CoolSculpting: Understanding The Cosmetic Procedure

Evidence Basedcheckmark

CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure to eliminate stubborn fat deposits through cryolipolysis.

CoolSculpting® Overview - 973

The Skinny

Average Recovery

5 days




Thermal Treatment




$2000 - $4000


Before & After Images by Provider

CoolSculpting® Before, Female 48 - 4039CoolSculpting® After, Female 48 - 4039
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CoolSculpting® Before, Male 46 - 4038CoolSculpting® After, Male 46 - 4038
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CoolSculpting® Before, Male 46 - 4037CoolSculpting® After, Male 46 - 4037
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CoolSculpting® Before, Male 46 - 4036CoolSculpting® After, Male 46 - 4036
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The Specifics

What is CoolSculpting®?

CoolSculpting® (a.k.a. cryolipolysis) is a non-surgical fat removal process approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CoolSculpting® is not a weight loss solution, rather it is an adjunctive treatment to a healthy diet and exercise for fat reduction in stubborn fat deposits. CoolSculpting® can target the abs, love handles, thighs, back, bra fat area, upper arms, and underneath the chin. CoolSculpting® uses cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy fat cells.

What cosmetic concerns does a CoolSculpting® procedure treat?

  1. Abdominal Contour: Excess, stubborn belly fat can be removed via CoolSculpting®.
  2. Arm Shape & Size: Stubborn fat deposits on the back/bottom of the arms can be removed via CoolSculpting®.
  3. Buttocks Shape & Size: The buttocks are a common area for CoolSculpting® due to the naturally high fat cells deposits.
  4. Excess Body Fat: CoolSculpting® directly freezes fat cells for significant improvements to stubborn fat deposits.
  5. Gender Confirmation: Body contouring can be achieved through strategic CoolSculpting® for a more authentic body aesthetic for both male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM) patients.
  6. Leg Shape & Size: Fat cells at the tops of the thighs can be reduced with a CoolSculpting® procedure.
  7. Mommy Makeover: CoolSculpting® can help restore the pre-baby body by removing collections of fat resistant to diet and exercise.
  8. Neck & Jaw Definition: Strategic CoolSculpting® can contour and define the jaw and neck area.

Who is the ideal candidate for a CoolSculpting® procedure?

The ideal candidate for a CoolSculpting® procedure is in generally good health, at a stable weight, and has excess stubborn fat. CoolSculpting® is not recommended for patients with cold urticaria, Raynaud’s, or those with severe varicose veins, dermatitis, or other cutaneous lesions.

What is the average recovery associated with a CoolSculpting procedure?

Side effects following a CoolSculpting procedure include mild discomfort lasting a few days. Bruising and swelling in the treated area may last up to a week. All normal activities can be resumed as tolerated following the cosmetic procedure.

What are the potential side effects of a CoolSculpting procedure?

Possible side effects following a CoolSculpting® procedure include discomfort, redness, bruising, sweling, and skin sensitivity. Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) is a rare but serious adverse effect in which hardened areas of localized fat that develop after cryolipolysis.

What can someone expect from the results of a CoolSculpting® procedure?

The results of a CoolSculpting® procedure will require two to three initial treatments. Final results will develop within four to six months, but will begin to become noticeable in as little as three weeks. The results are subject to changes from natural aging and weight gain.

What is the average cost of a CoolSculpting® procedure?

A CoolSculpting® procedure can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. The actual cost of CoolSculpting® is dependent upon location, board certified facial plastic surgeon or healthcare provider, and length and involvement of the procedure. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of CoolSculpting®.


  • Noninvasive
  • Proven Effective


  • Takes Time To See Results
  • Multiple Treatments

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive procedure that destroys fat cells by freezing targeted areas on the body via an applicator applied to the skin. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a CoolSculpting treatment.

The Takeaway

CoolSculpting® is an FDA-cleared fat reduction treatment for non-surgical fat reduction in stubborn fat areas through cryolipolysis.

Is this article helpful?

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. GB Forbes Body Fat Content Influences the Body Composition Response to Nutrition and Exercise; 2000-05-01
  2. Paul Cohen, Bruce M Spiegelman Cell Biology of Fat Storage; 2016-08-15


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