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Is Body Sculpting Painful?

Body sculpting is a nonsurgical and noninvasive method to eliminate fat from the body. There are several kinds of body contouring procedures that all help shape and tone the body. These methods involve surgery, laser, or fat freezing. Because of this, some people may think that body sculpting is painful and so they are hesitant to get these. 

But how much pain is experienced during a body sculpting treatment? The pain experienced during a body sculpting treatment will depend on how invasive it is. However, most body contouring procedures aren’t painful at all, which is why it is a preferred method to eliminate unwanted fat in the body. 

Pain Experienced From Different Body Sculpting Procedures

The pain experienced from body sculpting depends on which procedure you’re getting. Some may cause more pain, depending on how invasive they are. Here are the different kinds of body sculpting procedures and how much pain you experience from it:

1. Surgical Body Sculpting Methods

What it is: Surgery is one of the most common cosmetic procedures to remove fat from the body. Some of the most popular surgical body sculpting methods include liposuction, tummy tuck, arm contouring, breast augmentation or reduction, and a Brazilian butt lift. However, surgery can increase the risk of infection and can cause bruising and swelling. 

Pain Level: Because these require surgery, severe pain may be experienced before and after the procedure. Patients who undergo surgical body sculpting methods require a long recovery period and usually experience moderate pain and soreness 1-2 months after surgery. Because of this, make sure that you have no medical conditions that can impair wound healing.

2. Laser Lipolysis

What it is: Laser lipolysis is an enhanced liposuction technique which involves the use of laser energy to heat and destroy fat cells. It can target fat cells in the arms, thighs, and abdomen. During a laser lipolysis, the high temperature causes fat cells to die and be excreted naturally in a span of 12 weeks after the procedure. This cosmetic procedure also stimulates the production of collagen in the body which helps make the skin more taut. 

Pain Level: Compared to traditional liposuction, laser lipolysis does not cause severe pain. However, there may be some discomfort experienced during the treatment because of the tingling sensation of the laser. Side effects of laser lipolysis include numbness, scarring, and discolored or loose skin. 

3. Injectable Treatments

What it is: Injectables are another popular method to help achieve a better look. One example of an injectable treatment are Botox and dermal fillers. Another example of this treatment is Kybella where injections are used to break down fat. During a Kybella treatment, deoxycholic acid is injected to the chin area to reduce the appearance of a double chin. 

Pain Level: In general, injectable treatments do not cause a lot of pain. When getting an injectable treatment, a topical numbing cream is usually applied to reduce discomfort. There is minimal recovery time after an injectable treatment, but the patient may experience some side effects like redness, swelling, and bruising. 

4. Ultrasound Fat Reduction

What it is: Ultrasound technology can also help tone and sculpt different parts of the body. One popular procedure that uses this method is ultrasound cavitation, which is also known by its brand names: Liposonix or UltraShape. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasonic radio waves to break apart fat cells, which are further absorbed into the body by the lymphatic system to be eliminated. This procedure can target fat in the hips, thighs, and stomach.   

Pain Level: Since ultrasonic cavitation does not require any surgery, there is minimal discomfort experienced during the procedure. Some side effects like minimal pain and bruising may occur after the treatment.

5. Muscle Enhancement Treatments

What it is: One of the most popular muscle enhancement treatments is the EMSculpt, which mainly targets the abdomen. This procedure uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to contract abdominal muscles. A single EMSculpt session lasts about 20 minutes and provides results that are similar to doing thousands of sit-ups. The results of this cosmetic treatment lasts about six months.

Pain Level: The pain during an EMSculpt session depends on the intensity of the treatment, which the aesthetician has control over. Patients may feel a slight tugging on their abdomen during the procedure. Sore muscles, similar to what one can feel after exercising, is the most common side effect of EMSculpt. 

6. Temperature-Based Treatments

What it is: These treatments deliver a consistent temperature, whether hot or cold, to target fat cells inside the body. One of the most common temperature-based treatments is CoolSculpting. It is an FDA-approved procedure that uses a patented technology called cryolipolysis. This involves freezing fat cells in the body so that it can break down and be eliminated. 

CoolSculpting can be done on the abdomen, thighs, arms, love handles, and buttocks. It does not require any recovery time, and optimal results from this procedure are achieved in 1-3 months. This is an ideal procedure for healthy individuals who do not have any medical conditions.  

Pain Level: During a CoolSculpting treatment, the patient may feel a mild tingling sensation on the skin that might be uncomfortable. Patients who are sensitive to cold temperatures may also experience some pain. Redness, bruising, numbness, and swelling of the treated site may also be experienced.  

How to Minimize Pain During and After a Body Sculpting Procedure

Though most body sculpting procedures do not cause a lot of pain, there are some options available to help make the treatment more comfortable. Here are some ways to minimize the pain during and after a body contouring procedure:

  • Over-the counter medication: Some body sculpting treatments may require anesthesia or numbing creams to minimize the pain. But for treatments that do not require these, doctors may recommend taking certain over-the-counter medication to make you more comfortable.
  • Consulting with medical professionals: It is important to consult with a doctor or a medical professional before receiving a body sculpting treatment. Body contouring is still a medical procedure that requires special skills to safely achieve the desired results. Professionals are highly-skilled in these medical procedures and can also help identify any health conditions that you may have which could affect the results of the treatment and prevent any unwanted outcomes.
  • Make sure that you’re healthy: Before a body contouring procedure, it’s important to identify any medical conditions that you may have. Ideal candidates for most procedures are healthy individuals with no pre-existing medical conditions. Conditions like diabetes, obesity, and immunodeficiency can all affect your recovery from these procedures. Ideally, these people should also be within 30% from their ideal body weight and already have a healthy lifestyle.  
  • Following the aftercare advice of the doctor: After a body sculpting treatment, it is important to follow the aftercare advice of the doctor. This helps minimize any pain that you may feel after the procedure. You should also remember to keep a healthy lifestyle to maintain the results of any body contouring procedure.  

CoolSculpting Treatments at NJ Center of CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is regarded as one of the most effective methods to remove fat and contour the body. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require any downtime. The treatment also yields long lasting results. 

Here at the NJ Center of CoolSculpting, we offer safe and effective CoolSculpting treatments to help target any problem areas. We have a team of medical professionals you can consult with to help achieve your desired results. 

Our team is dedicated to help you feel and look your best. For more information about the NJ Center of CoolSculpting and our other aesthetic services, you may give us a call and set an appointment with us. 

Learn more: Are CoolSculpting Results Permanent?

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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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