CoolSculpting on arms – severe discomfort. Are there any ways to mitigate the numbness?

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A shutterstock_80557243 Q. I had great results with CoolSculpting on my stomach and back, so decided to have it done on my arms (triceps). My hand felt so numb during the treatment that I had to stop. I would like to try again. Are there any ways to mitigate the numbness? A. CoolSculpting is tried and true! Because of this, off-label areas such as the upper arms are also CoolSculpted with very wonderful results. ​ ​This technique works due to the vulnerability of fat cells to genetically involute (apoptosis) when reaching a low temperature. Sensory nerves in the areas are affected by the cooling as well. Due to the superficial position of large nerves in the upper arm such as the radial nerve posteriorly and ulnar nerve anteriorly, cooling can affect sensation “downstream” to the hands and fingers for several days or cause heightened discomfort at the applicator site during the time the machine is on.
  • ​Sometimes, even a small adjustment in the positioning of the applicator cup is enough to distance the nerve from the cooling plates.
  • ​While anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or aleve are recommended against during this process to allow cooling “injury” to occur, these drugs may assist in relief of cooling associated sensory changes.
  • ​Massage to the area where the nerve was cooled and /or desensitization touch may hasten return of nerve function.
​I am unaware of any permanent nerve damage. ​ ​I hope this is helpful. Please discuss this concern with your Certified CoolSculpting Specialist!
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