This Not-So-Cool Side Effect of CoolSculpting Isn’t as Rare as We Thought

When CoolSculpting hit the market in 2010, it sounded almost too good to be true: freeze away stubborn fat bulges without surgery or downtime and all you have to do is sit there for an hour? Yet here we are eight years later, and CoolSculpting seems to be soaring in popularity among patients and cosmetic practices alike.

For the most part, CoolSculpting has a good safety record. The majority of patients experience mild side effects such as redness, tingling, and numbness, which go away after a few days. However, one more serious CoolSculpting side effect appears to be more common than we originally thought. I am talking about a complication called “paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH)” or, in layman’s terms, the “stick of butter” effect.

What is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia and why does it sometimes happen after CoolSculpting?

The technology behind CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis, is designed to chill tissue to the point where fat cells crystalize, disintegrate, and leave the body as waste, helping a treated area marginally slim down. Usually, this is exactly what happens. In a small number of cases, however, the fat in the treated area expands and hardens into an unnaturally shaped lump in response to the extreme cold.

This is called paradoxical (abnormal) adipose (fat) hyperplasia (unusual increase in a structure), or PAH for short. Instead of gradually shrinking, the bulge after CoolSculpting actually gets bigger and usually becomes firmer than surrounding tissues, sometimes having a “stick of butter” appearance that resembles the shape of the CoolSculpting applicator.

Example of patient receiving cryolipolysis treatment; tissue is suctioned into the applicator. (Note: CoolSculpting brand applicators differ in design.)

Is PAH after cryolipolysis happening more than we think?

We don’t exactly know why PAH happens to certain patients, and recent studies suggest that PAH occurs far more often (1 out of 138 treatments) than the manufacturer has previously reported (1 out of 4,000 treatments). While this is still an incidence rate of less than 1%, it concerns me as a physician any time we see a rise in complication rates with a procedure—particularly one with such strong claims of safety and ease. And, with a proliferation of other devices and at-home fat freezing belts on the market, PAH is something we need to pay closer attention to.

Over the years, I have treated a number of patients in the Seattle and Bellevue area who developed PAH after cryolipolysis, and I have been aware of the condition for quite some time. It is one reason why I continue to eschew non-surgical fat reduction technology in favor of tried-and-true liposuction.

Now the good news: PAH can be treated with liposuction

Fortunately, PAH is not life-threatening, and it is fully treatable with liposuction. However, patients who develop the condition have to live with a conspicuous bulge for about six to nine months until the fat softens enough to remove safely. This can be hard on a patient both emotionally and physically, especially considering they sought out fat reduction in the first place to address a bothersome issue that now appears worse.

Moreover, this means the patient ends up having to undergo and pay for two procedures to address unwanted fat that liposuction could have taken care of the first time—with more precise, predictable sculpting than what’s possible with any non-surgical option.

Liposuction remains your best option for fat removal & sculpting

Non-surgical cosmetic treatment options continue to improve, and many are safe, suitable alternatives for patients wishing to make changes without significant downtime. Yet sometimes surgery remains the superior option. I believe this is case with liposuction vs CoolSculpting.

When performed by an experienced, skilled cosmetic surgeon, liposuction can safely, thoroughly, and precisely remove fat to strategically sculpt a beautiful, natural shape to an area. In contrast, fat reduction achieved with non-surgical technologies is only predictable down to a general area and provides minor improvements. For most patients, the more detailed, dramatic results possible with liposuction are well worth taking a few days off and having a couple of very tiny scars that fade in time.

Moreover, liposuction can end up costing less than non-surgical alternatives in the long run. A cosmetic surgeon can determine exactly how much fat to remove to achieve your desired results in one procedure. It’s common for patients to need three or more CoolSculpting treatments to achieve a similar amount of reduction as one liposuction procedure, and you don’t even get the benefit of detailed sculpting.

Considering fat reduction in Bellevue? Let’s talk.

You have many options to reduce fat and improve your shape, and that’s a good thing. During your consultation, we can talk about the expected results with different procedures and together discuss the pros and cons of each. My priority is to help you make the right decision for your needs and goals. To make an appointment, please call 425-453-9060 or contact us online.

76 Comments Posted to "This Not-So-Cool Side Effect of CoolSculpting Isn’t as Rare as We Thought"

  • August 19, 2019 at 6:22 pm • Posted by Mel |

    Did anyone have PAH side effects on an area of the body other than the abdomen/stomach?

  • August 19, 2019 at 9:08 am • Posted by Ivvy |

    I exercise regularly, eat healthy, and try to sleep enough so as to allow my body to function properly. I am 5’2″ and weight 125, but I do have a very small amount of stubborn fat on my sides that it drives me bananas. It seems that regular exercise to target that area has not worked out for me so I decided to try cool sculpting. I read so many reviews and was very excited to see the dramatic transformations advertised by the plastic surgeon’s website. I did not need to have a dramatic change since I do not have that much fat stored there but thought this was a great way to remove it with no downtime and a fraction of the cost of a liposculpture procedure. I had my procedure April 25th; we at the end of August now and there are no significant changes in my body besides a small area near my lower belly that is showing some fatty markings like cellulite which is not what I wanted (I did not have this before). The person at the plastic center told me to wait a few more weeks and see if there are any results……I had the massage after the procedure so I honestly do not think I will see any results at all and I feel very disappointed, cheated, lied and extremely upstep for spending close to $2000 in something that yielded NO results at all. What a waste of my money and time. The small love handles are still there and the small pouch of my lower belly is still there NO change at all. What other options are out there?? I am so skeptic now to believe in any other procedure because no one reimburses your money if the results are not what you were promised.

  • August 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm • Posted by Mary |

    I had my first coolsculpting on May 2018, my abdomen and my love handles became bigger, I went back on August 2018 and they did another treatment, they couldn’t believe that didn’t work, I looked like a 7 months pregnant woman. I was depress and I couldn’t deal with that. I tried to work with Allergan, they refuse to pay my lipo, I did once but the fat was growing back, so my surgeon told me that I need another liposuction. Don’t take the risk, believe me it is not worth it!. If there is a class law suit I’m in!

  • August 15, 2019 at 8:53 am • Posted by Tim |

    Hi does anyone have a link to this study referred to? Also has anyone had a problem with this PAH with the second generation coolsculpt? I am considering having it done myself and was actually about to pay when I came across this blog.

    • August 30, 2019 at 3:53 pm • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hello Tim,

      The link to the study is found in the Eureka Alert article that we referenced in the post. Here it is again for your convenience: “Treatment of Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia following Cryolipolysis: A Single-Center Experience”

      Here is another clinical report that may interest you: Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia secondary to cryolipolysis: An underreported entity?

      Both reports indicate that the risk of PAH after cryolipolysis is very low, but the risk is present and something we believe patients should be aware of. We do recommend you discuss the pros and cons of CoolSculpting in person with a reputable cosmetic surgeon if you are interested in the procedure. Hope this is helpful, good luck!

  • August 8, 2019 at 5:27 pm • Posted by Bobbie |


    I just returned from a meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon in Las Vegas. I had cool sculpting done early 2018 in Hermosa Beach California under my chin, around my abdomen and under my arms. My stomach hardened and grew twice or three times the size it was before I had cool sculpting done. I have a huge fat hard lump under my chin. I look like I’m 8 months pregnant… the surgeon said the hardened fat can’t be liposuction day out and the only way to correct is with surgery.. this ssolution will cost me well over $30,000.00 for corrective surgery…

  • August 7, 2019 at 8:30 am • Posted by Thuli |

    I also have PHA strange that the Dr that did the fat freeze was not even aware of the side effects . I’m not getting any assistance from them and the only thing I want to do is Lipo I have no self confidence anymore , I feel like a pig , Please advise on what can I do or who can I contact .

  • August 1, 2019 at 3:34 pm • Posted by Michelle |

    I had CoolSculpt 2 times on my upper arms. I am 5’6″ and weigh 124 lbs. My upper arms were slightly heavier than I wanted so I wanted to have them more toned. After 2 treatments, my arms look LARGER with the skin looking flabbier now. The Dr. office has no explanation for this and I am requesting my money back. Obviously, I would not recommend CoolSculpting.

  • July 31, 2019 at 10:01 pm • Posted by Karen Allen Failinger |

    I am most disturbed that zeltiq/allergan does not appear to be researching this growing body of evidence that Coolsculpting causes PAH in some people. And that the prevalence rate is far greater than advertised. And that they are fda cleared NOT approved.

    I offered myself as a research subject but they were not interested. Searching for a firm willing to pursue class action.

  • July 28, 2019 at 6:41 am • Posted by Elaine Coburn |

    Yes I had cool sculpture about a year ago and my stomach is so big it look like I’m 9 months pregnant is sore and it hurts and I have gained so much weight especially in my buttocks

  • July 18, 2019 at 10:45 pm • Posted by Tamera Slaughter |

    Wow. I’m so happy and sorry about all of the cool sculpting results. I to had the procedure done on my stomach and 2 weeks later my stomach was so swollen I couldn’t wear regular slacks. All of my pants had to have elastic waist, and the pants I did wear no longer fit me. My weight balooned and depression set in. Talking-to the clinic they began whispering and then suggested I do the last treatment, I asked them if they were crazy and to look at my stomach. I was not this big, nor was my stomach hard and unmoving before I had the procedure done. I asked for the names of the owners of the clinic and kept getting the run-around. My stomach has finally begun to soften a bit. I do not have the money to pay for liposuction but will have to do some thing done next year because my stomach is now lopsided. If anyone is suing please let me know.

  • July 18, 2019 at 6:33 am • Posted by Linda |

    I had cool sculpting on my arms, a few sessions. I now have strange bulges that were not there before and the skin is loser too. I can’t get an arm lift because of the cost and the scars would be too big. Can anyone help?

  • July 16, 2019 at 10:29 am • Posted by Quintoria |

    With all of these bad reviews I am afraid to try it.. yet I appreciate the honesty that it not deleted so people know what they are getting themselves into.. I do understand that all results aren’t the same so if I were to try it, what would I have to do th o get good results

  • July 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm • Posted by Jane |

    I didn’t get the hard coolsculpting lumps, but i swelled up and was told it would go down. It never did. After maintaining my weight for 10 years I became a blimp and 15lbs heavier within a couple of months of the coolsculpting. I look awful and can not move the blubber. Sooo horrified. I now have a BMI of 25. It’s all in a spare tire

  • July 8, 2019 at 10:46 pm • Posted by Maria |

    I am 5’5 and weight 145 lbs I wear a size 6 I was having issues getting rid of my belly fat. I do exercise and eat healthy. I was frustrated and I had coolsculpting about 4 months ago. At first my abdomen was swollen which I knew would happen. I drank alot of water and walked went to the gym really tried to make the most of it. My abdomen was swollen I called they said it was normal and it would take about 4-6 weeks. I immediately saw my inner thighs shrink they look great but my stomach is deformed. my lower left abdomen has a buldge- pocket of fat and I developed an abdominal hernia. I should probably go back but I do not have any confidence in the place I went.

  • July 4, 2019 at 8:43 pm • Posted by Margaret Brown |

    I had not one but two liposuctions to remove the paradoxical hyperplasia areas below my breasts. The second liposuction worked for those two areas. Sadly after these TWO liposuctions I still have two or three inch wide half circle or crescent shape bulge right above my belly button. When buying pants, I have to buy a size up to compensate for my waistline.

  • June 30, 2019 at 1:57 pm • Posted by Jackie |

    I have my PAH on my leg. It’s a red and black bump that hurts and is very tender. I accidentally scratched it and I wanted to cry in pain. Hope it doesn’t get any worse.

  • June 28, 2019 at 2:31 am • Posted by LD |

    I had the procedure two weeks ago two larger ones on my lower abs two smaller ones on my bra overhang .. $2700 and I didn’t read all this now I’m scared to death … my belly is still swollen and numb

    • August 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hi LD, I know it’s been a little while since you wrote this, but I did want to mention that residual swelling and numbness for several weeks after CoolSculpting is not uncommon. I do hope your results have come in nicely. Best of luck, Dr. Sobel.

  • June 21, 2019 at 9:42 pm • Posted by RC |

    Oh gosh this is awful to read. I had such wonderful results from my Cool sculpting but it hurt me to have it done. The results are worth it for me though. I didn’t have a lot to lose – just the 2 kids under 2 bulge. It scares me to read all this though. Could I have effects later or would I know by now? I had my first treatment a year ago and a few since without issue

    • August 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hello RC, We still don’t know enough about PAH after cryolipolysis to understand exactly when and why it develops in a small percentage of patients and not most others. However, in the vast majority of PAH cases, patients have noticed symptoms within the first few months after having the procedure. It seems unlikely that you would suddenly develop PAH after a year or more. However, we cannot offer any direct advice or guarantees here. Please discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned; they should be able to help you understand the risk and put your mind at ease. Good luck!

  • June 21, 2019 at 4:41 am • Posted by Mia |

    Cool Sculpting destroyed my once smooth belly. I regret the Cool Sculpting so much. I’m a slender woman who is 50, active and in shape I also practice yoga every day. I had a small bulge on my abdomen that I wanted to flatten. I now have a belly of cellulite and weepy/creepy skin areas that I never had before cool sculpting. I now can only wear one piece suits because of the damage done from cool sculpting. I become depressed when I see my belly. I regret it so much – I know my muscles are rock hard underneath the disgusting cellulite and creepy skin that resulted from cool sculpting – I only had one treatment! Are there ways to correct this other than a tummy tuck which requires 6 months of down time?

    • August 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hello Mia, I am sorry to hear about your experience. I encourage you to consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon in your area. Depending on the degree of skin sagging and tissue irregularity you are experiencing, you may be able to make your desired improvements with a non-surgical skin tightening treatment. If Bellevue is convenient to you, please give my office a call at 425-453-9060. I’ll be happy to meet with you and discuss your options. – Dr. Sobel

  • June 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm • Posted by Denise Waggoner |

    I also have PAH!! What does it take to bring a class action suit? I’m ready and will do the leg work!!
    My PAH hurts. It’s painful!
    I think the first thing is to get all of your names and emails. Find a lawyer. Have everyone write your testimony.

  • June 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm • Posted by Anony mous |

    I also went through a lot of discomfort, swelling and look permanently pregnant with massive thighs after coolsculpting failed miserably last year. I have lost my image, wardrobe, confidence, and money. All my time is taken up dieting and exercising as I get bigger and bigger experiencing XL fat life for the first time. I’m still in shock. This treatment has created one hell of a horror story. I feel destroyed. Is there a solution apart from liposuction? How do we trust intervention after this?

  • June 13, 2019 at 2:24 am • Posted by Emanuele |

    I had the same issue let’s suit them

  • June 1, 2019 at 1:13 am • Posted by Karl |

    Appreciate the comments. I think I avoided making a serious mistake. Sorry about all the pain I see in these comments…

  • May 31, 2019 at 5:02 pm • Posted by Paul |

    I just had my second and likely last session. The first treatment was 6 areas, and this time it was only 4. After 3 months the results were very positive and decided to finish it off. I am happy with my results.

    1st treatment (4 on the love handles/ lower back. 2 on the belly)
    2nd treatment. ( 2 on the love handles and 2 on the belly)

    • June 6, 2019 at 11:16 am • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hi Paul, thank you for sharing your positive experience. While we feel that it is important for patients to be aware of the risk of PAH after CoolSculpting, many patients experience good results with the procedure. We truly are glad that you are happy with your choice. Best wishes!

  • May 27, 2019 at 11:45 pm • Posted by Kris |

    I had Coolsculpting in May 2018 on my abdomen. My abdomen now is tight and bigger than ever. I am embarrassed to let anyone see my stomach. I am interested in the Cool Sculpting Program you talk about. I also will be seeing a physician for liposuction soon.

  • May 27, 2019 at 6:55 pm • Posted by Nas |

    Lisa—can you provide information on the program Coolsculpting has for botched cases?

    Thanks in advance.

  • May 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm • Posted by Nas |

    I’m suffering from the same issue that many of you referred to. It’s reassuring to see I’m not crazy, because the doctor whose office I had the procedure done at certainly made me feel that way. Moreover, she was not helpful or empathetic to my problem and emotions. All she offered was for me to try it again or some other procedure. Similar to many of you, I hate the way my body looks now—I feel worse now than I did prior to getting it done. Worst beauty/health/cosmetic decision of my life!

    If anyone here is starting a class action suit, I will join, especially considering the manufacturers misled us with their data.

  • May 27, 2019 at 1:02 am • Posted by Chelsea |

    Did you guys get the massage right after coolsculpting? That could be the reason why you guys had issues. It’s crucial or else your results won’t turn out right. Sorry to hear this guys

  • May 27, 2019 at 12:47 am • Posted by Nancy |

    Yep I’m bigger now than ever. I went from looking 5 months pregnant to looking like 12 months pregnant. OMG!!! I went from a size 12 to a 16/18. Need I say more.

  • May 26, 2019 at 11:53 pm • Posted by Janine |

    I am really thankful I read this article and all the personal experiences! I just wanted a minor adjustment on my thighs and it seems as I get older its more stubborn to get rid of. After reading this… I will suck it up and just work harder at the gym!
    I recall how cheap this was when it first came out and now the prices are outrageous! With risks and costs like this, you may as well just go for surgery, especially if you end up paying for it in the end!

  • May 24, 2019 at 8:35 am • Posted by carole |

    I had coolsculpting for love handles….it did not work AT ALL plus the Dr. and his technician never measured afterwards or wanted to follow up. Just said I would need additional sessions, I had 4. TOTAL SCAM. My love handles are actually bigger, there’s more fat there than other parts of my body. I now look deformed.

  • May 23, 2019 at 10:45 pm • Posted by Lu |

    Loved my cool sculpting results! Had one session only and it worked great!

  • May 22, 2019 at 9:33 pm • Posted by Concetta |

    Has anyone had a good experience with coolsculping ??????

  • May 21, 2019 at 2:39 pm • Posted by .Barbara |

    I had cool sculpting done two years ago. My stomach is hard and large. No amount of diet and exercise help. I was told it is a very rare side effect, but I see it is not. I would never have had the procedure had I known it could be so common

  • May 18, 2019 at 9:31 am • Posted by Sammy |

    Hello, I came across this article while researching cryoskin techniques.
    It seems that this procedure would avoid this stick of butter effect. What is your take on it?

  • May 17, 2019 at 3:15 pm • Posted by Shayla |

    Hello Maria,

    I too am interested in a class action. Same issue as above.

  • May 14, 2019 at 9:28 pm • Posted by Marialbys Hernandez |

    Hi I want to be part of the law suit, i have 4 areas of my body with PAH. They ruined my body!

  • May 14, 2019 at 12:04 am • Posted by Trena |

    I had cool sculpting in April 9,2019 and ended up with second degree burns on my abdomen. I was told that she did not know what cased it! The only thing she could guess was because I had previously had surgery on my stomach. Four weeks later I’m still swollen and trying to heal from the second degree burns. This procedure has cost me more than Liposuction!!!

  • May 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm • Posted by Bodydeformed |

    I ended up with PAH on my abdomen, both the upper and lower abdomen are affected. The treated area also resulted in a shelf (indented area) above my belly button. My profile now looks like the letter “B”. The clinic that provided the Coolsculpting insisted I needed more treatments and continued to provide additional Coolsculpting treatments which failed to resolve the PAH. They also refused to provide me with a refund. they did however file a claim on my behalf with Allergan. Allergan has been a nightmare to deal with! They wanted the treating facility to provide photos, and all records. Additionally,I also needed to be seen by a board certified plastic surgeon and provide Allergan with records with the diagnosis of PAH. I jumped through every hoop only to be denied corrective treatment! I went back and forth with them for months. Allergan would not refund me the cost of my treatments nor the cost of my consultation with the plastic surgeon. The response I received was that Allergan can approve or deny corrective treatment even with the diagnosis of PAH, the program is offered as a benefit but not a guarantee!! Unbelievable!!! Allergan should be ashamed of themselves and deserve to be sued! My body is now deformed.

  • May 13, 2019 at 12:15 pm • Posted by Elena |

    I had cool sculpting on my stomach and love handles. I think I did not have enough fat on the love handles, one was a bit bigger though. So, I have disproportion now. One side is like hollow. What can I do? And yes, I m gonna suit them

  • May 10, 2019 at 7:35 am • Posted by Leslie |

    I have had three sessions of cool sculpting with great results. One more to go. Guess I am just lucky??

  • May 9, 2019 at 10:44 am • Posted by Elynn |

    My cousin had it done and she looks fabulous. When I get the $$$$, I will be doing it too.

  • May 8, 2019 at 1:27 pm • Posted by Lori Lardie |

    Nobody ever told me I would need more than one treatment.Over a year ago had the procedure, and still in extreme pain, feels very tight, sore like a sunburn and feels bruised, and my stomach and the rest of me have gotten bigger, with diet and exercise. What a waste of money,time and wasted time with the pain.

  • May 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm • Posted by Christine |

    I did the coolscupting and I’ve have developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia and regret it big time. I had my chin/neck done and now I have a large lump of hard fat that bulges in the front of my neck and pain. I wanted to get rid of the fat and now it’s so much worse. I need to work with the office that did the work for a refund and I will be contacting Allergan. Now I have to wait a year for the fat to break down and spend more money to have liposuction, but worse, I have to live with the large lump and pain in the front of my neck. Also I’m weary of liposuction as well. I would get involved if a class action suit appears.

    I want a refund.

  • May 2, 2019 at 7:37 am • Posted by Sandra |

    @Dawn – interesting, yours is the first similar after-effect I’ve seen online. I had swollen joints (could hardly bend my left knee) and odd and increasing pain/discomfort for about a week a couple of months after the procedure. I wondered later if it was some type of gout syndrome as the fat cells are eliminated. At the time, however (summer 2016), not making the connection to Coolsculpting, my discomfort became so great after 2 or 3 days I went to an ER, wondering if I was having a gall bladder attack or even heart attack. Hours of tests later, including an MRI of the gall bladder, I got the all-clear. Within a day or two I was back to normal. I was pleased with the Coolsculpting results on my back – I’d had four places done and my back was smooth and love handles greatly reduced. Am considering having my abdomen done although I realize there are more nerve endings there. I definitely don’t want to go through the “gout” again so thanks for posting your experience. I may change my mind!

  • April 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm • Posted by Fatimah patel |

    I had fat freezing done by Nicole at Skinsational clinic. I was left with permanent burns and scarring which will not fade. The company is dissolved and no insurer can be traced. Do the operators need a license for the machinery i want to make sure they dont damage someone else.

    • May 28, 2019 at 11:37 am • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hello Fatimah, We are sorry to hear about your bad experience. To answer your question, it varies from state to state who can legally obtain CoolSculpting machines and what credentials are required to perform the procedure. In most states, a licensed physician must own and supervise the practice for CoolSculpting to be provided there. Depending on where you live, it may be legal for a licensed aesthetician to perform the treatment, or the practice may be limited to state-licensed doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

  • April 30, 2019 at 10:01 am • Posted by Kab |

    Cool Sculpting destroyed my formerly smooth skin on my belly. I’ve had two rounds of Thermi to try to correct it, but it has not helped at all. I regret the Cool Sculpting so much. I’m a slender woman who had just a slight bulge due to age and being post menopausal. I still wore a bikini. Now, I would not at all wear a two-piece. I’ve got a belly with ugly sagging, wrinkled skin where I never had that before. I’m horrified every time I see my belly. What a terrible mistake.

  • April 25, 2019 at 8:34 am • Posted by Beth |

    I got 2 coolsculpting treatments in 2017 and ended up with a bigger belly and deformed. Absolutely depressing! My provider (Houston, Texas) has ignored me completely. No more money to do anything else. How can I access the coolsculpting program for botched procedures?

  • April 20, 2019 at 8:01 pm • Posted by Meow |

    What is the best way which is a non surgical, non liposuction, non cool sculpting type of treatment to get rid of or reduce fat deposits that wont go away with exercise? I think you mentioned this in the article. I have lower arm fat pads I think from a thyroid condition that do not respond to exercise etc. I was thinking of cool sculpting but I will not do it after reading the numerous bad side effects such as pain/ bruising and pah.

  • April 20, 2019 at 1:23 am • Posted by Kiera L. |

    Hi Maria,

    I am interested. Coolsculpting is not safe. The side effects are not as rare as you think!

  • April 20, 2019 at 1:21 am • Posted by Kiera L. |

    Hi Lisa,

    If you don’t mind can you share your story with me. I had a very similar situation, my stomach is BOTCHED with painful lumps and bumps and a huge bulge in the area. I am in the process of working with Allergan, but I really want to start a class action. One for false advertising and two, for pain and suffering. This machine needs to be off the market. The doctors also need to learn how to thoroughly use it.

  • April 14, 2019 at 10:59 pm • Posted by Lori Lardie |

    This was the biggest waste of money, it does not work, alot of pain after. I had the procedure a year ago, zero results, abdomen still feels bruised a year later. I am not going to waste my time or money having the same procedure.

  • April 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm • Posted by Diane |

    I had what could only be called fat clots several of them in my legs that worked their way down y thighs to my ankles took 6 months to go away I would never ever ever ever do this again

  • April 14, 2019 at 8:52 am • Posted by Susanna |

    I never had upper between chest fat before coolsculpting. The pain of them coolsculpting that area during & After was horrendous. I should’ve told her no need for it. My partner noticed hernia like bulging shortly after my coolsculpting that I never had before too. It’s gotten increasingly worse over last yrs! Has affected my self confidence terribly. Don’t know what to do. Have been too ashamed to show my doctor even.

    • April 26, 2019 at 11:00 am • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hi Susanna, We are so sorry to hear that you and so many others hear have had such a poor experience. There is no reason to be ashamed of your body—this is not your fault. We do encourage you to see a doctor whom you feel comfortable with, as this is the best way to learn about your options to correct the problem. Best of luck!

  • April 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm • Posted by Olivia |

    I had CoolSculpting done just over a year ago. My skin is now lumpy and swollen. I have bars of fat just above there they placed applicators that weren’t there before. I feel terrible about myself and don’t want to be in a swimsuit ever again. I have not been able to get a hold of the original providers.

  • April 12, 2019 at 10:10 pm • Posted by D |

    My daughter had gained about 7.5 – 10 lbs just prior to and/or upto having this procedure. I didn’t like the fact that when she went into the room to be measured and photographed; they prefer she do it alone. That was a red flag to me; as having someone else present to listen and give their input/understanding of the procedure, what to expect, possible side effects and what if something does go wrong; and what sort of recourse do you have. She has since continued to gain weight. I believe she may very well have this PHA mentioned. It has effected her self image and she is currently seeking help to explain a 20 lb weight gain in less than 6 months. Not to mention the change in her body shape. She is very conscious about what she eats and has been doing Beachbody everyday for over 3 years. I wish I could go back in time and prevent her from ever having the procedure.

  • April 5, 2019 at 9:19 pm • Posted by Jessica |

    I had two rounds of CoolSculpting under chin area and have no results. I am going request my money back. Liposuction will be my next procedure.

  • April 4, 2019 at 2:01 pm • Posted by Nancie |

    I had cool sculpting in March 2016. Echoing the same story… June 2016 i was abnormally swollen. They told me i had to have another procedure. So July 5th 2016 i had a second round of treatment. By August 2016 i was hideously swollen and bulging un-uniformly. I pressured their insurance company and they paid for liposuction, in October 2016 which helped but did not resolve the damage. I again went to them in Dec 2017 and they paid for a second liposuction. HOWEVER. The damage is so severe , that i still have bulging scar tissue which will require at best another liposuction and then a tummy tuck to restore my abdominal area to per Cool Sculpting damages. As i look at my day before pictures and my current body condition, i would much rather be the before condition. Heartbroken, depressed, ugly and self image shattered , no one will help with a law suit because the procedure was administered by a tech and not a doctor. $9000 later my body is ruined and so is my self esteem. I am broken

  • April 4, 2019 at 12:07 am • Posted by Ali |

    I appreciate your concerns of PAH as even at 1%, it’s something to clearly know is a side effect that occur. As a CoolSculpting RN, I did want to point out that your post mentions “with a proliferation of other cryolipolysis devices and at-home fat freezing belts on the market” and this statement is not accurate. Cold body contouring (cryolipolysis) is patented and Allergan owns those rights. All other body contouring devices (medical grade) are radio frequency (RF) and use heat.

    • May 28, 2019 at 11:16 am • Posted by Anderson Sobel Cosmetic |

      Hi Ali, Thank you for pointing this out. We have edited the post for clarity. Unfortunately, there are a number of fat freezing belts available online that present themselves as alternatives to cryolipolysis technology; we want to be clear that we do not recommend patients try these non-medical grade devices.

  • March 27, 2019 at 4:05 am • Posted by Dawn |

    Can it cause acute arthritic pain and swelling of joints during during 2 to ? Months after treatment as your body eliminates the fat cells??? I would guess it does from my experience. Worth looking into.

  • March 23, 2019 at 5:58 pm • Posted by Johnna |

    I too was sucked into coolsculpting. Worse thing I ever did to myself. I’m twice as big and look hideous! I will never let Any touch my body again!

  • March 13, 2019 at 5:31 pm • Posted by Diana |

    Can someone share how to access the program that Lisa referred to where Coolsculpting has a program for botched procedures?

  • March 7, 2019 at 11:20 pm • Posted by Maria N. |

    I had coolsculpting in May 2018, my abdomen grew a lot, it was so deformed, they told me to go back, they said was impossible that the fat freezing wasn’t working, so in September I did again, my belly grew more. They first said that I could go for a liposuction, than the day before the surgery they told me that I have to wait 4 months more. I was so depress, I looked as a pregnant woman with a deformed belly, I posted pictures in instagram, they blocked me and they refused two times to pay for my liposuction. Be aware don’t do Fat freezing, I truly regret it. If anybody want to do a lawsuit please contact me.

  • February 15, 2019 at 11:46 pm • Posted by Joe |

    I had coolsculpting paradoxical adipose hyperplasia in 2018. I regret ever getting cool sculpting done, the provider is now telling me I have to wait month before I get a refund until they hear back from the provider so that I can get a refund and possibly get liposuction. This is very depressing I m to the point of sueing them for selling me something that did not work.

    • February 28, 2019 at 2:04 pm • Posted by Dr. Sobel |

      Hi Joe, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear that you were among the few who’ve suffered this side effect. If you are unable to come to a solution with your provider, I suggest consulting with a board certified cosmetic surgeon in your area to help you correct the problem; as you said, liposuction may be the best way to treat the issue. Best of luck, Dr. Sobel

  • February 11, 2019 at 6:12 pm • Posted by Lisa |

    I have a pretty sever case of this on my entire abdomen from a procedure preformed in July 2017. New suctions paddles were used on me but still not sure what caused it. Worst case my plastic surgeon says he’s seen. Lipo will not fix it. I’ve consulted with 5 board certified plastic surgeons. All have said a tummy tuck is the only fix. Cool Sculpting has a program for botched cases but they will only pay for lipo suction.

  • January 8, 2019 at 2:06 am • Posted by Emerson |

    Hi. I had coolsculpting paradoxical adipose hyperplasia in 2017. I really regret having done it on my body and its depressing at times. What form of liposuction procedure you suggest to solve the pah? Thanks so much

    • February 28, 2019 at 2:12 pm • Posted by Dr. Sobel |

      Hello Emerson, Thank you for your question. I cannot provide direct medical advice without seeing you in person, but I do suggest you schedule an appointment with a board certified cosmetic surgeon near you, preferably someone who is very experienced in multiple liposuction techniques. Whether traditional liposuction or a power-assisted technique (i.e., ultrasound-assisted or laser-assisted lipo) is more appropriate really depends on the amount, location, and condition of the fat to be treated. I wish you the best of luck treating your issue.

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