Sculpsure: Most of the places performing this procedure are at Med spas. Is this safe?

I want to get this procedure, but since it is fairly new, not many plastic surgeons are using this. 

Doctor Answers 12

The physician is more important than the location

Safe and effective use of the SculpSure technology is far more dependent on the treating physician than the location. Many med spas have on location board certified physicians who can properly assess your suitability for SculpSure and safely perform it. Unfortunately there are also many med spas that do not have any board certified physician on site. Some have no physician presence at all. While noninvasive, SculpSure is still a medical and laser based therapy and should really be performed by or under the immediate supervision of a board certified physician.
Dr. C

Sculpsure at Med spas

SculpSure is an FDA approved device and is very safe. However, having said that, where you have treatment , and who performs it, can have an impact on your results. The most important issue is whether or not you are a good candidate for the treatment, and if it is the best option in your particular case. For this reason, going to a physician office, rather than a simple med spa, may be more appropriate. Having an experienced physician evaluate you, discuss all the relevant treatment options, and discussing your needs and goals, is invaluable in attaining a high quality result. If all a spa can offer is SculpSure, you may not be getting the optimum recommendations for treatment.

Craig Schwartz, DO
Leawood Vascular Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Safety vs effectiveness

Yes, it is a safe FDA approved device. The problem that I have is not the safety- as it has been demonstrated in multiple studies, but patient selection and expertise of the provider. Some Spas- clinics only have one device, and as a result they 'push' clients to that device. There are many methods to effectively remove unwanted fat non-surgically, including Coolsculpting and other devices. I personally think Sculpsure is great-less downtime than Coolsculpting, and it only takes 25 minutes. However, I also think that the best treatment is an individual assessment to see what device best fits YOU. This way you get the very best results. 

Safety for these devices are not an issue, realistic expectations and patient-device selection through experience and training is.

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

SculpSure from a medispa

Thank you for your question. With any procedure you are considering, you should always make sure you’ve researched the practice offering it. Some medispa’s are multispecialty facilities like our practice where we offer medical dermatology, laser and cosmetic surgery. However, please make sure to visit those that are just spas. As long as the practice is certified, well skilled in the procedure and have been using it for a while, it will be fine. You can even look at before and after’s that they may have, to ensure you are happy with other patient’s results. All of our technicians and doctors that perform SculpSure are well trained in the procedure before they begin working with patients.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

SculpSure is safe

SculpSure is the world's first FDA indicated laser for non surgical treatment of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen 
and flanks.  It is very safe, quick and no down time.  It does utilize a laser, so an evaluation by a physician prior to treatment is necessary to guarantee the safety of the patient.  The location of the treatment doesn't matter, it is the person making the decision for the treatment that is important.  This does vary from state to state, do your research and make sure the facility you choose is certified, accredited and operated by responsible medical personnel.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

SculpSure Safety

Great question and one that illustrates an area of confusion and debate.  You are very likely to get a wide range of answers to this one, as each different state has its own interpretation of what constitutes a "medical" versus a "non-medical" procedure and what credentials are required to operate a given device.  I am not familiar with Virginia's regulations, however in the state of WA, where I practice, any device that delivers energy and affects a change in the tissue is considered a medical device and can only be operated by a "state-licensed health care provider (HCP)," which includes doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician's assistants.  Providers may delegate the procedure to a nurse or duly trained esthetician, provided that written protocols are in place and provided that the responsible HCP has examined the patient and determined that he/she is an appropriate candidate for the given procedure and that the HCP is physically present in the office, at least for the initial treatment.  In my opinion, this is all about patient safety and is therefore valid.  With that said, SculpSure is a very safe procedure and not subject to many of the concerns that other laser are, as it does not direct a beam with cutting energy.  I hope that answers your question.

SculpSure treatment

SculpSure is a laser. Laser treatments have varying regulations by state. For instance in the state of Maryland all laser procedures have to be performed by a MD, nurse practitioner or PA. There are many contraindications for the procedure, so the most important thing is to be evaluated prior to treatment to ensure the procedure is safe for you. 

Jennifer Parker Porter, MD, FACS
Bethesda Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Is SculpSure Safe at a Med Spa?

SculpSure can be safe at a medical spa so far as a doctor is evaluating you and making sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. A doctor does not necessarily have to be the person performing the treatment, however, the person performing your treatment should have been trained specifically on the SculpSure device. 

Millicent Odunze-Geers, MD, MPH
Sacramento Physician
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Med spa?

If you are a hands down excellent candidate for SculpSure I think an RN/NP/PA/MD/DO (California laser rules) could do this in a MedSpa. It is not the location in question, it is the consult with getting the right recommendation. If you are NOT the right one, will you get the right plan? That seems to be the question. I have only the SculpSure for body sculpting in my OBGYN office and turn away people who are going to be unhappy or tell them up front that they will need 2-3 treatments to meet their expectations. Maybe diet and exercise or liposuction would make more sense, etc. What if there is too little fat but lots of money in their wallet----NO!

Sculpsure in Washington DC and Arlington Fairfax plastic surgeons


This is an excellent question. There are many cosmetic services that are offered at "medi spas" that certainly might be considered safe. However, when you are talking about medical procedures for your body, the important thing to ask yourself is whether you want to trust someone with extensive hands-on training in surgery, or someone who's credentials you may not know.

In Virginia, there are very few laws protecting patients when it comes to laser devices, injections and other procedures that are able to be performed by med spas. As an example, an esthetician can take a 4 hour training course and be "certified" to fire a laser. Sculpsure falls into this category. Unfortunately, I treat many patients who have been burned by lasers from treatments they received at medi spa chains. 

Having said that, Sculpsure is a very safe procedure and side effects or complications are extremely rare, much more rare than side effects from Coolsculpting. Sculpsure's laser specifically targets fat cells only, making it quite safe. 

In my practice, I personally evaluate each patient for Sculpsure, mark the areas to be treated, and then supervise the placement of the device and the proper settings. I also monitor each patient during their 25 minute procedure to make certain they get the optimal treatment with the highest level of safety. 

I would try to find a board certified surgeon or dermatologist who personally supervises all cosmetic procedures, especially lasers. Consult with them, and make certain you are completely comfortable before proceeding with any procedure. 

I have personally had a Sculpsure treatment and the results are awesome. I wish you all of the best luck! 

Dr Shaw

Travis L. Shaw, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.