I'm fit but carry weight in the middle and back. Is Sculpsure or liposuction best for me? (Photos)

I'm a fit mom in her late thirties and have, for my entire life, carried weight in my stomach, sides, and back. I would describe myself as a combination of a square and an inverted triangle but would love a more hourglass shape. I'm nervous to go under so Sculpsure is on the top of my list but I'm not sure if I can achieve the results I want without using liposuction. What is your opinion on Sculpsure and do you think it would work for me?

Doctor Answers 13

Lipo vs SculpSure

Thanks for your question and photos - you are a great example of who "should" be getting these treatments.  I say that, because, it looks from your photos that you are at a healthy weight for your height and just have little "extra padding" that you could shrink.  You will very likely get excellent results with whichever modality you choose.  Liposuction is going to give you a more dramatic improvement and will cover more real estate, but has the disadvantage of being surgical and having some "downtime" for recovery.  SculpSure will not reduce fat to the same degree as liposuction, but maybe it will be just enough for you.  From looking at your photos and my interpretation of your question, I would probably recommend that if you did SculpSure, you should do 8-10 "zones."  This would be enough to cover most of your abdomen, love handle area, and under-the-bra or flank region.  Each "zone" with SculpSure is an area about the size of a credit card and costs per zone vary, but run, on average, about $300-$400 per zone.  So if you did 10 zones, that could be almost as expensive as liposuction (up to $4000).  Liposuction to all the areas I mentioned above would be about $6000 at my office.  Obviously, you are well aware of the downsides of liposuction: it is surgery and therefore riskier and requires downtime.  Results will be better, but it will be more expensive.  SculpSure is a great non-surgical option with no downtime, but you may not get as good a result compared to liposuction.  I would recommend setting up a consultation with a plastic/cosmetic surgeon who also offers SculpSure.  (If you go to a non-surgeon who offers SculpSure, what do you think they will recommend?  Or if you go to a surgeon who does not offer SculpSure, he/she will likely recommend liposuction.)  After an examination and a frank discussion about your aesthetic goals, I am sure that he/she will give you an honest recommendation, based on those factors that are most important to you.  Best of luck!

I'm fit but carry weight in the middle and back. Is Sculpsure or liposuction best for me?

Great question,they both work , Sculpsure removes 24% per treatment so expect to have a least two treatments, but ZERO downtime,liposuction is a one and done and does remove more than 50% of the fat with a procedure but there is some down time, I strongly recommend you visit with a BC PS who does BODY liposuction ( not just facial) AND has a Sculpsure, after a in office visit they can lay out costs and pros and cons, this should be done for ALL potential patients, Good Luck!!

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

#sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Procedures

Sculpsure is a noninvasive 1060nm diode laser treatment that removes up to 25% of stubborn fat in the treated area in 25 minutes.It is FDA approved for the abdomen and flanks. It is safe if you get pregnant in the future.
The body contouring effects are seen in as quick as six weeks with final results at 12 weeks. 
The results are permanent as long as you maintain your weight and health.
The laser targets and destroys the fat cells only which are then naturally removed from the body. Since the laser does not affect the skin or muscle it can be used on all skin colors and there has been no reported incidents of burns when treated by a properly trained physician. It is protective since it alternates heating and cooling. 
It has four applicators that can be customized to treat the areas of stubborn fat. 
If a second treatment is needed we wait at least six weeks and usually closer to 12. 

If you notice lumps after (which I've never seen) I would recommend massage. You should also alert your surgeon.

There is no downtime and you can resume your normal activities right after the treatment. There may be some soreness in the area for a few days for which you can take ibuprofen or tylenol. A cold compress can also be used.

Sculpsure is not used for skin tightening however some of her patients have seen this. If more skin tightening is needed we have combined this with thermi or Ulthera for a complete treatment. Sculpsure is recommended for stubborn areas of fat that are not being lost by diet and exercise. It is not a weight loss treatment

Since I have both a coolsculpting and sculpsure I am working on protocols of utilizing both of these depending upon what areas need to be treated and the response to the treatment. 
I have used sculpsure on other areas other than the abdomen with very good results. 

I also use a Vectra 3D imaging system to try and show people what their treatment areas could look like.

Since Sculpsure outcomes can be based on technique and experience, please see a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes body contouring to see if Sculpsure or other treatments are available to meet your goals. 

Take care,

Dr. Schwartz 
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sculpsure or liposuction best for me?

You absolutely represent the optimum candidate for SculpSure, as someone who is in reasonable shape, but has isolated areas of diet and exercise resistant fat. We have been extremely pleased with our SculpSure results to date, and think you would respond well, although you would likely require more than one treatment to the desired areas, as you can expect up to 24% reduction with each treatment. I completely understand your being nervous to undergo surgery, but remember that in-office lipo today is very minimally invasive, and will certainly give you the better, and faster, results.

SculpSure can help

SculpSure treatments can be repeated to help maximize your look with minimal to now downtime as you work on a diet to aid your weight loss.

Lipo (vaser, traditional, or laser) removes more fat but is a surgery and entails downtime and recovery.
See a plastic surgeon that can do all these techniques if possible.

Sculpsure should be helpful to you

you can expect about a 20% reduction in fat in the area treated each session. you should expect to need two sessions. I have also done over 620 Smartlipo cases in my office under local with just oral sedation - this has a higher fat removal so this is also an option.

if you see a board certified PS who offers both, then the PS can help you decide.

also you can always start with Sculpsure and if you do not achieve as much as you wanted, you could get Smartlipo 3 months later. (allow 3 months for the Sculpsure effect).

remember increasing your exercising and being stricter on your diet will be helpful too.

good luck

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews


Thank you for your question. SculpSure and liposuction are different procedures in terms of cost, recovery and procedure. You may be a candidate for both so I suggest that you next consult in person with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Sculpsure, VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting

For best results I suggest a 4D VASER hi-def liposuction contouring procedure with fat transfer.  With a VASER Hi Def procedure you get much more than just fat removal you get tightening, toning, and cellulite improvement. Non invasive treamtents like SculpSure give small improvements where body shaping procedures like liposuction give much more of an outcome. I would see an expert for a formal consultation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

SculpSure vs Liposuction

You mentioned that you were afraid to "go under" so you were thinking about SculpSure.  If you are not aware please know that liposuction can be done under local anesthetic without going under.  We offer both liposuction under local anesthetic and SculpSure at my office.  I always tell my patients that for maximum results, chose liposuction, for maximum convenience choose SculpSure.  Lastly, I would tell you that if you choose a doctor that does lipo under local anesthetic, make sure he is experienced (500+ cases) and has many before and afters for you to review.

Liposuction vs SculpSure

This is the ultimate question when evaluating for body contouring.  There is not one simple answer.  The correct decision depends on what YOU are willing to put yourself through:

  1. Pain wise
  2. Money wise
  3. Down time wise
  4. Scar (wise)
  5. Results

The ultimate decision should be made when considering all of the above variables.  Please see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who offers both liposuction and SculpSure to review all you options.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 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.