CoolSculpting is a non-invasive technique to remove stubborn fat from multiple body areas. Though there is no surgery involved, people still wonder if CoolSculpting is painful.
How is CoolSculpting performed?
It is important to start by understanding the procedure, its working methodology and other details to know whether it hurts or not. Each person usually needs two to three sessions to get the best results.
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved procedure also called cryolipolysis. It works by freezing stubborn fat cells that don’t respond well to traditional exercise and diet habits.
Your surgeon first places a protective gel pad on the target area. They then place and vacuum seal the applicator to the target area. The CoolSculpting machine next freezes the fat cells, and once done, releases the vacuum.
The frozen fat cells are now gently massaged for a few minutes. The body takes 2-4 months to flush out the fat cells, and show results.
What body parts are suitable?
CoolSculpting works best on the body’s ‘trouble areas’ like double chin, thighs, love handles, upper arms, and abdomen where skin tightening is required. The results are more evident in people who are close to their ideal weight.
Side effects of CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting, like any surgery, has its share of side effects. Some of them are:
- Numbness or tingling
- Pain and muscle spasms
- Bruising and redness
- Itchiness and stinging
- Firmness or tenderness
- Cramps or swelling
- Diarrhea and nausea
- Fullness of the throat while treating the neck
It is important to note that most of these effects are temporary and are usually noticed in the treatment area, and recede within a few weeks. There are rarely any long term side effects. However, it is recommended to discuss and know the possible side effects with your surgeon before going for the process.
Is CoolSculpting painful?
There is no fixed answer to the question because some patients complain that it’s painful, while others say they don’t experience any discomfort at all. Pain, if any, is usually experienced for 5-10 minutes during the procedure. It’s often the numbness of the freezing applicator’s cooling sensations that is painful.
There may also be some pinching and pulling sensation while the fat cells are frozen and pulled out. The pain levels depend and vary between the treatment areas, where the abdominal area is the most vulnerable.
Pain after the procedure
Most people don’t complain of any pain after CoolSculpting. The area may at the most feel numb for as long as three weeks. The numbness, however, doesn’t hamper your everyday activities and exercise.
There may also be some itching, redness, stinging, and swelling in people with sensitive skin. It’s more a consequence of the discomfort and not pain.
Some people may also have some swelling or bruising in the area, especially those who are prone to them. These side effects, however, fade away within 3 to 11 days of the treatment.
How long does it take to recover from CoolSculpting?
There is no downtime for CoolSculpting. You can resume normal activities immediately after the session.
Management and care after the procedure
You may see the full CoolSculpting results within 2-4 months of the treatment. Side effects, if any, don’t last long and are visible only a few weeks after the procedure.
Massaging the treated area helps increase the fat freezing process without any side effects. Doctors usually do not prescribe any prescription pain medications.
They, however, may prescribe OTC pain medications for any pain or swelling. It’s better not to take any pain reliever before the treatment because it increases side effects like bruising.
The following non- medicated pain relief methods also help after CoolSculpting:
- Guided imagery
- Massage therapy
- Deep breathing exercises or meditation
- Warm compression
- Gentle exercise
CoolSculpting is the most sought after technique for fat reduction and skin tightening in the present world of beauty and fitness. The treatment is considered completely safe and pain-free in most scenarios. However, mild pain can be present in certain cases which lasts for a few days or weeks and disappears once you entirely recover.