How Long Will Swelling Last After CoolSculpting® Treatment?

CoolSculpting is one of the advanced body-beautiful techniques that we perform at Bayou City Dermatology.

CoolSculpting is a fabulous way of removing those last stubborn areas of unwanted fat that don’t respond to exercise and diet. The process freezes the cells that are holding the excess weight, allowing it to be gradually removed by the body’s lymphatic system. 

Of course, everyone reacts in different ways to the treatment. While it is minimally invasive, it’s normal to experience some aftereffects. This includes some swelling.  For some, this is very little—others have more of a reaction.

Swelling After CoolSculpting (and other side effects)

  • A typical swelling CoolSculpting timeline
  • Other CoolSculpting side effects

A typical CoolSculpting timeline

Some people are lucky enough to have minimal side effects after treatment, but it’s more normal to have a little discomfort for a few days or weeks.

Typically, you can expect:

  • Swelling within the first 24 hours after the procedure is performed.
  • This may worsen over the 48–72-hour mark.
  • After this, the swelling gradually improves—although it can take 2-3 weeks for it to subside completely.

This is a completely normal response to the process. You should avoid taking medication that reduces this inflammatory response (NSAIDS). Your body is an extremely efficient tool, and swelling is an important element in expelling unwanted fat. 

Other CoolSculpting side effects

Other symptoms that you might experience include:

  • Reduced sensation in the area that’s been treated. It might itch or even be a bit numb. This will reduce and gradually return to normal over the next 1-3 weeks.
  • Tenderness and bruising. Again, this will dissipate over the next few weeks.
  • Nerve pain around the area. This can be felt as cramping, tingling, and stinging. This typically only lasts a day or so.

How to Reduce Swelling After CoolSculpting 

  • Top tips for reducing swelling after CoolSculpting treatment

Top tips for reducing swelling after CoolSculpting treatment

There are many things you can do to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. One of the most important is to drink lots of water. This helps the lymphatic system to flush the toxins from the body. 

Other top tips include:

  • Massaging the area: Your clinician will massage the area straight after treatment. You should also do this regularly during the healing process. Be gentle and only massage the skin (don’t go deep into the muscles). A light finger and/or palm touch will be fine, moving in a circular motion. This will encourage the toxins to flush from the body. Drink water afterward to further speed up the process.
  • Watch your salt intake: Sodium causes water retention and can increase swelling.
  • Use compression garments: There is increasing research into the properties of compression clothing. It appears to support the lymphatic system and blood flow—this means it’s an effective way to speed up the recovery from CoolSculpting.
  • Remain active: OK, so don’t run a marathon the next day, but ensure that you keep up your regular exercise regime. You should take it a little easy for the first few days—so swap your run or swim for a walk or two. But after that, get back to it as usual. The better your circulation, the faster your body can expel the waste and the quicker you’ll see results.

Understand More About Swelling, CoolSculpting, & What to Expect at Bayou City Dermatology

CoolSculpting is one of the advanced body-beautiful techniques that we perform at Bayou City Dermatology. Our medically-led team is highly adept at discussing the optimal treatments that’ll achieve the results you desire—plus, we’ll provide our professional opinion as to the side effects that you might experience.

Swelling after CoolSculpting is highly individual and your board-certified MD will answer all your questions and make sure you understand exactly what to expect. Rest assured that our expertise considers your unique attributes, including your body type, age, and health, all of which are important indicators of the expected side effects and swelling post-CoolSculpting treatment.

Find out more at and get in touch today to book your bespoke consultation.