Side Effects of CoolSculpting: What Should You Know


In the realm of body contouring and fat reduction, CoolSculpting also referred to as cryolipolysis, has become a growingly popular procedure. This medical procedure is used to help individuals who want to eliminate excess fat in particular areas of the body. It is a non-invasive procedure that is an excellent alternative to liposuction. Fat freezing technology is used to apply controlled cooling on targeted areas of fat cells that are killed and passed through the body naturally. While it is generally safe and effective, there are certain risks that individuals who are interested in the procedure should have an awareness of before signing up.

Pros of CoolSculpting

Coolsculpting provides several great benefits.

  • It is a non-invasive procedure that can be performed in a dermatologist office. No hospital and no surgery
  • There is no incision that would need wound care
  • Minimal recovery means no downtime required for recovery after the procedure; simply head back to work after your lunch break
  • Minimal discomfort associated with suction and cold temperatures
  • Safe procedure with precision technique and controlled cooling to eliminate fat cells
  • Noticeable and long-lasting results with a healthy lifestyle

Cons of CoolSculpting

  • Tugging, Pinching and Pulling Sensation  – While many individuals try to achieve a level of fitness with CoolSculpting, there is the risk of some discomfort after the procedure has been done. The process involves the use of cooling panels to suction the skin and fat “like a vacuum,” crystallizing the fat cells. The tugging, pinching and pulling sensation at the treatment site created by the suction motion could last from one to two hours. This discomfort is generally mild but could prove annoying during the process.

  • Pain and Discomfort – Based on research, it was found that a common side effect of CoolSculpting is pain and associated aching or stinging the treatment site. Immediately after treatment, these symptoms could emerge and last up to two weeks after treatment. The stress of the intense cold temperatures on the skin and tissue during the procedure may be the source.

    A 2015 retrospective study into cryolipolysis treatment and it’s pain side effect concluded that delayed post-treatment pain, lasting 3–11 days is an adverse effect after the procedure, but that the number of treatment cycles did not impact its development.

  • Temporary Redness, Swelling, Bruising and Skin Sensitivity – Certain other reactions at the treatment site may include temporary redness, bruising and swelling, along with skin sensitivity. Cold temperature exposure impacts the skin in a way that is similar to frostbite, but after a couple of weeks, these side effects disappear on their own.

  • Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia – CoolSculpting may cause paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). While rare, it is a serious adverse reaction that occurs mostly in men. This complication involves the hardening of fat cells in the treatment area that grows rather than dies as expected. PAH requires surgery to remedy the growth and restore the physical appearance of the area. No other symptoms are linked to PAH.

  • Other Rare Complications –  Some other less common adverse effects of cryolipolysis that have been reported include:
    • Post-treatment pain that disappears when numbness stops, or a month later
    • Scarring or skin discoloration/hyperpigmentation
    • Reduced movement or tongue response after neck or chin treatment
    • Weakness in lower lip muscle and diminished saliva production and dry mouth after neck or chin treatment
    • First- and second-degree freeze burns
    • Dizziness and light-headedness
    • Sweating, nausea, and flushing
    • Subcutaneous induration- generalized hardness or specific hard nodules that can be painful in the treatment area

CoolSculpting is an excellent fat loss solution and a proven method of transforming the body. It is non-invasive, effective and the results are worth it. This procedure has certain side effects, some common and others rare. Consult with us before having any procedure done to have peace of mind and help with arriving at a final decision.


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