the neck and chin.

In some very rare cases, fat cells respond to CoolSculpting by enlarging rather than dying. This condition is called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH).

A 2014 study reported the incidence of PAH with CoolSculpting is currently thought to be around 0.0051 percent.

Researchers are not sure why PAH occurs, but most people who develop the condition are men. While PAH does not cause any symptoms aside from changing physical appearance, only surgery can reverse it.

Additional rare complications that may occur after CoolSculpting include:

  • pain that starts several days after the treatment and usually resolves when numbness goes away, or after about a month
  • scarring or changes to skin color
  • reduced movement or response of the tongue following procedures involving the neck or chin
  • lower lip muscle weakness following procedures involving the neck or chin
  • reduced saliva production and dry mouth following procedures involving the chin or neck
  • frostbite, or first- and second-degree freeze burns
  • dizziness, light-headedness, sweating, painting, nausea, and flushing
  • hyperpigmentation, or dark skin coloration that often resolves on its own
  • subcutaneous induration, a generalized hardness or specific hard nodules that develop in the treated area and can be painful
  • abrupt and undesirable changes in fat layering
What are the positive results?

One benefit of CoolSculpting is that, unlike with diet and exercise, fat cells are actually destroyed and removed from the body. This means the same fat cells cannot return or enlarge with weight gain.

There are several other benefits of CoolSculpting:

  • It is a low-risk procedure for most people.
  • The skin barrier is not broken or compromised, removing most of the risk of complications, such as infection and scarring.
  • There are few reported adverse reactions or outcomes.
  • There is no need to take time off from work or everyday activities afterward.
  • The results look natural, as they develop gradually in the weeks following the surgery.
  • It can help people who have lost weight or at a healthy weight but still have excess fat in particular areas.
  • There is less risk of regaining weight and results are long-lasting because fat cells are actually destroyed and removed from the body.
  • The risk of skin dimpling or bumps is low because fat cells are destroyed evenly across a patch of skin.

Overall, the procedure can help boost self-confidence, especially when combined with weight loss achieved through a healthful diet and exercise.


There is not much independent research on CoolSculpting at present. What research exists suggests that it is a low-risk option for removing small amounts of fat that is proving difficult to remove with diet and exercise.

People who are interested in this form of treatment should discuss it first with their doctor. They can help decide whether it is the right option, or if there are more suitable ways for removing unwanted fat.

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