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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23 Consumer Reviews for CoolSculpting

Average Consumer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  19
Bottom Line: 9% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 23
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  • 6 out 6 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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  • 16 out 16 people found this review helpful

    What an experience

    I had CoolSculpting done March 2017 on four areas on the same day. It was not good for me at all. The suction kept feeling like something was tickling me the entire time. The areas were so frozen and extremely sensitive when they massaged it afterward. Days later I had terrible neuropathy pain and was in this mess for over a month. I did see a result, but that area is now deformed with unequal areas. What a mistake for me. I do not recommend it at all. I want my $3800.00 back, LOL.

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

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  • 21 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money!

    I won a CoolSculpting treatment at one of the spa bashes in a local spa. I was so excited and just knew that what they were saying about me losing the fat around my waist as gonna make me so happy. And they said there was no "downtime." Reality set in when I was in the bed for a week with a lot of pain. I am so glad I didn't pay any money for this. It is a joke. My waist is bigger than it has ever been after a year has passed. The best way to get rid of fat is the old-fashioned way; diet and exercise.

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

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  • 20 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Extremely disappointed with the procedure

    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Mar 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had my lower and upper abs done in June of 2017. I was told 20-40% reduction in the treated areas. In October 2017 I still had not seen any results. I wrote to the doctor's office (Sonterra Dermatology) and told them how disappointed I was with the results. I never heard back from the office initially. I wrote again in January 2018, and they said they would contact me about coming in for pictures, and they never called.

    Now, finally, in March 2018 I have heard from them because I have been IMing them asking to speak with the office manager. I am scheduled, finally, to go in and take pictures for March 27. So, we will see. I have not lost any weight with this, but I understand it wasn't about weight loss. I was 145 pounds, and I won a "free small area" in a raffle. So I paid $1400 for both lower and upper abs, with the upper abs being the free area.

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

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  • 45 out 46 people found this review helpful

    Worst mistake of my life

    • Louisville, KY,
    • Feb 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do NOT do CoolSculpting!

    I don’t know if the place I went messed up, or if this is normal, but it was the worst mistake of my life. The tech put the machine on my stomach, and it was instantly painful. I thought the pain would go away when it got numb. It didn’t. The lady left me there for the whole treatment so I couldn’t ask if this was normal. I debated calling the front desk from my cell phone to get someone in, but I sucked it up. It wasn’t just a little painful, it was terrible. I cried. A lot. Did they suck up my organs? It couldn’t have been just my skin and fat.

    When I got home, I threw up for hours. Maybe from the pain, maybe the numbed my stomach. Who knows. It was bad.

    Then about 3 days later I felt the deep pain that comes with it. A pain that does not go away no matter what meds you take, what position you are in, or what compression things you wear. It’s a pain I can’t explain that lasted 13 days! Day, night, it didn’t matter. But, I was still hoping for this sexy body, so I endured it with a positive attitude.

    Initially, you swell up, so I didn’t think anything of it when my belly bloated for a month. But after two, three, four months I started to lose that positive energy. It never went down. And it’s been over a year. In fact, my stomach is bigger now than it was before I had the procedure. And to top that off, I now have cellulite. Never had it before. I look disgusting.

    I wish I could go back and never have done CoolSculpting. And I’d rate it a zero star if it let me.

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

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  • 31 out 32 people found this review helpful

    CoolSculpting gets 0 stars from me

    • Michigan,
    • Feb 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I spent $4500 on CoolSculpting, and it did not work. They will not refund your money or offer another treatment. Importantly, the treatment can be done by anyone.

    The person doing the treatment does not need to be trained or certified. It's a waste of money. If CoolSculpting stood behind what they do, they would force people to be trained before using the machine to make sure it was done correctly. There are better practices.

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

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  • 33 out 33 people found this review helpful

    No good!

    I got CoolSculpting done, and when I went in 3 months later for my check up, I looked exactly the same in my before and after pictures. The woman tried to find the smallest difference in the pictures but to be honest, there was none. I wasted a big amount of my money on that. I could have just gotten a personal trainer. I also had a stabbing pain in my stomach for about 3 weeks after the treatment, and it wasn't even worth it.

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

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  • 49 out 49 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed

    • Winston Salem, NC,
    • Dec 19, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 58 years old and weigh 135-140 pounds (20 pounds more than I use to weigh) since a hysterectomy and menopause. I have always had a flat stomach until the hysterectomy. I have added pounds around my midsection and I thought CoolSculpting sounded like the answer to my prayer to get rid of the extra fat.

    When I went in for my consultation, I was told that I barely qualified and one treatment should do what I was asking for. I had the first treatment in May and 60 days later I saw no results, so I had a second treatment in July.

    It is now December and $3,000 later, and I have seen NO results whatsoever. I can't even say how disappointed I am. I am still paying for it and I can't even say how much I wish I had never chosen to do that.

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

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  • 35 out 38 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money!

    • Sunset Beach, CA,
    • Nov 28, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I spent $1,200.00 on arms and $1,000.00 on the abdomen with ZERO results. ZERO. Complete waste of money.

    I had it done at DermFx in Sunset Beach, and although the people were nice, the facility was less than clean; dirty rags on the floor, dust and grime on the equipment, overfilled trash cans.

    Absolutely no follow up from the staff, seems they already knew they didn't need "after" pics. Hmmm.

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

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  • 14 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Good things come to those who wait!

    • Scottsdale, AZ,
    • Sep 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had CoolSculpting almost four weeks ago. I was really nervous that I made a bad decision after the first week, but I think I am finally starting to see results! My stomach feels flatter, and I even wore a dress this week without my Spanx. I never do that!

    The day after my treatment, my tummy was very swollen and felt very strange. It's really hard to describe, but it was numb, swollen, tender and almost felt like one of those gel mouse pads you rest your wrist on when working on your computer. My swelling is now gone, but there's still a little sense of numbness there. I asked the gal who did my treatment if that was normal and she said I had nothing to worry about.

    I'd recommend the treatment. I probably wouldn't have said that three weeks ago. I was really scared I made the wrong decision. I guess you just have to be patient.

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

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  • 65 out 65 people found this review helpful

    Vanity got the best of me

    • Mississauga, Ontario, Canada,
    • Sep 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had CoolSculpting done in my dermatologist's office in April 2017. One round was performed on my abdomen for belly fat and one round under my chin. I weighed 137 pounds then, and I weigh 138-140 pounds now. It was made clear that CoolSculpting is not about losing weight but "sculpting" those areas that are resistant to diet and exercise, and that one treatment would sculpt away up to 22-25% of that unwanted fat, and that it could take up to three months to see results. (All code for covering their behinds).

    Well, five months later the only thing looking trimmer is my bank account. No change in how my clothes fit, no change in weight and not one person has noticed a difference in the way I look.

    To add "injury to insult," the abdominal cramping was so bad, even weeks after the procedure, that the clinic had to prescribe painkillers for me,

    My advice: don’t waste your money; it’s a scam and after one treatment and no results they’ll just tell you you need a second treatment and you will have to pay all over again. Needless to say, I refused to put myself or my wallet through that again. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    Up until this experience, I had great respect for my dermatologist. Sadly, no more.

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

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