CoolSculpting® FAQ

Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, is committed to empowering confidence with choices backed by science. This rings true with all leading aesthetics brands and products within our portfolio.  

We wanted to answer some questions you might have about CoolSculpting®. Read on to learn more about how we support our customers and their patients.

CoolSculpting® was first cleared by the FDA in 2010 for noninvasive subcutaneous fat reduction and is now indicated for treatment across 9 areas of the body. CoolSculpting® has been well studied with more than 100 scientific publications and more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide. Rare reported side effects can include Paradoxical Hyperplasia (PH), severe pain or late-onset pain and continue to be well-documented in the CoolSculpting® information for patients and health care providers and sample consent form given to health care providers to use with patients.

For full safety information, please go to:

Answering Your Questions About CoolSculpting®

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What is CoolSculpting®?

CoolSculpting® is FDA-cleared, noninvasive treatment that targets and eliminates fat cells in nine different areas in the body. This treatment has helped millions of patients worldwide. 

CoolSculpting® is not a treatment for weight loss and should never replace traditional methods such as diet, exercise, or liposuction.

How Does CoolSculpting® Work?

CoolSculpting® uses cryolipolysis, which is just a technical way to say fat freezing. When fat cells freeze, they die and are then naturally eliminated through the body’s natural process. This process happens gradually.

Read more about the science of cryolipolysis here.

What Happens During A CoolSculpting® Treatment?

The applicator will be placed on the treatment area, and there will be a slight sucking sensation as it adheres to the body, that signature cooling effect. During the procedure the patient may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment. 

After the applicator is detached, the provider will perform a brief massage on the area to break up the treated fat cells and enhance the fat reduction.

How Long Does Treatment Take?

Each CoolSculpting® treatment is different, so it depends on which areas of the body and how many a patient receives. Depending on the area, treatment can be done in as little as 35 minutes. If the patient receives multiple treatments in a session, treatments will take more time. The CoolSculpting® Elite machines feature dual applicators, allowing patients to do multiple treatment areas at once, reducing the amount of time spent in office as compared to using 1 CoolSculpting applicator.

Hear what real patients had to say about their CoolSculpting® experience here.

Is the CoolSculpting® Treatment Safe?

CoolSculpting® has been cleared by the FDA to safely and effectively treat 9 different areas of the body (see the FDA-cleared areas here).

Some common side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort, and swelling. Rare side effects may also occur. Click here for additional Important Safety Information.

What is Paradoxical Hyperplasia? How Often Does it Occur?
Paradoxical hyperplasia is a rare side effect that occurs in approximately 1 out of 3,000 treatments, or 0.033%. In these rare instances, patients have experienced gradual development of visibly enlarged tissue in the treatment area. 
This is well-documented in the CoolSculpting® information for patients and health care providers and sample consent form given to health care providers to use with patients.
What Makes a Side Effect Rare?
“Rare” can be defined as when the frequency of an event falls between 1/1,000 and 1/10,000 instances.
Please reach out to Adelle Infante via email at with additional inquiries.