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Does CoolSculpting Hurt? What You Should Know

Posted by Nima | July 6, 2022

You might have heard a lot about CoolSculpting and all of the amazing things it can do. But does CoolSculpting hurt? What are some side effects to look out for?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that uses cryolipolysis, or “freezing” fat cells that haven’t responded to other types of exercise and diet treatments. It’s also prevalent in the treatment of lipomas. The therapy is technically noninvasive, which means no surgical procedure is required.

Although this is not always the case, it’s common for CoolSculpting to cause certain adverse effects. While it isn’t intended to result in long-term agony and discomfort, these are some possibilities. The “cooling” side effects of the actual treatment are the most noticeable. It might be difficult to get used to the loss of fat cells due to the discomfort that comes and goes as your body adjusts. Read on to learn about these adverse effects, which you should discuss with a specialist before getting started on this therapy.

Does CoolSculpting hurt?

The question everyone has on their minds, does CoolSculpting hurt? The discomfort associated with CoolSculpting is mostly felt during the procedure. The company itself, according to the official CoolSculpting website, acknowledges that it’s feasible to experience discomfort from the numbness induced by the cooling sensations of the freezing applicator during the treatment. The fat cells themselves are generally cooled and removed from the body. You may also experience a pinching and pulling sensation as the fatty tissues are frozen and extracted. Such sensations can last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes after completing the 60-minute treatment session.

After the treatment, you might feel discomfort as well as itching and swelling. The amount of pain felt can also differ from one treatment area to the next, with the abdomen being the most susceptible.

Does CoolSculpting cause nerve damage?

There is no evidence that CoolSculpting harms nerves. Numbness, on the other hand, is frequent, according to the Center for Aesthetics. This can last for a few weeks or longer. It may also come and go over time.

There have been several anecdotal claims of severe discomfort and nerve pain for days or weeks following the operation. These case reports were not observed in a controlled clinical setting.

Common side effects after CoolSculpting include:

  • aches
  • bruising
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • firmness
  • fullness of the throat (if neck is being treated)
  • itchiness
  • muscle spasms
  • nausea
  • numbness
  • redness
  • stinging
  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • tingling

The majority of these effects are experienced at the treatment area. These are considered temporary and typically resolve within a few weeks, according to CoolSculpting. Side effects may return three days later, with pain and discomfort after the procedure.

The majority of the time, CoolSculpting causes little to no adverse effects. However, you should talk about these options with your doctor ahead of time so that you may recognize the symptoms and act immediately if necessary.

Following CoolSculpting, paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a possible but uncommon adverse effect. The fat cells are inadvertently destroyed, causing them to grow. The newly targeted fat cells expand as a result of this. According to a research published in JAMA Dermatology, there’s only a 0.0051 percent chance that this side effect will occur. It also happens months after the CoolSculpting treatment is completed.

Tips to lower discomfort

Talk to your physician about methods for assisting you reduce the risk of pain and other adverse effects during and after the procedure. They may also use a massage on the treatment region to aid in the fat freezing procedure’s effectiveness while reducing side effects.

Because it’s non surgical, pain medication isn’t generally given for this operation. Although the treatment does not require any anesthesia, you may be given prescription pain medications if your doctor thinks it’s necessary. If you have any discomfort or swelling following the procedure, your physician may suggest that you take OTC pain medication. Before therapy, do not take pain relievers since this can trigger bruising.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with pain, but you should not take more than 3,000 mg daily, according to Harvard Health. When acetaminophen is taken in excess of the recommended dose, it can cause liver damage and especially when combined with alcohol.

Another option is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen. This may be a generic or branded product like Advil or Motrin IB. 400 mg every four hours, as needed, was recommended by The Mayo Clinic. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has pain relief and inflammation reduction as well. It’s not advised if you have bleeding disorders since it will help treat both pain and inflammation.

Before taking any medicines, ask your doctor. You may also utilize the following non-medicated pain alleviation techniques after CoolSculpting:

  • deep breathing exercises/meditation
  • gentle exercise
  • guided imagery
  • warm compresses
  • massage therapy

Preparing for CoolSculpting

The first step is to schedule a consultation with a potential provider. In order to be qualified for CoolSculpting, your medical history must be known by your chosen treatment center. According to CoolSculpting, patients should be within 30 pounds of their ideal weight when undergoing the procedure. This will allow the treatment to be more effective and minimize any unpleasant side effects.

When looking for a CoolSculpting practitioner, speak with three or more potential providers. While dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons are allowed to use it, not all of them have received training in CoolSculpting.

Certain preparatory steps can help make the day of your treatment more comfortable. Make sure you:

  • bring something to read or play with, such as your tablet
  • eat a small snack to prevent nausea from treatment
  • wear loose, comfortable clothing

If you’d like to learn more about the CoolSculpting treatment, check out our other blogs available.

Care following procedure

According to the Center for Aesthetics, it takes two to four months for you to notice all of the benefits of your CoolSculpting treatment. You should not be in discomfort throughout this time, although you may experience adverse effects for a few weeks after therapy.

To make yourself more comfortable, consider the following tips for aftercare:

  • Yoga pants are recommended
  • Consider Spanx or other compression clothing
  • Continue to walk to alleviate discomfort and inflammation
  • Report any severe side effects to your doctor right away

Does CoolSculpting hurt? Final thoughts

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal has called CoolSculpting “a safe and effective nonsurgical body contouring technique.” While the discomfort associated with CoolSculpting is only meant to last for a short time, it is possible to feel effects that are much longer and more severe. Another thing to consider is your own tolerance for pain.

So, does CoolSculpting hurt? It can, but the feeling is only temporary. Be sure to consult with a board-certified technician to see if you are a candidate for this procedure.