Coolsculpting Frequently Asked Questions

What is coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is a non-invasive procedure that reduces existing bulges of fat in your body without any surgery or down time.
Where does coolsculpting work and what does it treat?
Coolsculpting treats fat bulges present on the body. Click to view coolsculpting before and after photos and see more examples.
What makes up a fat bulge?
A fat bulge is the presence of fat cells (adipocytes) beneath the skin of your body. When sufficiently accumulated these fat cells externally appear as bulges.
Who is an ideal candidate for coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting works best on body fat bulges that are resistant to diet and exercise. These stubborn bulges are ideal for coolsculpting.
What are some examples of fat bulges?
Fat bulges can occur anywhere on your body. This includes the lower belly, upper belly, under bra fat, back fat bulges, love handles, the “muffin top”, arms, legs and thighs.
How do I get rid of fat bulges?
Traditionally surgery was the only effective way to get rid of fat bulges. This most likely required liposuction (lipoplasty) to contour the body. Many technologies have claimed to improve body contour using radio frequency devices, infrared technology however minimal improvement was noted. Coolsculpting is a newer, incredibly effective technique used to improve the contour of the body by targeting specific fat bulges within your body. The results are undeniable and natural.
How does coolsculpting work?
Coolsculpting causes a permanent reduction in the amount of fat cells that are present within the treated fat bulges of your body. The coolsculpting technology works on a principle called cryolipolysis.
What is cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis is the method by which coolsculpting eliminates the fat bulges in the body. It literally means cold induced fat cell destruction. Research has shown that fat cells (adipocytes) are destroyed by exposure to cold temperatures. Many people refer to this as freezing the fat, although technically it is really cooling the fat to a specified temperature that induces cryolipolysis. Importantly, the temperature that it takes to destroy fat cells is above that of the temperature that would cause injury to skin, muscle and nerves. For this reason, the cool sculpting technology works safely to eliminate fat cells without any damage to the surrounding structures.
Does coolsculpting really freeze the fat cell?
Technically the fat cells are being cooled to a temperature that induces them to be eliminated. The fat cells are not technically frozen.
Where does the fat go after coolsculpting?
Your coolsculpting treatment will induce the cryolipolysis process of eliminating fat cells. Unlike liposuction, where the fat cells are suctioned out of the body, the non-invasive coolsculpting treatment causes your body to naturally eliminate the fat cells through the lymphatic drainage system. The fat cells are then slowly excreted by the body over a period of the next several months.
How long does it take to see results from coolsculpting?
The majority of the results will be seen at about 2 months after the coolsculpting procedure is performed. Many of our patients start to notice the results as soon as 3 weeks after the procedure. You may continue ot see improvement even after 3 months. Most of out before and after coolsculpting photos are 2 months after the procedure unless otherwise specified.
Is any anesthesia necessary for coolsculpting?
No. Coolsculpting is a completely non-invasive procedure. There are no needles, and no anesthesia is needed.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a body contouring procedure where an instrument called a cannula is used to remove (suction out) the fat from areas where improvement is desired in the contour of the body. Liposuction involves anesthesia, either local, sedation or general. It takes months to see the final results from liposuction and does involve discomfort. Coolsculpting is a non-invasive alternative to liposuction.
When will I see my coolsculpting results?
Many of our patients start noticing results just 3 weeks after the procedure. It usually takes 2 months to see the near complete results, and this is when your after coolsculpting photos will be taken.
Must I diet and excercise after coolsculpting to see results?
There is no need to start a new diet or start a new exercise program before or after the coolsculpting procedure. It is recommended that you maintain the same program as you did prior to the procedure in order to maintain your weight and achieve the best possible results from your CoolSculpting procedure.
Is everyone a candidate for cool sculpting?
Many people are a candidate for cool sculpting. However, there are people that cool sculpting will not be sufficient for in order to contour the body. This depends on the type of fat you have and where it is located. In some instances cool sculpting will not be recommended and you may be better suited for liposuction or surgery. Your candidacy for the procedure will be assessed during your consultation.
What happens to the skin?
In most people the skin is sufficiently elastic and will contract after treatment. However if loose skin is the cause of your “bulge” then cool sculpting alone will not be sufficient to treat your condition. In these instances, a surgical procedure may be needed to correct this (tummy tuck procedure).
What happens during the procedure?
A protective gel pad will first be applied to the area being treated. Next, the coolsculpting applicator will gently draw your bulge into the device. Once applied, the device will be turned on and the fat will be cooled down. The device continuously monitors the temperature and adjusts it as necessary. Treatment of each bulge takes one hour to perform.
Does the coolsculpting procedure hurt?
When the device is first applied to the skin/fat bulge, the feeleing is like somoene pinching or squeezing your fat. This initial discomfort goes away in the first 5-8 minutes. After 10 minutes most of our patients are relaxing, reading a book, watching a movie, sleeping, etc.
What is the recovery from coolsculpting like?
After the procedure you can resume your regular activities. Many of our patients have even worked out or went to yoga the same day. You may experience some mild discomfort in the area of treatment. Numbness is usually present afterwards and can take several weeks to resolve. Pain medication is rarely ever needed, but extra strength Tylenol can be taken. We advise you against taking any anti-inflammatory agents (such as Aspirin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Alleve, etc.) for the first 2 months after the coolsulpting procedure.
How many coolsculpting treatments will I need?
Most patients only need one coolsculpting treatment. Repeat treatments can be performed after 3 months if additional reduction in the fat bulges is desired.
What is Zeltiq?
Zeltiq is the name of the parent company that makes coolsculpting. This is not to be confused with Zerona which is an entirely different company with an entirely different product.
Is CoolSculpting by Zeltiq FDA cleared?
Yes. Coolsculpting is FDA cleared for fat reduction.
Can CoolSculpting be performed on the neck?
Currently there is no applicator for CoolSculpting to be safely performed on the neck. However, as a CoolSculpting Center of Excellence we forsee that this will perhaps be available in the future. In the meantime, submental liposuction is a minimally invasive alternative with little downtime.

Dr. Jacob D Steiger MD is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery. He practices in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Florida treating patients from Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, as well as patients from all over the US and from around the world.