Coolsculpting : Understanding the procedure and benefits

Evidence Based Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr. Tez Pratap Singh, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah


What is Coolsculpting?

Coolsculpting or cryolipolysis is a procedure to remove stubborn fats from the body using cold temperatures. It is a non-surgical procedure that does not involve cuts and incisions in the body. The process can destroy the fat cells just below the skin’s surface.

Cool Sculpting or cryolipolysis is a procedure to remove stubborn fats from the body using cold temperatures.

Facts of Coolsculpting

  • Coolsculpting is the brand name of the device that carries out cryolipolysis
  • Coolsculpting is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved cosmetic treatment.
  • It is based on the fat-freezing technique called cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is freezing fat cells to the point of destroying them.
  • Coolsculpting targets body fats that cannot be removed by exercise and diet.
  • It mainly targets body fats in the chin, abdomen, sides, inner and outer thigh, and upper arms 1Overview| Researched based study from


Coolsculpting procedure

The doctor uses a hand device having applicators to perform the procedure.


  1. The doctor first applies a gel pad and the applicator on the chosen area for fat removal.
  2. The applicator provides regulated cooling to the targeted area
  3. The device is then moved slowly over the skin surface of the targeted fat
  4. After the procedure, the doctor massages the treated area to disintegrate frozen tissue. Massaging helps the body better absorb the damaged fat cells.
  5. The entire process takes about one to three hours 2Procedure| Researched based study from

Mechanism of Coolsculpting

  • Coolsculpting uses the cellular response to cold to destroy the unwanted fat tissues.
  • It extracts the energy from the fat tissues inducing them to die without affecting the surrounding muscle, nerves, and other tissues.
  • Post-treatment, after several months, the digested fat cells are carried away to the lymphatic system to be removed from the body as waste.

Working of Coolsculpting

  • Coolsculpting has a high success rate with much satisfaction from most people.
  • The treatment only applies to the targeted area without affecting other tissues and does not constrict the skin.
  • However, the procedure may not work for people with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet.
  • Coolsculpting works best for people near the ideal weight and with a lower body mass3Procedure| Researched based study from


Benefits of Cool sculpting.

Benefits of Coolsculpting

  • It can treat many body areas
  • It is a fast, safe, and non-invasive procedure
  • Cool sculpting gives natural results in four to twelve weeks
  • It provides permanent results, i.e., it permanently destroys the treated fat cells.
  • It is an affordable fat-reduction treatment
  • It improves the self-confidence
  • It has minimal side effects
  • The fat cells destroyed by cool Sculpting are entirely removed from the body and can never return.
  • One can get to work immediately after the treatment
  • The results seem natural as the fats are removed gradually over weeks
  • There is less chance of regaining weight, and the results are long-lasting
  • The risk of developing skin bumps is low as the fat cells are destroyed evenly across the targeted skin.
  • The body removes the broken-down fat tissues in 4 to 6 months
  • The average post-treatment efficiency of cool Sculpting is 20 to 80%in the treated area 8Benefits| Researched based study from


Risks and Side effects of Coolsculpting

  • Most people only feel tugging during the procedure when the skin is between the two cooling pads.
  • The procedure being noninvasive, the patients do not require any recovery time.
  • The side effects are minimal and resolve within a few days to weeks post-treatment
  • It is normal to get numbness in the treated area for about a month

Side effects of Coolsculpting

Some of the common side effects of Coolsculpting are as follows

  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Firmness
  • Itchiness
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of sensation
  • Pinching sensation
  • Slight swelling
  • Skin Redness
  • Skin tenderness
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Fullness in the throat
  • Scar marks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 4Side effects| Researched based study from


Complications of Coolsculpting

Rare complication of Coolsculpting

  • Pain starts several days after the treatment
  • Decreased mobility of the tongue and weakness in the lower lip muscle following a procedure involving the chin or neck
  • Decreased saliva production after the procedure in the chin or neck
  • Changes in the skin color
  • Dark skin color(hyperpigmentation) in the treated area
  • Freeze burns on the skin
  • Hardness below the skin in the treated area
  • Sudden changes in fat layering 5Complications| Researched based study from

Infrequent complications of Coolsculpting

  • Less than 1% of individuals might get a complication known as paradoxical fat hyperplasia.

Paradoxical fat hyperplasia

  • It is a condition in which the fat cells are gradually enlarged in the treated area.
  • It is not life-threatening but is quite embarrassing 6Complications| Researched based study from


Who should avoid Coolsculpting

  • Pregnant woman
  • Nursing mothers
  • One who planning to get pregnant
  • People with weakened immune system
  • Who cannot tolerate the cold
  • People with kidney problems
  • People with skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis(skin disease)
  • People on blood thinning medication(anticoagulants)
  • One with pacemakers(devices to help regulate heart function)
  • Who is allergic to isopropyl alcohol
  • People with chronic pain
  • People with an anxiety problem
  • One with cold agglutinin disease 7Contraindications| Researched based study from Cold agglutinin disease is when red blood cells die in response to low temperatures.

Post-treatment care to follow after Coolsculpting

  • Wear compression clothing
  • One should wear comfortable clothing such as yoga pants
  • Should keep moving to reduce the pain
  • One must immediately contact the doctor if harsh side effects occur


Coolsculpting cost

  • The cost of Coolsculpting depends on several factors, such as the size of the treatment area, applicator size, expected outcome, and geographical location.
  • Treatment of smaller areas such as the chin, jaw, and upper abdomen that require a smaller applicator costs around 700$ to 900$.
  • Larger area viz; lower abdomen requiring larger applicator might cost around 1500$.
  • The average cost of multiple area treatments is around 2000$ to 4000$.
  • Coolsculpting is a cosmetic treatment, so insurance does not cover the cost 9Cost| Researched based study from


Alternatives to Coolsculpting

Some other methods for fat reduction are as follows:


  • Liposuction is better for people who want quick results in a single treatment.
  • Liposuction is more invasive, so the risk is higher than coolsculpting.10Alternatives| Researched based study from


  • It is a fat-reduction technique that uses heat-based lasers to melt fat cells.
  • Sculptsure is faster than cool sculpting and covers multiple areas at once within 25 minutes.
  • However, the side effects, pain, and risks are similar to that of coolsculpting


  • Vanquish is a radiofrequency lipolysis that uses radio waves to kill fat cells.
  • It effectively reduces a person’s fat and abdominal circumference.


  • Kybella uses an injection to destroy fats under the chin
  • It is minimally invasive and may cause nearby nerve injuries causing swallowing difficulty or asymmetrical smile.


Key Takeaways

  • Coolsculpting is a low-risk procedure to remove unwanted fat that cannot be removed by exercise and diet.
  • To date, there is only limited research on Coolsculpting, and more research is warranted.
  • People interested in undergoing the treatment should consult a healthcare professional to know whether it is the right treatment choice and to prevent unwanted complications.

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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