What is Cool Sculpting? Is It Safe for Weight Loss?

The CoolSculpting process is a medical technique that does not include incisions or skin cutting and does not require anesthesia. Its purpose is to eliminate unwanted fat or fatty tissue from the subcutaneous layer of the body. Because it is a non-invasive treatment, it has various advantages over the more standard surgical treatments for fat removal. (1)

The number of people opting for fat reduction with the CoolSculpting procedure in the United States is rising. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its stamp of approval to the product. Although the numbers may vary, according to research from 2013, the number of patients undergoing this fat reduction treatment has increased by an astounding 823% in only three short years. (1)

Although many studies have shown its success, getting CoolSculpting fat freezing procedure is similar to getting any other cosmetic operation because there are both advantages and disadvantages. It isn’t always beneficial for everyone. (1)

How Does It Work?

Cryolipolysis is the name of the process that is utilized in the CoolSculpting technique. A roll of fat is placed between two panels, which brings it down to a temperature where you may freeze it. (1) The treated fat cells are intense cold.

Some individuals who undergo CoolSculpting decide to treat many areas of the body. The most common treatment site includes the ones listed below:

  • belly
  • lower back
  • sides
  • thighs

It should also improve the look of cellulite on the thighs, buttocks, and arms with the CoolSculpting procedure. Additionally, some people use it to minimize the amount of fat beneath their chin. (1)

The treatment of each body part that is addressed takes around an hour. When treating multiple body regions with CoolSculpting, you will need further sessions to see results. More significant bodily features may require more treatment than their smaller counterparts. (1)


Compared to the efficacy of most cosmetic treatments, the effectiveness of CoolSculpting for the general population falls somewhere in the middle of a somewhat broad range. However, if you believe what you read in the advertisements for CoolSculpting, the procedure is entirely successful and risk-free. (2)

A 2018 somewhat modest study revealed that the process of cryolipolysis “is safe and successful in decreasing the fat layer and boosting body contouring.” This was the conclusion of an analysis of the clinical efficacy of cryolipolysis. The research was carried out in 2018 and relied on data from the same year. (2)

However, it is crucial to tell out that a company that manufactures goods utilized in CoolSculpting supplied some funds for this research effort. This contribution helped make the project possible. (2)

77% of test subjects in a second experiment that was done in 2016 and was smaller in scope reported that they had visible reductions in fat after undergoing the CoolSculpting treatment. This trial found that the technique was beneficial. However, a different manufacturer of CoolSculpting products provided additional money for this study. (2)

Cryolipolysis was demonstrated to be somewhat successful in an older study carried out in 2014; however, it was not backed by any businesses that manufacture CoolSculpting products. According to the study’s findings, 86% of the treated subjects showed signs of improvement across various examinations. (2)

However, the authors also remark that “body contouring studies” aren’t that easy to perform due to the significant heterogeneity in persons and their fat loss. This factor makes comparing the findings of several studies more challenging. (2)

Because of this, CoolSculpting is not successful 100% of the time; nonetheless, it is very successful for most people.

Remember that various persons will have varied expectations for what constitutes “effective,”, particularly concerning the amount of fat it will eliminate. Keep this in mind at all times. (2)

Common Side Effects

On the website for CoolSculpting, it is stated that the area of the body being treated with the process and surrounding areas run the risk of experiencing specific possible short-term adverse effects. (3)

These may include the following:

  • aching
  • bruising
  • firmness
  • redness
  • stinging
  • tenderness 
  • tingling

People with CoolSculpting performed on the area around their neck could also feel a fullness in the posterior region of their throat after the procedure.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Having Coolsculpting Done?

In scarce situations, the number of fat cells in treated areas of the body may grow a few months after the treatment of CoolSculpting. These instances are sporadic. The term “paradoxical hyperplasia” has been coined to describe this condition. (3)

According to a study carried out in 2014 (which was once again associated with a manufacturer of CoolSculpting devices), paradoxical hyperplasia was seen in fewer than 1 % of the instances you looked at. (3)

You need to keep this one in mind because of the severity of this destructive impact, which necessitates additional surgical surgery to remedy. (3)

There may be additional risks associated, depending on your past medical history. It is strongly suggested that you consult with your primary care physician about the CoolSculpting process before making any decisions regarding scheduling an appointment for the treatment. (3)

Who Can Undergo Coolsculpting?

The CoolSculpting procedure is not suitable for everyone.

It is not a treatment for individuals who are overweight or obese. Instead, the method is suitable for removing insignificant amounts of stubborn fat that have not responded to other weight loss methods, such as changing to a healthy diet or increasing physical activity. (4)

Although the FDA has approved the use of CoolSculpting to kill fat cells in localized parts of the body in many patients, the procedure is not appropriate for everyone. (4)

Because of the potential for severe consequences, patients with the following conditions should not undergo this therapy. These conditions consist of the following:

  • cold agglutinin disease
  • cryoglobulinemia
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH)

Before making an appointment with a plastic or cosmetic surgeon to have the operation done, you should discuss it with your primary care physician, regardless of whether or not you suffer from any of the abovementioned problems. (4)

How Long Do the Effects of This Treatment Last?

The outcomes of your CoolSculpting treatment should be long-lasting. Once CoolSculpting kills fat cells, those cells do not return.

However, if you gain weight following your CoolSculpting procedure, you risk gaining fat in the area or areas where it was previously treated.

Is It Worthwhile to Get Coolsculpting Done?

To get the most out of CoolSculpting and minimize the chance of unpleasant side effects, it is best to have the procedure performed by a skilled medical professional, carefully plan out the treatment, and undergo multiple sessions. (4)

It is also crucial to remember that many studies that extol its benefits and safety have been funded by companies with a financial stake in the operation. This is something that should be kept in mind. (4)

Even if this does not prove that the majority of these studies are bogus, it is an essential point to keep in mind.

When it comes to methods of fat reduction, CoolSculpting does have several advantages over more conventional liposuction, including the following:

  • it’s noninvasive
  • it’s nonsurgical
  • it requires almost no recovery time

After each of your treatments, you are free to travel independently back to your home and immediately resume your usual activities. (4)

Suppose you are thinking about getting CoolSculpting done. In that case, you should weigh the potential benefits against the potential drawbacks and discuss your options with your physician to determine whether or not it is the best option for you. (4)

Having An Understanding of the Risks Involved with Coolsculpting

“CoolSculpting” refers to a specific form of medical procedure known as “cryolipolysis.” Cryolipolysis is a noninvasive medical therapy that helps kill undesirable fat cells beneath the skin. The process is named for its use of liquid nitrogen. (5)

If you consider having CoolSculpting done, you must be informed of the potential adverse effects, although the procedure has several beneficial outcomes. (5)


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has validated CoolSculpting as a reliable and risk-free medical procedure. (5)

Compared to other fat removal methods, such as liposuction, CoolSculpting offers several advantages. It does not involve surgery or invasive procedures, and no downtime is associated. (5)

After an operation, it may take four to six months for the damaged fat cells to be eliminated from the body. Cryolipolysis has been shown to reduce fat in the treated area by an average of 20%. (5)

The Fundamentals of Body Fat

Subcutaneous fat and visceral fat are the two categories of fat that are found in the human body.

1. Subcutaneous fat

Most of your total body fat is found under your skin, in the subcutaneous layer. This form of fat is seen as a layer beneath the skin and is the kind you may find in the areas around your arms, legs, and waist. (6)

Even though it is a necessary component of the human body, having an excessive amount of subcutaneous fat might put you at an increased risk for severe health disorders such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (6)

The subcutaneous fat is the target of cryolipolysis techniques.

2. Visceral fat

Your stomach, intestines, and liver are some of the significant organs encased in the visceral fat surrounding them. It is also possible for it to accumulate in the arteries. (6)

Even though visceral fat is needed to function your vital organs properly, excessive amounts can cause insulin resistance, increase blood pressure, and put you at a greater risk for serious health concerns. (6)

Is It Safe to Use Coolsculpting?

The FDA has given its stamp of approval to the use of cryolipolysis procedures such as Coolsculpting and others. (6)

Cryolipolysis has been the subject of several studies, all of which have come to the same conclusion: it is a practical, risk-free alternative to operations like liposuction, and it has few adverse effects. (6)

However, because these treatments are relatively recent additions to the industry, there is a shortage of information regarding their long-term impacts. (6)

Even while the CoolSculpting process is typically safe, you still risk experiencing some adverse effects after your treatment.

The following are some of the more prevalent adverse effects associated with CoolSculpting:

1. A throbbing or dull ache

After completing your CoolSculpting process, you might feel discomfort in the treatment area, such as stinging or aching. This is normal. This could be a result of the shallow temperatures that are used in the treatment. (7)

A study conducted in 2015 looked at the findings of persons who had collectively had 554 cryolipolysis operations over one year. According to the analysis results, post-treatment pain typically persisted between three and eleven days before disappearing. (7)

2. Irritation that is just temporary

Your skin may become irritated if it is subjected to chilly temperatures during the Coolsculpting procedure. This can result in:

  • bruising
  • edema
  • skin sensitivity, 
  • transient darkening of the skin

In most cases, this clears up on its own after a few weeks.

3. Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a side effect of CoolSculpting that occurs seldom but can have serious consequences. In this stage, fat cells in the treatment area expand rather than shrink. (7)

Cryolipolysis is associated with a syndrome known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which is seen more frequently in male patients. The root cause of this illness is still a mystery. (7)

Corrective liposuction or surgery may be necessary to eliminate the increased fat cells caused by paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. However, this side effect is more of an aesthetic concern than a physically hazardous one. (7)

Who Can Benefit from Having Coolsculpting Done?

The CoolSculpting procedure assists in the elimination of specific pockets of adipose tissue. It is not a treatment for weight loss but rather for fat loss.

Consequently, a person who wishes to diminish or eliminate localized pockets of fatty tissue that continue to exist despite the involvement of exercise and nutrition is a good candidate for CoolSculpting and other cryolipolysis treatments. (7)

Cryolipolysis therapies have a lower success rate in patients who are obese or have significant levels of fat in their bodies.

According to a literature study, persons in good health, who have no history of neurological or skeletal disorders, and have a normal renal function are the best candidates for cryolipolysis procedures like CoolSculpting. (7)

Who Should Not Get the Coolsculpting Procedure?

As mentioned above, most people are good candidates for the CoolSculpting since it is a safe and effective treatment. However, some people ought not to be subjected to this treatment. (7)

People who suffer from any of the following conditions are not candidates for CoolSculpting:

  • cryoglobulinemia
  • cold agglutinin disease
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

Individuals suffering from these conditions risk experiencing serious consequences after undergoing CoolSculpting.

Before making an appointment with a plastic or cosmetic surgeon to have the surgery done, you must discuss the matter with your primary care physician, regardless of whether or not you suffer from any of the preexisting diseases listed above. (7)

It is also essential to remember that CoolSculpting is not a treatment for excessive body fat like obesity. Instead, it can assist in eliminating little quantities of excess fat that are difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise alone. It can eliminate this fat with the use of this supplement. (7)

The Coolsculpting Method and Technique

During the CoolSculpting procedure, a surgeon or another qualified practitioner will use a specialized tool to expose particular portions of your body to cold temperatures or bring them to a temperature below freezing. This will help reduce the amount of fat in certain places. (7)

The treatment will first freeze and then kill any fat cells that are present in the region of your body that is being worked on. Your body will have broken down these dead fat cells and removed them through your liver after only a few weeks of treatment if you follow the instructions in this treatment plan. (7)

The Bottomline

Suppose you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting. In that case, you may take advantage of some of the benefits it offers over other procedures for eliminating fat that is available to you. (7)

Since the procedure does not include incisions, the patient will not have any scarring due to the treatment. In addition, no predetermined amount of time must be spent resting or recovering. It could be a few weeks before you notice any changes, but most patients experience a full recovery within the first six months after finishing their therapy. (7)

Keep in mind though that to lose weight and permanently achieve your ideal body weight, you must practice a healthy lifestyle. 


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322060#
  2. https://www.sculptmdmedspa.com/blog/weight-loss-with-coolsculpting/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/coolsculpting
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/coolsculpting-risks
  5. https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-beauty/coolsculpting/
  6. https://premierecenters.com/2020/04/01/how-much-fat-can-you-lose-with-coolsculpting/
  7. https://www.vogue.com/article/what-is-coolsculpting-weightloss-fat-freezing
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