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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33 Consumer Reviews for CoolSculpting

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  26
Bottom Line: 12% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 33
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  • 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    CoolSculpting works! Find a good provider!

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hey everyone! I'm shocked to see the number of negative experiences about CoolSculpting. Did these people actually get CoolSculpting or a knock-off treatment? I guess it's true what they say about people only speaking up if they have had a bad experience? I dunno, but it inspired me to write a review since I recently had a friend ask about my treatments. She was hesitant after reading reviews, so I wanted to share!

    I've had an amazing experience with all six of my CoolSculpting treatments. I've got my abdomen/flanks and inner thighs treated. I'm pregnant for the second time, and I swear, I still have my thigh gap during my second pregnancy because of CoolSculpting. I decided to get CoolSculpting because I wanted to jump start my pre-baby body. I went to a dermatologist in San Diego and they were so knowledgeable on CoolSculpting and ensuring I had a great experience. I used to play a sport in college, so I've had PLENTY of ice baths to help with muscle recovery. THIS WAS NOTHING LIKE ONE OF THOSE - so much easier.

    Of course, things are a bit awkward at first, but the treatment area goes numb in just a few minutes. After 35 minutes, they massage the area for about 2-3 minutes and it's a little funny feeling, but nothing to DETER me from getting the treatment...like come on! All I can say is make sure you do your research on the provider and make sure you are getting the REAL DEAL. CoolSculpting definitely works, but you have to manage your expectations and ask the doctor questions.

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Sep 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had it done three months ago. No difference. Just left my wallet short $1400. I got the chin procedure. I am convinced all the before and after pictures are photoshopped. I really believed this was the real thing. I guess with this day of technology, anything on a picture looks real. I reviewed and researched a lot before taking the plunge and paying that kind of money. I even had a coworker take weekly pictures. Only to see no results. What a scam.

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

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  • 14 out 15 people found this review helpful

    CoolSculpting is a scam!

    • Orange County, CA,
    • Sep 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried CoolSculpting about six months ago. I made an appointment for a consultation at a trusted medspa which I had been going to for a few years for other procedures. First of all, I am on the skinny/normal side, but I have lower abdomen fat and side flanks that I have been unable to get rid of.

    During my consultation, the doctor said I will definitely see a difference and I’m the perfect candidate. The guaranteed I’d get rid of the fat and achieve my body goals. I trusted her so I said ok, let’s do it!

    I’ll admit after the procedure I saw about a 10% difference, so I was happy that it was working. This is an expensive procedure, so I was thinking it was money well spent even though it was out of my budget.

    Basically it takes 90 days to see the results, so I waited. It’s been more than six months and my stomach looks exactly the same as it did before I went in. I contacted my medspa, and they said they could treat me again but I have to pay the full price. Maybe give me a $100 off...I was not about to pay $2400 again!

    I contacted the CoolSculpting company and was told I should speak with my medspa.

    So now I’m $2400 in the hole, and my stomach looks EXACTLY the same as before.

    I workout regularly and eat somewhat healthy. I did everything you’re supposed to do with the treatment, but I’m left with zero results, a bill and was told, "sorry there nothing we can do."

    So do yourself a favor and pass on this treatment.

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

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  • 3 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Awesome results

    • Pleasanton, CA,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was going in a bit skeptical, I am now a firm believer! In my opinion, it was a pain-free and stress-free experience. No down time from work. It was true that results are gradual and become noticeable after a couple months, but after three months, HUGE change. I had flanks and back done, my pants size is smaller and I lost the bra back fat. I have my confidence back to wear form-fitting shirts! Highly recommend.

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

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  • 16 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • California,
    • Sep 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I went in for CoolSculpting as a 50th birthday present to myself. Everyone says that I'm "thin," but I was never able to reduce the appearance of my mommy pooch after the births of my three kids. I wear a size 6 pant for reference. I went in for two or three treatments. After spending over $2000.00, there is absolutely no difference. The only thing I lost was my money. I'm writing this review two years later because I'm still so upset over the loss of my money! Don't do it.

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

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Perhaps

    • New Jersey,
    • Aug 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    There are the things that they do not tell, or I should say stress. I will say up front that I did not have a great experience. The first month was torture. I was in a lot of pain and could not touch my stomach at all. Where I had it done was very supportive, but it was not fun. The procedure itself was not comfortable. I was told that I was among the 15% that went through this, not sure about that. I think I had to much done at once...two eights and two sixes...I am not a heavy person. I did get some result, about 20% and that the best result would be to do it 2-3 more times. Never again. And I could not afford that. If I knew up front that the first time usually yields a 20-25% result, I would not have spent the money.

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

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Wasted money

    • Florida,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The procedure went as stated, and I did not experience devastating pain or other side effects like a lot of others, however, it did nothing to reduce my stomach. I ultimately spent the same amount as liposuction.

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

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  • 16 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Not happy

    • Fort Lauderdale, FL,
    • Aug 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 100 pounds and 5 feet with a little belly. I had it done twice in different locations thinking the first time maybe it wasn’t done correctly. However, after about $4000 less in my account and two years later, I look probably 5% less fat in my stomach, which is not notable. I would not recommend it.

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

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  • 22 out 24 people found this review helpful

    CoolSculpting fail

    • Allen, TX,
    • Jul 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had CoolSculpting on my stomach area. I have seen zero change since having the procedure. The actual procedure was not painful, but the manipulation of the area following was very very painful almost to the point I could not stand it. This was not explained before and was a complete surprise. There was no follow up by the office (skin specialists of Allen, Texas) of any kind, even when I canceled the 8-week picture appointment. Overall, I feel like I wasted $2200.

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

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Showing 1-11 of 33

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