How Long Does Cryolipolysis Take to Work? The Time Take to See Coolsculpting Results

How Long Does Cryolipolysis Take to Work? The Time Take to See Coolsculpting Results

If you’re considering CoolSculpting treatment but have concerns about the recovery time and when you’ll see results, this article will address the most common questions you may have. We’ll provide an overview of what to expect in terms of the treatment timeline, including how soon you can return to work and daily activities after the procedure. Additionally, we’ll discuss the typical timeframe for seeing initial changes and final results from your CoolSculpting treatment.

Key Takeaways:

Cryolipolysis is a process you might consider if you’re seeking a non-invasive treatment to eliminate fat deposits which is stubborn. It rests on the principle that fat cells are more susceptible to cold than the surrounding tissues.

1. When Can You See the Results

  • Initial results may start to become visible around 3-4 weeks after the CoolSculpting treatment, as the body begins to flush out the frozen fat cells. 
  • Most patients will notice more significant fat reduction and contouring effects 1-3 months after treatment, as more of the damaged fat cells are eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system. 
  • Final results typically take 3-4 months to be fully realized, though some patients may continue to see improvement up to 6 months after their last treatment session. 

2. How Long Does Cryolipolysis Take to Work?

  • The treatment area size and number of areas treated can affect how quickly results appear, with larger areas potentially taking longer to show full effects. 
  • Individual factors like metabolism and lymphatic system function may cause some variation in how quickly each person’s results develop. 
  • Multiple treatment sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart are often needed to achieve the desired fat reduction, especially for larger areas. Final results are seen a few months after the last session. 

3. Maximizing and Maintaining Results

  • Massaging the treated area for 5 minutes twice daily can help improve fat reduction by facilitating lymphatic drainage of the damaged fat cells. 
  • Staying well-hydrated may also aid the body’s natural elimination process for the frozen fat cells. 
  • A healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended to maintain results, as remaining fat cells can still expand if weight is gained after treatment. 
  • Results are long-lasting as long as a stable weight is maintained since CoolSculpting permanently destroys treated fat cells, which cannot regenerate or return. 

Procedure Details

Procedure Details

Here’s what you can expect during the process and the tools that will be used.

The Cryolipolysis Process

Your technician’s fat removal will start by placing a gel pad on the target areas of the body to protect your skin. The procedure involves a vacuum applicator that draws the fatty tissue into the applicator cup using suction. It may feel like a firm pull and tugging — this is normal. As the applicator gets to work, you’ll start to experience an intense cold sensation. The cold temperatures effectively target fat cells, causing them to crystalize and eventually die off, without damaging other tissues.

  • Duration: Typically, one session of cryolipolysis lasts about 35 to 60 minutes per treated area to reduce fat.
  • Sensation: Initially, you can expect intense cold and a possible tingling sensation, which usually subsides as the area becomes numb.

Types of Applicators Used

The applicator is a fundamental tool in the cryolipolysis procedure and comes in various shapes and sizes tailored for different body parts. CoolSculpting applicators are designed to conform to the shape of your bulges and are chosen based on the area being treated.

  • Flat applicators: Ideal for areas without pinchable fat, like the thighs.
  • Curved applicators: Best for the abdomen, flanks, and other areas with more prominent fat deposits.

Remember, the applicator size and shape affect the preciseness and effectiveness of your cryolipolysis treatment. Your technician will select the most appropriate one to optimize your results and comfort during the process.

Target Areas and Results

Cryolipolysis won’t replace a weight loss plan, but it will help with those tricky pockets of fat that don’t seem to budge even with diet and exercise.

Common Treatment Areas

  • Chin & Under the Chin: This area can be refined to reduce the appearance of a double chin.
  • Thighs: Inner and outer thigh fat that’s resistant to exercise can be lessened.
  • Back: Unsightly bulges above or below the bra line can be smoothed out.
  • Love Handles: The abdomen and flanks are popular for reshaping the midsection.
  • Abdomen: Central abdominal fat can be visibly reduced.
  • Upper Arm: You can target the upper arm to reduce what’s sometimes referred to as ‘bingo wings’.

Post-Treatment Considerations

Post-Treatment Considerations

After undergoing cryolipolysis, it’s important to understand the timeline for recovery and what to expect for potential additional sessions to maintain or improve your results.

Recovery and Downtime

Recovery Time: Usually, there is minimal to no required downtime after cryolipolysis. You might experience some redness, swelling, or a tingling sensation in the treated areas, but these side effects typically resolve on their own within a few hours to days. 

  • Downtime: Most individuals can return to regular activities immediately following the treatment. You can immediately return to work.
  • Complications: Rarely, complications such as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia—where the treated fat area grows larger—can occur. This complication is quite uncommon and should be discussed with a healthcare professional if it arises.
  • Sensation: Temporary numbness or discomfort in the treated area can sometimes occur but should dissipate over time.

How Many Sessions Will It Take

Stomach/Abdomen Area

  • Most patients need 2-4 CoolSculpting treatment sessions for the stomach/abdomen area to achieve the desired results. 
  • Each session takes around 35-60 minutes. 
  • The CoolSculpting applicator is recommended for treating the stomach area. 

Flanks/Love Handles

  • 1-2 treatment sessions are usually sufficient for the flanks/love handle area. 
  • Each flank session takes around 35 minutes
  • The CoolSculpting applicator is best for this area. 


  • For the inner thighs, 2-4 sessions with the CoolSmooth applicator are typically needed, each taking around 35 minutes. 
  • For the outer thighs, 2-4 sessions with the CoolSculpting applicator are recommended, each lasting around 75 minutes. 


  • The upper arms usually require 2-3 treatment sessions with the CoolSmooth applicator, around 35 minutes per arm

Back/Bra Area

  • Treating the back/bra bulge area with CoolSmooth typically needs 2-4 sessions of 35-60 minutes each


  • 1-2 treatment sessions with the CoolMini applicator are generally sufficient for the knees, each lasting around 35 minutes. 

Double Chin

  • For reducing a double chin, most patients need 1-3 sessions with the CoolMini applicator lasting 35-60 minutes each

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I take the second session?

It is generally recommended to wait at least 1-2 months between CoolSculpting sessions on the same treatment area. This allows time for the body to eliminate the frozen fat cells and for results from the first session to become visible before retreating the area. 

Will others notice that I did the CoolSculpting treatment?

CoolSculpting results appear gradually over several weeks to months as the body eliminates the treated fat cells. There is no downtime and you can resume normal activities immediately, so people are unlikely to know you had the procedure unless you tell them. The fat reduction occurs subtly and naturally. 

What are the differences between CoolSculpting and liposuction?

While both CoolSculpting and liposuction permanently remove fat cells, liposuction is more effective for removing larger amounts of fat and sculpting the body. CoolSculpting is best for treating small, stubborn pockets of fat and results in an average fat reduction of 20-25% per session. Multiple sessions are often needed for optimal results. 

What are the differences between CoolSculpting and electromagnetic?

CoolSculpting and electromagnetic treatments like Emsculpt work differently. CoolSculpting freezes and eliminates fat cells, while Emsculpt causes muscle contractions to build and tone muscle. Emsculpt can reduce some fat but is not as effective as CoolSculpting for fat removal. The treatments can be complementary for overall body contouring. 

Is it safe to become pregnant after CoolSculpting?

Yes, it is safe to become pregnant after CoolSculpting. The treatment only affects fat cells in the targeted area and does not harm surrounding tissues or organs. However, pregnancy can alter your body shape and lead to weight gain that may impact your CoolSculpting results. It’s best to wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to begin or continue CoolSculpting treatments. 

Are CoolSculpting results permanent?

The fat cells eliminated by CoolSculpting are permanently removed and will not regenerate. However, remaining fat cells in the body can still expand with weight gain, so maintaining a stable weight with a healthy lifestyle is important for long-term results. 

How many CoolSculpting sessions will I need?

The number of sessions needed varies based on the individual and their goals. Some may see desired results after one treatment, while others require 2-4 sessions per area, spaced 1-2 months apart. Larger or multiple areas will need more sessions than smaller, isolated pockets of fat. 

What factors affect CoolSculpting results?

Individual factors like the amount and distribution of fat, skin laxity, age, metabolism, and lifestyle habits can all impact CoolSculpting results. The skill and experience of the provider are also important for optimal outcomes. 

How can I maximize my CoolSculpting results?

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, staying hydrated, massaging the treated area as directed, wearing compression garments, and completing all recommended treatment sessions can help maximize CoolSculpting results. 

What are the potential side effects of CoolSculpting?

Common side effects include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness, numbness, and tingling in the treated area. Rare complications like paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) can occur. Choosing an experienced provider and disclosing all medical history can minimize risks. 

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