How Much Does CoolSculpting Hurt & What To Do
Let’s Chat About CoolSculpting Pain
At Bodify we have successfully completed over 16,000 (as of 2018) body contouring, body sculpting, fat-freezing, fat-reduction treatments exclusively with the CoolSculpting technology.
We love the results, it’s all we do, and we stand behind our work and the technology with our Beautiful Results Promise™ – which we happen to think rocks!
Approximately 97% of our fat-freezing clients report CoolSculpting as only “slightly uncomfortable”. Typically their discomfort is during the first 3-7 minutes as the tissue cools, after that, the tissue goes numb, and it is usually smooth sailing from there.
Another opportunity for discomfort on treatment day is the 2-minute post treatment massage we perform after removing the CoolSculpting applicator. This frozen fat massage allows for 68% more fat reduction versus no massage, so even if our clients dislike it, we do it because our top priority is achieving the best results.
In the next several days to weeks post CoolSculpting, soreness, numbness, tingling, and inflammation are all common side effects. These symptoms shouldn’t keep anyone from their normal day to day activities. Our clients even report continuing their fitness regimens.
As with any technology, there is always a small percentage who are outliers and don’t experience the same minimal discomfort during or after a procedure. It is no different with this safe, effective, FDA-cleared, non-invasive fat-reduction technology.
Anywhere from 1-3% of our clients will suffer from what is called “Late Onset Pain”. Essentially, 4-7 days after the CoolSculpting procedure, the nerve endings in the treated area(s) begin to reawaken, for most, it is not big deal, for some it can really hurt. Particularly at night it can feel like bee stings, pin pricks, and even some have likened it to the feeling of broken glass under the skin. This pain can last anywhere from 1-4 weeks. One thing is for sure, it is not fun and has the ability to keep a person up and night with the discomfort. This can lead to grouchiness and asking “why does this hurt so much?”.
At Bodify we hate when late onset pain occurs for a client, but fortunately we stay in touch with our clients post treatment. We are available 7 days a week via call, text, or email should a client experience this pain and we can help them get the relief they need.
Let’s talk solutions and please understand some things work well for some and not at all for others. Some solutions make the pain subside 100% for some and others just take the edge off. You’ll have to experiment to see what is best for you.
For general soreness post CoolSculpting
We ask our clients to avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medications for 5 days post CoolSculpting. The fat freezing procedure creates inflammation and that is what helps kill off the fat cells, so we don’t suggest taking anything that will hinder this process. Avoiding any of the over the counter NSAID such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Excedrin, Aspirin, Motrin, etc. is advised. Also natural supplements that are anti-inflammatory such as Turmeric, Fish Oil, Arnica, etc. should be avoided as an extra precaution as well. So what do we suggest to take for discomfort? Tylenol. This will certainly help take the edge off general soreness and tenderness.
Alternatives would be the use of a heating pad, an ice pack (not placed directly on the skin) or compression garments. We suggest trying all of these options to see what works best as everyone is different and what might feel great for one person, will not for the next.
For itchiness post CoolSculpting
As the nerve endings come back to life over the next several days to several months, a client can experience severe itchiness. If our client finds themselves frequently scratching at the area(s), we suggest they try topical Benadryl until it subsides.
For late onset pain post CoolSculpting
Our medical director will have Neurontin, Gabapentin, or Lyrica prescribed to help with late onset pain. These are non-narcotic pain medications for nerve related pain. It can take up to 48 hours for the medication to take full effect, so be patient and use some of the above solutions until relief is felt from the medication. The medication may cause drowsiness, so taking it with caffeine during the day can be very helpful. Most clients will feel much better once the medication kicks in but some will still have some discomfort even with the medication. If this is the case, hang in there, we promise it won’t last forever and the results are worth it! Our clients with late onset pain will take the medication anywhere from 1-4 weeks.