The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified that Cool Sculpting is a safe medical treatment, while doctors and patients agree that it’s often a better method over traditional liposuction because of its non-surgical, non-invasive nature. Studies have also shown that it can decrease fat cells by 20 to 25 percent in the treatment area.
But while Cool Sculpting has several benefits as a fat reduction method, patients should be aware of its risks and accept the possibility of their occurring. Here are the possible side effects and complications that come with the procedure.
Pulling and Pinching Sensations
Your doctor uses two cooling panels to sandwich a roll of fat in the treatment area. You will then feel tugging sensations – pulling and pinching sensations, as many patients report it – for the entirety of the procedure. You may or may not experience mild discomfort; if you feel even mild pain, you should inform your doctor immediately.
By the way, the procedure can last between one to three hours.
Aching and/or Stinging Sensations
You may also feel painful sensations, particularly aching and/or stinging in the treatment area. These typically start soon after the treatment has finished and last for about two weeks afterwards. These may be caused by the intensely cold temperatures used in extracting energy from the fat cells.
Under normal circumstances, these side effects will go away on their own. But if you feel the pain to be worsening or becoming prolonged, you should inform your doctor ASAP.
Adverse Skin Reactions
While Cool Sculpting is a non-invasive procedure, the skin will likely still show signs of the procedure being done. The adverse skin reactions in the treatment site can include:
These are temporary and go away on their own within a few weeks. These side effects are also caused by the skin’s exposure to intensely cold temperatures, akin to frostbite. But don’t worry as Cool Sculpting shouldn’t give you frostbite because of the controlled temperatures.
Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia
This is a very rare yet serious side effect that occurs mostly in men. Basically, paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is when the fat cells in the treatment site actually become larger instead of smaller as intended. Scientists don’t know why this happens, and it isn’t a dangerous side effect, physical-wise, but it requires medical treatment; it will not disappear on its own, unlike the other side effects.
Due to these side effects, there are certain people who aren’t considered as suitable candidates. Non-suitable individuals include those with cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, and paroxysmal cold hemoglobulinuria.
Your doctor will perform screening procedures to determine whether you are a suitable candidate or not. You should also be relatively healthy and close to your ideal weight.