How to Reduce Swelling After a CoolSculpting Treatment

Many people receive CoolSculpting treatments to reduce stubborn fat in specific areas of the body. The treatment is minimally invasive and requires little to no downtime, so it’s great for people who don’t want to go under the knife. Though CoolSculpting only has a few side effects, some patients may experience swelling of the treated area after a session, causing patients to be uncomfortable and worried.

So how can you reduce swelling after a CoolSculpting treatment? You can approach this issue by consulting with a professional, preparing beforehand, wearing compression garments, having some rest, protecting your skin, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting a massage. It’s also important that you monitor the swelling of the treated area so you know when to seek the help of a medical professional. 

How to Reduce Swelling After a CoolSculpting Treatment

Swelling is one of the uncomfortable side effects of CoolSculpting, but there are many ways to reduce it and prevent it from being a serious problem. Here are some tips on how to reduce swelling after the procedure: 

1. Consult With a Professional

Before receiving a CoolSculpting treatment or any body sculpting procedure, you should always consult with a professional. Doing this helps you manage your expectations about the procedure and determine whether a person is a proper candidate for the treatment. Some people may have existing medical conditions that affect the treatment’s results, causing them to experience more side effects like swelling. Consulting with a professional also helps you to understand more about CoolSculpting since they can guide you on what to do before and after the process. 

2. Prepare Beforehand

Preparing beforehand helps you reduce any swelling and other side effects you may experience after the procedure. Here are some ways to prepare before a CoolSculpting treatment:

  • Plan Your Downtime: Though CoolSculpting is a procedure that has minimal downtime, it’s still recommended to block out at least a couple days off your schedule after a treatment. This helps you recover better, especially if you’re experiencing any side effects like swelling and numbness. 
  • Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: Taking any anti-inflammatory medicine and certain supplements that can thin out your blood may interfere with the procedure’s healing process. Likewise, alcohol is also known to thin out your blood so it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol before the procedure as well. 
  • Refrain From Smoking: Smoking won’t really dramatically affect the results of a CoolSculpting treatment. However, you should refrain from smoking before the procedure because tobacco use is known to reduce the body’s healing ability.
  • Take Pain Reliever: CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure, so that means it doesn’t require any anesthesia. But if you don’t have high pain tolerance, some doctors may suggest that you take a pain reliever like Tylenol. Pain relievers can also help after the treatment if ever you feel some aches or experience other side effects. 

3. Wear Compression Garments

Compression garments are also known to speed up healing and prevent swelling after a CoolSculpting session. Wearing this kind of clothing also helps decrease the pain a person usually feels when receiving a CoolSculpting treatment. You can wear compression garments under your regular clothing for around a week or two after the treatment. This helps increase blood flow and lymphatic flow in the body and to yield better results. 

To put it more scientifically, let’s look at why athletes and gym-goers usually wear compression garments to improve their performance. The garment increases oxygen delivery and other parts of the body, allowing improvements in movement and mind-muscle connection. It also helps eliminate lymph waste that collects in the limbs after working out. This is extremely helpful after a CoolSculpting treatment because the dead fat cells in your body are eliminated through the lymphatic system.   

Some compression garments you can wear are the following: 

  • Regular Shapewear: This kind of garment is widely available on the market, and you can choose from a variety of shapewear brands. Shapewear hugs your body like a second skin and helps shape the treated area. There are different levels of compression available, so you can choose one you’re most comfortable with wearing. Some of the popular shapewear brands available on the market are Spanx, Maidenform, Commando, and SKIMS. 
  • Tight Clothing: If you don’t have any shapewear readily available, then you can go through your closet and find some tight clothing. Any tight tank tops, tube tops, or even a pair of leggings that fit the tummy work well in shaping the abdominal area.
  • Medical Compression Wear:  Medical-grade compression wear is specifically designed to help reduce swelling after a fat reduction treatment. This kind of garment also helps improve blood circulation and reduce the pain a patient experiences. Just like regular shapewear, medical-grade compression wear is available in different compression levels. 

4. Have Some Rest

Having some ample rest time after a CoolSculpting treatment is essential for healing and reducing swelling. While you can return to your normal activities right after a treatment, it’s not recommended that you participate in any strenuous activities. Don’t push yourself to go to the gym or tough household chores. Remember to also have enough sleep during the night so that your body heals properly. It’s recommended to rest for around 1-2 days after a CoolSculpting procedure to ensure that your body has calmed down from the treatment. 

5. Protect Your Skin

It’s not really required to protect your skin before a CoolSculpting treatment, but taking certain measures helps speed up the healing process. Before a session, you can protect your skin by limiting your sun exposure so that it becomes less sensitive to the treatment. Since CoolSculpting results develop gradually in a span of 3-6 months, make sure that you protect your skin throughout this time period. You can take care of your skin by: 

  • Drinking enough water
  • Avoiding touching or pinching the treated area
  • Refraining from applying too many products on the treated area
  • Avoiding too much sun exposure

6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the best ways to reduce the procedure’s side effects while achieving optimal results is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can live a proper and healthy lifestyle by doing the following: 

  • Regular Exercise: A few days after a CoolSculpting procedure, you may resume doing strenuous activities like heavy exercise. It’s not required that you do complicated exercise routines, but make sure that you are not living a sedentary lifestyle so that your blood keeps flowing. Basic exercise routines like going for a walk or a jog ensures that you’re keeping your body active after the treatment.
  • Proper Diet: Proper diet is essential when maintaining the results of a CoolSculpting procedure. Eating too many calories a day can make you gain weight easily and diminish the results of the treatment. Unhealthy food isn’t going to help with the healing process either, so you can save those kinds of food when you’ve fully recovered. 

    To guarantee that you’re not eating way too many calories, stick to whole foods like fruits, grains, and vegetables instead of processed foods. Whole foods are going to help you stay full and satisfied for longer, preventing unnecessary weight gain.
  • Drink Enough Water: Right after a CoolSculpting treatment, make sure that you are drinking enough water to aid the healing process. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you are healthy and that your body is expelling the dead fat cells effectively. So when you drink more water, the dead fat cells are eliminated from your body more quickly. 

7. Get a Massage

The last tip on how to reduce swelling after CoolSculpting is to get a massage. During a CoolSculpting treatment, the aesthetician already massages the treated area to target the dead fat cells under the skin. This massage may be uncomfortable and painful, but it’s great for speeding up the healing process. It’s also recommended that you get a follow-up massage after the treatment. 

One of the recommended kinds of massage to receive after CoolSculpting treatment is a lymphatic drainage massage. Since the fat is expelled from the body through the lymphatic system, this kind of massage is suggested to help maximize the body’s ability to remove toxins and waste and to yield optimal results. 

You can also choose to do a lymphatic drainage massage yourself, but you have to remember to be gentle and to only massage the skin and not the muscles underneath. A lymphatic massage is a procedure that works the superficial skin structure so it doesn’t need a lot of pressure. Refrain from being too harsh on the treated area because this can cause other complications, especially if you’ve just received a CoolSculpting treatment. 

Additionally, there are other tools like the jade roller and DIY lymphatic kits that help you perform the massage at home. To obtain the best results from a lymphatic drainage massage, drink at least 2-4 glasses of water so that your body can effectively flush out the waste and toxins. 

The Science Behind CoolSculpting

There are many advantages in receiving a CoolSculpting treatment and it’s why many people prefer it to other treatments. Still, learning more about CoolSculpting and how it compares to other treatments can help you determine whether it’s the best procedure for your needs. 

1. How CoolSculpting Removes Fat

CoolSculpting destroys fat cells in a certain area by applying a consistent freezing temperature. It targets subcutaneous fat in the body, which is the fat underneath the skin.The procedure is recommended for people who are already healthy and near their ideal weight. Remember that CoolSculpting is not a one-time solution that leads to weight loss -- weight loss is achieved through proper diet and exercise. 

This method was “discovered” by scientists when they first noticed how kids develop dimples when they suck on popsicles. The observation allowed scientists to find links between freezing temperature and fat removal, and so CoolSculpting was born. The procedure was FDA-approved in 2010 and was designed to initially target the flanks. Nowadays, CoolSculpting is able to eliminate fat deposits in different parts of the body like the abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks, submental area, and more. 

During a CoolSculpting treatment, an applicator is placed on the treated area to begin the procedure. You’ll also feel a slight tugging sensation from the machine being used. This can be cold and uncomfortable at first, but it eventually subsides as the area numbs. The process kills the fat cells without causing damage to any surrounding tissues or muscles in the area. 

People notice a 20-25% reduction of fat after one CoolSculpting treatment, but optimal results of CoolSculpting won’t be visible until after 3-6 months since the body takes some time to eliminate the dead fat cells. As mentioned above, the results of CoolSculpting need to be maintained after the treatment since the remaining fat cells can grow back, causing weight gain and additional inches. 

2. CoolSculpting Vs. Other Treatments

There are other treatments you can receive to eliminate fat from the body like liposuction, ultrasound fat reduction, laser lipolysis, and radiofrequency treatments. Here’s a table that indicates how CoolSculpting is different from other fat removal and body sculpting procedures:

TreatmentProcedureSide Effects/Downtime
CoolSculptingCoolSculpting targets and destroys fat cells using cryolipolysis, a technology that freezes fat cells. Each session lasts around 30-60 minutes, depending on the area being treated. There is no downtime for CoolSculpting, but patients may experience some swelling, numbness, and bruising of the treated area. 
LiposuctionThis is a surgical procedure that can help remove large amounts of fat in the body. A surgeon removes fat using a cannula and suction is applied while the cannula is moved through the fat deposit.Liposuction requires strict and significant downtime to ensure that the body heals properly. Since this is a surgical procedure, a patient may experience more side effects like skin infection and discoloration. 
Ultrasound Fat ReductionThis procedure uses ultrasound technology so that sonic waves can break down fat cell walls, and each treatment may take around 40 minutes to an hour.   There’s no downtime needed for this treatment, but some people may experience headaches, redness, and bruising after an ultrasound fat reduction. 
Laser LipolysisLaser lipolysis uses laser technology to heat and disrupt fat cells in the body. The treatment is around 25-minutes long and patients may feel some warmth and tingling during the procedure.Temporary redness, swelling, and tenderness of the treated area may be experienced. Laser lipolysis only requires little downtime. 
Radiofrequency TreatmentsThis kind of treatment uses radiofrequency technology to heat fat. Each session lasts around 30 minutes and can reduce fat without physical contact with the patient. Some mild tingling, redness and blistering may be experienced in the treated area. There is no recovery time required for this kind of treatment. 

Is Swelling After a CoolSculpting Session Normal?

Some people may worry about the swelling they experience after a CoolSculpting session, but it’s important to know that this side effect is totally normal and it’s actually part of the body’s healing process. 

What Causes Swelling After CoolSculpting?

After a CoolSculpting treatment, your body experiences an increase in blood flow, resulting in a slight swelling of the treated area. This blood flow is part of the body’s recovery process and helps with the body’s fat cell elimination. Swelling is also part of the body’s inflammatory response to removing the dead fat cells. You also have to remember that swelling can occur because of the cool temperature that is applied on the areas, just like when you place ice packs or frozen items above your skin. 

How Long Is the Swelling Time After CoolSculpting?

The swelling after a CoolSculpting treatment usually subsides after a few days, but it can also last up to two weeks. It takes about three weeks to start seeing gradual results after a CoolSculpting treatment so your body may still swell up during this time period. However, remember to monitor the swelling and consult your doctor if the problem persists for a longer time.

Other Side Effects of CoolSculpting

Aside from swelling, there are also other side effects from a CoolSculpting treatment. The freezing temperature applied during the procedure may cause the area to become numb for a while. Because of the sucking sensation from the machine, the patient may also experience pain and bruising after the treatment. There’s usually no need to worry about these side effects since they typically go away after a few days. 

However, there is one rare and adverse side effect of CoolSculpting which is paradoxical fat hyperplasia (PAH). This condition is when the treated area grows larger instead of getting smaller. It’s sometimes known as the “stick of butter effect” because of how the area starts to resemble a stick of butter. A person also cannot confirm whether they are experiencing PAH until 6 months after the treatment because this is when its symptoms start to show up. 

PAH happens when the fat freezing process activates a reactionary process in the fatty tissue, causing it to thicken up. Because of this, the fat cells start to expand instead of breaking down and to be eventually eliminated. This condition may cause people to be hesitant to receive CoolSculpting treatments, but this is a rare occasion and typically only happens if you visit inefficient professionals. 

CoolSculpting Procedures at the NJ Center for CoolSculpting

To ensure that you know what to do when you experience swelling and other side effects of CoolSculpting, it’s best to go to a trusted clinic. The NJ Center for CoolSculpting is one of the trusted clinics to go to for safe and effective CoolSculpting procedures. We have a team of highly experienced medical professionals you may consult with to help set your expectations for the treatment. 

Our team is happy to help you achieve your dream figure, and we promise to deliver amazing results that will definitely help you feel and look your best. To know more about us and the services we offer, you may set a consultation with one of our medical professionals. 

Learn more: Should I Wear Spanx After CoolSculpting?

Claim a coupon good for up to 50% off CoolSclupting®

Results Guaranteed!*

*Terms and restrictions may apply
  • By submitting this form you are agreeing to receive marketing and communication by SMS.

*Claim 50% off 8 Cycles , 32% off 6 cycles, 25% off 4. Value $800/cycle.

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

Top crossmenuchevron-down