A Real Patient’s CoolSculpt Experience!
Day Of – Initially I was nervous to get CoolSculpt because, even though everyone kept telling me it wasn’t a big deal, I was afraid it was going to hurt. I wore short cotton shorts so the applicator could be used on my inner thighs. Admittedly, I don’t have a lot of “pinchable” fat, which is the ideal for CoolSculpt, but we decided to give it a try. Kelly used a sizer to find just the right spot (at the “peak” of my fat) and marked me while standing. They then placed a protective gel sheet that covered well over the entire area. It was freezing! The applicator was placed lightly against my skin and they turned the machine on, which sucked the fat from my thighs into the machine via a vacuum. It felt very weird, and I don’t know how else I could have prepared for it. It was like the skin on my thigh was being held against the end of a vacuum cleaner, which held a tight suction. It didn’t hurt at all – it was just a weird, almost indescribable feeling. With the applicator in place, I shimmied on to the bed and laid with my treated leg in a “frog-leg” position, the other relaxed.
The girls used a Boppy (yes, the same kind that mommies use for support during breast feeding) to support the cord so it wasn’t pulling at me, and once I was comfortable in the bed they started the treatment. I was still very anxious. I was texting my mom and sister at the start and said, “I’m 4.5 minutes in and am uncomfortable but I think mostly because I’m nervous – it’s not an overt pain. The sucked up part doesn’t hurt at all but the areas around the applicator (like my butt, back of my thigh, and inner leg tendons) are a little tender, kinda like they’re numb. It’s pretty crazy!” Later, “10 minutes in and it’s ok, I am almost entirely comfortable, leg is in an awkward angle.” I spent the rest of the time perusing Facebook and checking emails, and didn’t even notice the procedure going on. The girls were good about checking on me and seeing if I needed anything.
Once the hour was up, the machine beeped and they came in to take me off. I went back to being scared, because the applicator just gets pulled off instead of somehow losing suction, but it didn’t hurt at all. My leg looked pretty crazy immediately after removing the applicator. The portion that had been sucked up looked red and like a little meat loaf sticking out of my leg – weird.
The next two minutes were spent massaging the leg to “even out” the results. This stung as it warmed up, but it wasn’t a major pain. After about 2-5 minutes my leg still looked red but was smoothed out. I walked around for a little bit and noticed that it was still stinging for about 10 minutes total, then felt normal except for being numb at the applicator site.
I regrouped and started on the opposite leg, doing the same procedure as the first time. Since I knew what to expect and because the first side didn’t hurt, I wasn’t nervous at all. This time I didn’t even notice the discomfort during the cool down like I did the first time. I really think it was my anxiety that made me notice it at all. I relaxed and ate some breakfast (willing my muffin to go straight to my thighs!) and watched Netflix on the iPad provided by the office. The hour seemed to fly by and before I knew it, the cycle was done and Kelly helped me out of the applicator and massaged the leg. Again, this part really did sting, but got better over a period of about 10-minutes. I walked around for a while but was able to go back to work right away. I felt sore, like a bruise would, but I was still able to do a hefty Crossfit workout that evening and never required any pain medication.
Post-CoolSculpt day #2 – More sore today! I was thinking about taking an Ibuprofen when I woke up but remembered there was no muscle involvement so decided it probably wouldn’t help anyways. Our nurse said ice would help, but I never got around to it and kind of forgot about it. Still some numbness, but improved from yesterday. It had been a little too tender to heavily scrub the marks, so they’re still on my leg. I had a doctor’s appointment today, so that was a fun convo….. Whoops! =) The soreness improved as the day went on, and I felt fine by the time I went to bed.
Post-CoolSculpt day #3 – I feel fine today! I don’t notice it being sore or numb unless I touch it, but it is not something I would describe as pain or discomfort. I have significantly less pain than yesterday with no interventions to improve it.
Post-CoolSculpt day #7 – first day with no numbness, it slowly resolved over the week. No pain, completely back to normal and able to do full aggressive crossfit and yoga workouts with no complaints! I haven’t noticed visible results yet.
6-weeks post-CoolSculpt – I randomly looked in the mirror and noticed my thighs looked smaller! They no longer touch in the middle. I was surprised because I hadn’t really thought about CoolSculpt in a while since I have had no side effects. I’m not sure when this happened, but it definitely wasn’t from anything else I was doing because the gym has been a little…. lax… over the past few weeks with the 4th of July (and me being a bum!) Check out my pre- and 2-month-post-CoolSculpt pics below!