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Coolsculpting Update – One Month Later

Last month, I shared about my upcoming coolsculpting procedure. Now I’m back with an update, one month later!

THE PROCEDURE

I’m sure the first thing you will want to know is if the procedure hurt or not, right?  Well, hurt, no, but it was a little uncomfortable at first.  There was intense pulling of the treated area for about 5 minutes, then numbness took over from the cooling process.  Once it was numb, there wasn’t any pain.  I was actually tweeting and updating on Facebook during the treatment!

I had three areas treated on my stomach, with one hour per treatment, so I was at Mariposa Med Spa for three hours.  During the treatments, I was able to work on my laptop, listen to music, and relax.  The staff even brought me coffee and water to my room. :)

RECOVERY

After the treatment, my belly was red, swollen and numb, but I was able to drive home just fine.  A few hours later, I was pretty sore, very swollen, numb in some areas, and had trouble bending over and reaching.  The next 3-4 days, it was pretty much the same as far as soreness and numbness.

Once I reached day 5 or so, I started having stomach muscle cramping, much like labor contractions.  Once the cramping became non-stop and pretty uncomfortable, I called Mariposa and they suggested OTC pain relievers (such as Motrin) to relieve the pain.  When that didn’t seem to do the trick, I tried applying a heating pad to my stomach, but that seemed to aggravate the area even more.  I then attempted a makeshift ice pack and that made a world of difference.  I ended up purchasing a couple of large ice packs with belts from Walgreens that I could wear while resuming regular daily activities. (I would alternate each pack so I always had one ready to wear)  I had the stomach cramping until Day 12 or so, but this is not the norm.  In fact, of the 60 or more patients that Mariposa Med Spa has treated, only around 3 have had severe cramping like I did.  Needless to say, recovery will vary from person to person, but should not be painful.  If it is, I highly recommend an ice pack to take the edge off.

ONE MONTH RESULTS

Honestly, I was starting to get a little discouraged on my results after week 3.  My stomach had gone done to its original size and lost the numbness, but I was ready for it to start shrinking!  Surprisingly, at week 5, I quickly started seeing an overall flattening of my stomach. My pants started to fall down, too. I went in for my one month follow-up appointment and when compared to my before pictures, there was already a big difference!  I look less bloated and flabby.

The best part?  I still have a month to go for even more results!  Maximum results take place anywhere from 2-4 months, so I’m excited about the next few months!

Coolsculpting Results - One Month

IS COOLSCULPTING WORTH IT?

Even at the one month mark, I say yes.  I had some recovery woes, yes, but it was nothing compared to what a tummy tuck surgery recovery would have been. There was absolutely no cutting or lasers involved in my treatment, yet I’m seeing amazing results.

Have questions about CoolSculpting?  Feel free to leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.  You can also learn more by visiting Mariposa Med Spa’s website at mariposamedspaokc.com.

DISCLOSURE: I have received the CoolSculpting procedure in exchange for my thoughts and review.  My reviews and recommendations are always honest and true. Read Mom Spark’s full disclosure here.

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

50 Responses to “Coolsculpting Update – One Month Later”

  1. #
    Cat Davis — July 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Eek the recovery sounds a bit painful but compared to surgery, not so bad. Did you take before/after pictures of your tummy area from the side (bare skin)?

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — July 26th, 2011 @ 11:32 am

      Yes, I will get photos at 2 months that I can share!

      [Reply]

  2. #
    Chloe — July 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I have wondered about this procedure ever since I saw it on some show. The one thing that has discouraged me from a surgical solution is the large scar you end up with afterwards. The point for me would be to look good naked and I can’t see looking better naked with a hip-to-hip scar. I can’t wait to see your results at the end.

    [Reply]

  3. #
    Diana — August 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Hi amy:
    I had coolsculpting done on Monday, so five days ago. I’m feeling everything you felt. Last night I could hardly sleep and today, it has been horrible. Your post has encourage me because I’ve felt so bad, and the dermatologist never described it as being so painful. I’m bloated or swollen. I feel the pins and needle sensation and some similar to afterbirth cramps. I’m desperate and don’t want to do my love handles, which I was planning to have done if I saw alot of difference. Thanks for the tips.
    Diana

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 8th, 2011 @ 9:28 am

      Diana- I really encourage you to try the ice packs. That is what saved me the first 12 days or so. You should start seeing relief after a couple of week. Until then, purchase a large ice pack (or two) from a drug store and keep it on your tummy all day and night. (this is why I like two, one is always cold and ready to go) Hang in there! At around 3 weeks you will start slimming down and seeing results!

      [Reply]

      • Diana replied: — August 8th, 2011 @ 9:48 am

        Thank you amy,
        i have to say, i followed your advice about the ice packs and it has made a world of difference. I feel a little better today, but this surely feels like a post surgical procedure, without a scar. Thank God I am a stay at home mom and work on my own hours. I haven’t been able to sit for a long time the whole week. Thanks again for your blog. I also have a blog(in spanish) and I will put on my favorites so people can get to your from mine.

  4. #
    Mellisa @ Fun Saving Money — September 9, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I won a contest on Facebook in March and my husband and I went in to do the coolsculpting. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but it definitely was uncomfortable. I really didn’t see that big of results but they said sometimes you need a few treatments.. Your pics look great, I am glad that you saw a difference.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 9th, 2011 @ 8:31 am

      @Mellisa @ Fun Saving Money, Yes, it was quite uncomfortable at times, but not the entire treatment. Yes, I definitely see a difference. How many areas did you have treated? I had 3 areas in my stomach area done.

      [Reply]

      • Mellisa replied: — September 9th, 2011 @ 8:38 am

        @Mom Spark,

        I only had my lower stomach treated. They just got the machine and had trouble getting a good suction so she had to squeeze my stomach 3 times before it finally worked. I would have loved to have had different areas I think it would have made more of a difference. Did you get yours done in OKC?

        • Mom Spark replied: — September 9th, 2011 @ 8:41 am

          @Mellisa, Oh no! That wouldn’t have been fun. Since you only had one section treated, that may be why you’re not seeing the same results I am. I had one large piece and two small pieces all in the same day. That is probably why I cramped so bad afterwards.

          Yes, I had mine done in OKC, you?

  5. #
    Laura — October 27, 2011 at 1:46 am

    I was considering going to get this procedure in a few weeks. I was just wondering how your results have turned out now that it’s 4 months later. Would you say it was worth it? Are your results what you expected?? Thank you!

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — October 27th, 2011 @ 8:30 am

      @Laura, Hi, Laura- Yes, I definitely see results. It isn’t the same result as a tummy tuck would be regarding flatness of the tummy, but it took a huge portion of the bulk out. The recovery time is also much easier than a major surgery would be.

      [Reply]

  6. #
    kristy — November 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

    You said you had 3 treatments, did you do 1 hour on lower abbs & an hour on each love handle? You look good in your photos, did you diet too? It looks like your arms are thinner.

    I just had this done 6 days ago and I am also having pain and swelling, but so far no cramping. (knock on wood) It feels tender and sometimes feels like a ripping, ice packs seem to help. I can’t wait to see results:)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — November 10th, 2011 @ 9:47 am

      Yes, 1 hour on each. I did diet while I was recovering, yes, because I was inspired from the results!

      [Reply]

  7. #
    Nichols @ Cosmetic Dermatologist Scottsdale — November 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I know some people who would definitely want to read about your experience in Coolsculpting. Hope your post inspires people to not just rely on cosmetic surgery but also to go on a diet. Good post!

    [Reply]

  8. #
    Connie — March 29, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Thank you for this helpful blog! I’ve been looking for advice on how to deal with the pain and all other blogs have been just been the complaints about the pain, either they didn’t have solutions or didn’t share. The ice packs have been helping a lot. It’s been 5 days and I’ve been experiencing moderate intermittent pain where I get sharp jabs. Hoping it does not get worse. I do wear compression garments throughout the day which helps with swelling. I notice that when I take it off, a couple hours later the area is a little swollen.

    Hoping to see similar results you did. I’m also continuing with my diet, so really hoping for some good results :) I was really excited I could help flatten my stomach area without crunches and surgery, I have physical condition/limitation and my doctors have really limited anything that aggravates it, which includes most exercises other than walking.

    Thank you again for sharing your experience!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 29th, 2012 @ 9:39 am

      @Connie, Of course! Ice was the only thing that would help with the pain. It doesn’t go away, I promise! It took around 2 weeks for mine to completely go away.

      [Reply]

  9. #
    Maureen — April 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I’m so happy I found your blog. I had two areas on my lower abdomen done two days ago. I’m numb and so swollen. O hope I don’t experience the cramping you have mentioned. I was wondering how long it took for the swelling to go down.

    [Reply]

  10. #
    Janet — April 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Amy, I am so glad I found your blog! Had coolsculpting done 6 days ago and I am in such pain that I was beginning to have major regrets. Worse part is I am on business travel and wearing pants/skirt suits that are absolutely killing me around my waist. I was so desperate that I paid $10 for a small tube of bengay at the hotel’s gift shop today but it made it worse. Haven’t slept in 2 nights and also taking 800mg prescription motrin. Just went and got some ice after reading your blog so trying that now. I sure hope this pain and money spent will be worth it. Had my lower and upper abdomen (3 areas) done. All I am seeing right now is a swollen stomach, tenderness and stabbing pain. Wished my Dr. Had prepared me better and given me better post procedure directions.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 17th, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

      @Janet, Purchase an ice pack belt, it will save your sanity! I ended up buying two so that I could have on in the freezer at all times. (no down time)

      [Reply]

      • Janet replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

        @Mom Spark, Thank you for your reply. The ice packs helped a lot as well as the Neurontin that I asked my Dr to prescribe after reading your blog. The pain subsided exactly 12 days after the treatment. Haven’t seen much results yet but it is still very early. Thanks to your site for giving me hope to tolerate the pain!

    • kathy replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

      @Janet, I’m on day 5 too and I also had 3 areas done on my belly. I am so swollen and having lots of cramping – the pain is awful. The ice packs help a lot. I wish my doctor prepared me for the swelling and pain. I thought I was going crazy and was filled with regret. Thanks for your blog. I’m not alone! Now, I’m hanging on until day 12.

      [Reply]

      • Janet replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

        @Kathy, there is definitely relief on Day 12. I have to say that was the worse pain I have ever endured and since I was not expecting it, it made it even more unbearable. The drug (Neurontin 300mg aka Gabapentin) helps a lot. It makes you sleep so it is best to take at nights if you can get your Dr to prescribe it. Hang in there!

    • Sara replied: — June 20th, 2013 @ 9:53 am

      I wish I had not wasted my money. I had coolsculpting on my tummy three and a half months ago and the only change I have noticed is an increase of one inch in my waist. My hips have not changed a bit. I’m 5’2″ and have weighed 140 the entire time. (I’m just saying this for your reference, I know it’s not intended as a weightloss aid.) For me it was also the worst pain ever. I have a very high pain tolerance and was not expecting it. Then I was pretty numb for a few days. The pain intensified by day five and lasted about a week. I took some Viocadan I had left over from the dentist. I was going to have two treatments, but fortunately they allowed me to transfer the credit to something else. No way would I ever do that again.

      [Reply]

  11. #
    Tracy — April 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Amy – just wondered if you could post a brief update on your procedure since last July. 3 month pics, did the results last, are you still happy, would you pay the money to have it done, etc.

    I have a muffin top roll at the TOP of my belly (not the waistline) and bra rolls that seem like this procedure might work for.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 25th, 2012 @ 9:15 am

      @Tracy, Overall, I do think the coolsculpting worked in that it did eliminate the fat cells in my tummy. It does not, however, tighten the area, so in my case I now have sagging skin that I will need to be treated for. I do think it was worth doing because it gave me the motivation to start eating healthy and working out. (to try to tighten the stomach)

      [Reply]

  12. #
    Susan — October 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I, too, have had a great deal of pain since day three after my CoolSculpting. What upsets me, is the doctor and her staff downplay recovery time and pain. This happened with another, non-invasive treatment I had with the same doctor. To all the doctors out there, it’s not helpful to do this. We end up worrying more about our symptoms and in some cases are unable to meet our daily responsibilities. If we all know, in advance, what to expect we can plan better and have more piece of mind!

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Meghan — February 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I work three jobs, do you think it would okay to work in the recovery period? It would just require me to stand for long periods of time. Do you think it would be workable? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — February 11th, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

      It is hard to predict how your body will react to the procedure. Some patients do not experience cramping at all. For me, there was no way I could stand for long periods of time without the ice pack strapped around my stomach.

      [Reply]

  14. #
    kendice — September 2, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Hihi… may i know the effect of coolsculpting on the arms? thank you so much

    [Reply]

  15. #
    Katie G — October 15, 2013 at 10:15 am

    After the coolsculpting treatment do you advise the persone to have any
    Massage therapy or body wrap after only 3 of the treatments.???

    [Reply]

  16. #
    Kia — November 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I had this procedure done 6 days ago. I too am sore and is feeling cramps. I was able to go to the gym since day 4 and have been going everyday since for 45-60 minute cardio. I got 3 areas of my stomach done as well. I can already see a difference despite a little bit of swelling. I was told to wear a waist cincher for the 1st 2 weeks. The tightness of the cincher is a little uncomfortable but again I can see more curves already. I had a C-section so my cool sculpting will be followed up by skin tightening. I’m glad I came across this blog because I was unsure of the soreness & cramps. This blog has definitely made me feel better. I’m going to Jamaica in Feb & I should really be able to gauge my results before then. I was told I should see a big difference within 2 months.

    [Reply]

    • Donna replied: — March 26th, 2014 @ 6:37 am

      What type of skin tightening are you planning on doing (or did?)? How was your results overall

      [Reply]

      • Mom Spark replied: — March 26th, 2014 @ 8:38 am

        I haven’t had any tightening procedures. Overall, the coolsculpting helped nicely at the time, but if you gain weight back there, it’s back.

  17. #
    Coolsculpting Mt Laurel — March 10, 2014 at 4:16 am

    I am glad coolSculpting worked really well for you! You go girl!

    [Reply]

  18. #
    joshua templeton — March 12, 2014 at 4:57 am

    CoolSculpting is not intended to replace a healthy diet and/or an excerise routine for overweight patients. The best candidates for this procedure are those individuals who are close to their ideal body weight, eat well and exercise regularly, but have pockets of fat they can’t get rid of (commonly known as “muffin tops or love handles”). This procedure is excellent for patients who want surgery-like results, but do not want to go under the knife and experience the downtime.

    [Reply]

  19. #
    Sheryl Clark MD — March 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for your blog! Patients who take the time to share their experiences like this are really helping others.
    I have only had one patient, out of the many hundreds who have been treated, who has had the kind of cramping you describe. I sometimes wonder if it might have something to do with tugging on the underlying muscles in someone who does not have a thick layer of fat overlying the muscle, as was the case in my patient. I would encourage anyone who has this side effect to let your doctor know, as the gabapentin (Neurontin) and icing might help. Also make sure you get the treatment with a board-certified dermatologist experienced with the procedure and with good training. The dermatologist should be doing a thorough screening before procedure, including any history of cold-induced disorders like chillblains or Raynaud’s, or chronic hepatitis, or neurologic disorders involving demyelination like multiple sclerosis. I do not treat these patients. I also do not treat unless I can “pinch an inch” of fat or more. If you have a protruding stomach but the layer of fat you can pinch is less than an inch, the fat is within the peritoneal cavity, under the muscles, and treatment would cause too much chilling to the underlying muscle and fascia. These patients need very specialized dietary modification and supplements to help them get rid of the fat wrapped around the guts, which is truly not good for one’s health.
    I hope you are happy in the long term! Sorry for your discomfort, it really is not common but I hope it was worth it1

    Sheryl Clark MD
    New York City

    [Reply]

  20. #
    Denise — March 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I’m in so much pain it stings and I just want to cry but I know it will be better later on, I had my abdomen done on March 18 and I’m still feeling it I have a 5 month old and my daughter accidentally kicked me I wanted to scream now I’m just sore I don’t want anything touching me:-(

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:05 am

      Ouch! Have you tried ice packs? I bought a belt that holds ice packs around the waist and it saved me. Ice was the only thing that could relieve the pain.

      [Reply]

  21. #
    Anna — May 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    So nice of you to continue responding to this post!

    I had a concern about one of your comments! you said that you NOW have to get a tightening treatment after the procedure? Did cool sculpting leave you with lax skin or was your skin lax before? if it leaves you will loose skin that seems super scary!!! Thank you in advance. You look great :)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 12th, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

      No, I already had lax skin due to pregnancy. It does NOT give you lax skin. :)

      [Reply]

      • Anna replied: — May 19th, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

        Awesome! I really appreciate you providing such great information to your readers. Good woman!

  22. #
    JP — May 29, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Just had coolsculpting yesterday, Today is my second day, On day of procedure, I felt same as you all. Second day, Im at work and Im bloated and stomach still hard and feels like it’s still fozen, bit of pain when I am trying to sit down in my lower belly. I had three treatmensts, upper and lower belly.
    My Doc. gave me nerve meds and warned me that I may have a sharp pain after three to five days but these will immedialy stop the pain. Now I have to wait and see.
    I am not sure why, they say there is no downtime? Pain and being hard and bloaded is downtime, this will contine for about 2-3 weeks.

    Now will the results to worth $3,000. or Lipo a better option, downtime 2-4 weeks also.

    [Reply]

  23. #
    Tim — October 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Results look great, Amy! It’s great to encourage a non-invasive alternative to liposuction

    [Reply]

  24. #
    Christina — November 1, 2014 at 1:55 am

    I am glad to have come across your post. I had two hours of Cool Sculpting done 6 days ago – two large applicators in my lower abdomen – and I am in so much pain. I was given a topical anesthetic cream today at the clinic I had it done and I am taking Advil and Tylenol together all day. The jabs are unbearable. The swelling is bad and the whole area is so sore. I was told this is not common but immediately refuted them by saying how many posts I have found online describing the same symptoms. I wish they were more upfront about this. The ice pack doesn’t seem to help much. I can’t wait to feel better. I am just miserable. Tonight is Halloween and all I did was lay in bed. I couldn’t even take my son out for trick or treat!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — November 1st, 2014 @ 10:01 am

      I can totally relate to the pain, too! My tech also told me that it wasn’t normal to be in so much pain, but I was miserable for a while, too. Did you buy a long ice pack with a belt? That was the only thing that saved me. Heat made it worse, but it may help you? I had to literally wear the ice pack around my tummy all day and night until the pain subsided. I hope you can find some relief soon!

      [Reply]

      • Christina replied: — November 1st, 2014 @ 11:46 am

        Thank you for your reply :)
        Heat makes it worse for me, too. I have been laying in bed with a long ice pack on the area. I thought I would give it another try. I have not bought a belt.
        I am not sure what it is that is helping a bit – the anesthetic cream, the 1000 mg of Tylenol combined with 800 mg of Advil every 4 hours, or the ice pack – but I feel a very small improvement. I think just staying in bed helps but with no down time, as the clinic said, I did not make arrangements to stay home and had such a busy week that it made the pain even more unbearable. The technician eventually said that one more client also experienced this and she too had the large applicators.
        The swelling will subside, right? I am now bigger than before and my clothes are uncomfortable.
        Oh the things we do to ourselves in the name of beauty!!!

  25. #
    Jennifer — November 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Okay.. Had the procedure yesterday.. Two on my lower stomach and one on each of my outer thighs.. Reading this is kina freaking me out about what pain is to come.. Yikes!! I am tender only on my lower stomach, not the thighs.. Should I just start the ice today? I am in Law Enforcement and wear a gunbelt at work.., it’s 10lbs around my lower waste.. So now I am worried I won’t be able to get thru..

    I was not told there would be any pain.. Just a little swelling and pins and needles is all they said…

    It currently is sore to the touch…

    [Reply]

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