Delayed Onset Pain Associated With Cryolipolysis Treatment: A Retrospective Study With Treatment Recommendations

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Cryolipolysis has become a popular treatment for noninvasive destruction of unwanted subcutaneous fat. It is a generally well-tolerated treatment with mild transient side effects. Delayed posttreatment pain has been sporadically reported, but its incidence, etiology, and treatment have not been elucidated in a large series of patients.


A retrospective review of 125 patients who received 554 cryolipolysis procedures over a 1-year period was conducted. Demographic data were obtained to determine specific variables that influenced development of delayed posttreatment pain.


Young women (mean age, 39 years) undergoing abdominal cryolipolysis were at greatest risk of experiencing delayed posttreatment pain. The pain was self-limited (duration, 3–11 days) and resolved completely without long-term sequelae. The number of treatment cycles did not impact the development of this side effect.


Delayed posttreatment pain is a not uncommon adverse effect after cryolipolysis. Patients should be counseled on the possibility of its occurrence, and timely intervention should be instituted to reduce its impact.

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