About CoolSculpting

Compared to other fat loss treatments, CoolSculpting’s non-surgical cryolipolysis technology freezes fat cells and gets rid of them, without any recovery time. Because of this, it’s claimed to be the "world's #1 body contouring procedure" in use today!

But can CoolSculpting’s cooling treatment really eliminate fat and give you the results you’re after?

To help answer this, here we’ll cover exactly what CoolSculpting is, how it works, what you can expect during and after treatment, and a whole lot more!

First, let’s first begin with the back story.

CoolSculpting: From Popsicles To Fat Freezing

When it comes to science and medicine, it’s often the case that ordinary, everyday observations can lead to some of the biggest breakthroughs.

For example: did you know that CoolSculpting—a non-surgical, controlled-cooling treatment that freezes and eliminates unwanted fat—was developed because of popsicles?

Harvard doctors Dieter Manstein and R. Rox Anderson noticed that children who ate popsicles were more likely to get dimples. Why? Because the fat cells in their cheeks had been eliminated due to the repeated exposure to cold.

From there, the two doctors developed the cryolipolysis technology found in CoolSculpting (more in a moment), which is claimed to permanently eliminate fat cells around your thighs, love handles, and belly by freezing them. But unlike other procedures, CoolSculpting requires almost no down time and is completely non-invasive.

But CoolSculpting may not work for everyone, and like any other cosmetic procedure, you could end up disappointed if you don’t keep your expectations realistic. To help you decide if CoolSculpting is right for you, and to help you avoid potential frustration, we’ve found some answers to your most common questions and concerns.

Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

Before going any further, it’s important to understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss. These terms are often used interchangeably, and it might make sense that if you lose fat, you’ll lose weight. But they’re not the same.

When you lose weight through dieting, you’re only reducing the size of your fat cells. They’re still there, so it’s possible for them to get bigger again, which can result in weight gain and an unsightly appearance.

CoolSculpting, on the other hand, selectively crystallizes, or freezes, fat cells directly below the surface of your skin. Then, over the course of weeks or months, your body naturally drains these fat cells from your body.

What does this mean? Since these fat cells are no longer present, they can’t swell at some point down the road, leading to weight gain and a flabbier physique.

While CoolSculpting might provide targeted fat loss around your thighs, love handles, and belly, it won’t provide much in the way of weight loss. When it comes to before and after pictures, the treatment’s website even notes, “Patients are within +/- 5 lbs of their original weight in their after photo unless otherwise noted.”

How does CoolSculpting accomplish this fat reduction?

CoolSculpting’s Cryolipolysis Technology

During Treatment

When undergoing a CoolSculpting procedure, your physician will begin by marking areas where treatment will occur. Then, they’ll place a thin, damp layer over your skin.

Once in place, they will turn on CoolSculpting’s handheld device. This features two metal plates (similar to a large flat iron for hair) that provide cooling to nearly 4 degrees Celsius, as well as suction to ensure it latches on properly.

After a pre-set cool down period, the CoolSculpting process begins and generally lasts about an hour. During this time, the treatment will crystallize the subcutaneous fat directly under your skin, without damaging the skin itself. Consequently, this causes an inflammatory response, which results in localized fat cell death.

Want to see for yourself exactly how the CoolSculpting procedure works? This is a great place to start.

During the process, you shouldn’t experience much (if any) discomfort, other than a coolness and perhaps a light pinching. You can read, watch videos, work on your laptop, or even take a nap.

After Treatment

Once the CoolSculpting treatment is complete, the doctor will remove the device. Underneath, you’ll likely notice some redness and swelling, which will gradually decrease over the next several minutes. However, you may continue experiencing numbness, bruising, tingling, swelling, and even some pain for several hours afterward.

In most instances though, you can go about your normal everyday activities as soon as you leave the office.

Your first CoolSculpting treatment is typically the most effective one, although your doctor may recommend follow up treatments. According to the available evidence, you’ll like start seeing results within a few days (once the inflammation has had time to subside), with full results in 6-12 weeks.

Since CoolSculpting and cryolipolysis are relatively new technologies though, long-term effectiveness and side effects are largely unknown.

Pretty cool, right? But even though cryolipolysis has a fair amount of evidence backing it up, does this mean it’s right for you?

The Ideal CoolSculpting Candidate

For the most part, do you eat right and exercise regularly (we all have our slip-ups now and again!)? Are you within 30 pounds of your ideal weight?

If so, but you just haven’t been able to lose stubborn fat around your belly, love handles, or thighs, then you might be a good candidate for CoolSculpting.

Basically, CoolSculpting is considered a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, and is aimed at removing diet and exercise-resistant fat that’s causing “noticeable bulges in certain areas.” It is not, however, considered a viable option for obese patients or those who are looking to lose weight.

Also, you shouldn’t undergo a CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.

As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before deciding on any kind of cosmetic treatment. For more, CoolSculpting’s Am I a Candidate questionnaire can help you decide.

At least on paper, CoolSculpting seems like a logical choice if you want to get rid of fat in specific areas. In the real world though, what are customers saying about their experiences?

The CoolSculpting Patient Experience

If you search online for “CoolSculpting review,” you’ll receive thousands of results. To help you cut through the clutter, here’s what most of them appear to be saying.

Overall, CoolSculpting appears to have a positive online reputation. On RealSelf.com, 72% of users gave the treatment a thumbs up, citing positive results, little-to-no pain or discomfort, and the ability to quickly get back to normal life.

Those who didn’t recommend CoolSculpting claimed that it was expensive and didn’t provide adequate results, and nerve pain and other side effects (one person even claims to have suffered a pulmonary embolism).

Individual reviews on Coldsculpting.net and RealChickReviews also seemed positive, while Momdot.com’s author experienced only minimal results.

Zeltiq Aesthetics, the company behind CoolSculpting, is based out of Pleasanton, CA. They had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research, based on just 5 closed complaints (as of 8/25/15). Most of these referenced high prices and poor results.

Where does this leave you? Like any other cosmetic procedure, some patients will experience better results than others, and CoolSculpting is no different. Again, talk with your doctor about what you can realistically expect—just keep in mind that not even they can know exactly how your body will react to the treatment beforehand.

You can’t know how much value CoolSculpting will provide before you know what it costs, so let’s cover that next.

CoolSculpting’s Price

CoolSculpting is just technology; not the company who will be performing your procedure. And because every doctor’s office or cosmetic clinic can charge their own rate, what you’ll end up paying for your treatment can vary.

Given this, there weren’t any prices listed on the company’s website, although according to 81 physician responses on RealSelf, CoolSculpting procedures generally cost between $650 (standard applicator, smaller areas on petite women) and $1,800 (largest applicator, usually for the abdomen).

If your doctor recommends multiple treatments, they’ll often provide package discounts of up to 25%. Some practices even offer CoolSculpting Membership Programs for repeat customers!

We’ve covered a lot of territory in this review, so let’s wrap everything up in a nice, neat package. Should you give CoolSculpting a try?

Should You Use CoolSculpting’s “Big Freeze” for Fat Loss?

Considering the mounting evidence supporting cryolipolysis, as well as the mostly positive online patient reviews, CoolSculpting will likely provide some help in your battle of the bulge. It’s also about half as expensive as traditional liposuction, while remaining non-invasive.

This bulge, however, only references the fat around your belly, thighs, or love handle areas, but will not provide any kind of meaningful weight loss.

Ultimately, you’ll only know if CoolSculpting will work for you after undergoing a treatment, although your doctor can help you gain a much clearer picture of what to expect beforehand.

Then, once your CoolSculpting treatment is complete, be sure to come back to HighYa, leave a review, and tell the world about your experience.

See Also: Considering Coolsculpting? Learn Its Effectiveness, Side Effects & Costs

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41 Consumer Reviews for CoolSculpting

Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 5 1 star:  32
Bottom Line: 10% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 41
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed

    • Arizona,
    • Nov 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried to do my homework to read about this procedure. I thought I was a good candidate since I'm active and overall thin with just the stubborn fat around my midsection. I went to two places for consultations/pricing and chose one. I put this procedure on my credit card since it was more than I could afford at the time. I thought it would be worth it in the end, but too MUCH disappointment - a total waste of money! I wish I could have that money back and just spend a bit more time in the gym.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it!

    • Boca Raton, FL,
    • Nov 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I did in May the first time and in September the second time, big mistake. My fat didn't disappear but got bigger and deformed. They don't tell you about the not so rare side effects, the PAH, that the only way to fix it is the liposuction and the tummy tuck. Think about how you will waste your money and you will become a monster like me. You'll buy new clothes because you became fatter, you will have so much pain after the CoolSculpting, and most likely after the liposuction, you will lose weeks at your job and you'll be so depressed because you see your deformed body in the mirror every single day, and this will affect your relationship with your friends, with your partner, and with your family!

    Don't make the big mistake I made, don't do CoolSculpting!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Not working

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Nov 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’m a little Asian girl and I have this stubborn belly fat, but I’m not obese. I want to get rid of this little fat hanging around my waist. The doctor I went to said it would be easy. I tried CoolSculpting back in July, I worked every day and tried not to eat any unhealthy food, but CoolSculpting didn’t work at all. It’s November now and I still have a belly fat. This process might be wrong or fake. I don’t want to spend more money just to find out that it doesn’t work at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    No results

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am eighty years young in very good shape, 124 lbs, 5' 5" tall. I had a pretty flat stomach up to the age of 68. That's when my stomach gradually started getting bigger, and now I look like I'm pregnant. I was told that I was a good candidate for CoolSculpting, so I decided to try it. I paid $1000.00 for the large size. It's now 11 weeks and no results, and I have lost 2 lbs but no change in the stomach. It was painless and there were no complications or down time. I am very disappointed as I still have a good figure except for my big belly. I used to be a model when I was young, and I also taught dancing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it!

    • Florida,
    • Nov 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My husband bought me a CoolSculpting package for my 40th birthday present and I was very excited to get rid of my little belly pouch, and three months later, NOTHING! I am so disappointed, what a scam!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money

    • Florida,
    • Oct 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don't waste your money. I do the treatment and the only difference I see reduce is my pocket. If you want real results, go to the Plastic Surgery MD or go old fashion of doing exercises are the only two ways.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Consulted with Melbourne, Florida location

    • Florida,
    • Oct 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The procedure is a farce, and there were no results. They called me about a month after to ask if I noticed any change, I told them no, and she said it could take 3 or more months. I never heard from them again, and had no change in belly fat or love handles. I contacted them, no return calls, left messages about spending $3,900.00 and received zero benefit.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 10 people found this review helpful

    CoolSculpting worked great!

    • Bellmore, NY,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The CoolSculpting procedure worked extremely well on my stomach and inner thighs. The results came just in time for my wedding.

    It is very important to go to a place who has a lot of experience. The place I went to is a diamond facility. This was rated from the CoolSculpting website. It means that they have treated thousands of clients.

    I happen to have been a client of Laser Plus Spa in Bellmore in the past, and to find out that they're a diamond facility, plus I know they have the same Medical Technicians for many years, so for me, it was a no-brainer.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Michigan,
    • Oct 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had four stomach areas treated with CoolSculpting. No noticeable change after 16 weeks, except the money disappearing from my wallet...$3000.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money!

    • Mobile, AL,
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    To start, I’m a 39-year-old male, average weight but with some "flab" on my belly.

    I had CoolSculpting done twice and it’s a waste of time and money. The first time was in 2014, and it used the larger sized device that went across my lower abdomen. I knew right away that it wasn’t going to work because the fat didn’t look hard and frozen when they removed the device like I had seen in videos. They assured me everything was fine though. A year later, and zero results. The cost was $1k.

    Fast forward to 2015, and I decided to try the SculpSure laser treatment in the same area since it was advertised at my urologist's office (strange place huh?). Again, $1k spent and zero results.

    Fast forward again to 2018, and I give CoolSculpting a second chance since they supposedly improved the applicators. This time I had the smaller applicators done on both sides of my lower abs, a total cost of $1250 (I got a small discount since the original session didn’t work). This time I did see and feel the frozen fat, so I was really hopeful, but after 5 months, still no results. They took before and after photos, and even the lady that did the procedure admitted she didn’t see a difference.

    I don’t know, maybe it works for some people, but all of this stuff is just wasted money for me. It’s so frustrating because for the entire 3 months after the procedure you wait to start seeing results, and then nothing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    No result at all, lost $3000

    • Montreal, Canada,
    • Sep 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    In my consultation, we planned four treatments to treat my arms and my legs. I was supposed to be a perfect subject as I have enough to treat but not too much, so I was supposed to get amazing good results in only one treatment.

    We started with my arms.

    After the first treatment, I had the impression that my arms got tighten after six weeks, but after eight weeks, it became exactly like before.

    As the first treatment results were not good enough, I decide to retreat my arms and to forget about my legs, but I really wanted to fix my arms for good, it has to be at this price! $2400 CAD plus $360 tax!

    Again six weeks after the second treatment my arms got super tight! I was so happy with my new slim arms! But two weeks after, it started back to melt away. My arms are exactly what it was before.

    The clinic now offers me a third treatment for $500 plus tax. Should I really put $600 more for a treatment that doesn't work at all?!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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