I had a Sculpsure treatment on my lower abdomen and found it to be a little uncomfortable.

I had a Sculpsure treatment on my lower abdomen and found it to be a little uncomfortable. I was told the upper abdomen is more uncomfortable and should expect some pain. However, I had a treatment today and didn't feel a thing. I'm concerned now perhaps there was an issue with the treatment?

Doctor Answers 13

SculpSure not designed to be painful

Thanks for your question. Pain or no pain does not indicate an erroneous treatment. People have different pain thresholds causing different reactions, but not necessarily different results based on the amount of discomfort. Hope this helps. Best, Dr. Katz

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Sculpsure discomfort

The perception of "pain" does not correlate with the effectiveness of the Sculpsure treatment.   Some areas are more uncomfortable than others and women may have more sensitivity at certain times of their menstrual cycle.  How much rest you had the night prior to the procedure and other stresses in your life, may all contribute to your perception of pain. Also, having previously had the procedure and knowing what to expect, you may perceive less discomfort than the initial  treatment. The Sculpsure unit is designed to be effective at even the lowest setting.

SculpSure After Treatment Expectations

Thank you for your question an we hear this frequently.

Some patients experience slight discomfort in more sensitive areas such as the flanks, love handles, lower abdomen and treatment areas near the bone. The sensation after the treatment should feel like you've been to the gym and have done multiple crunches. What you're feeling is completely normal,  the range of experiences vary to no trouble after to mild discomfort as you described to small nodules. Our routine post treatment recommendations include massaging the treated area, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising frequently. 

However you should still follow up with your treating provider. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews



It is more common for lower abdomen to be more sensitive then upper abdomen. Every patient has a different pain tolerance. You can ask the provider what settings they used on your treatments. The higher the setting does not mean a better treatment. I have seen less anxiety with patients after their initial treatment because they know what to expect at the second treatment. Hope this helps. Dr Faraz

SculpSure and Effectiveness Relative to Discomfort

While there are different settings for the machine and I am unsure what settings were used for your upper abdomen, I would not associate the level of discomfort with treatment efficacy. Personally, I would rate the lower abdomen as generally more uncomfortable than the upper, however this varies so greatly from person to person it is hard to say one area is generally worse than another. The SculpSure laser is designed to minimize discomfort by cycling through periods of cooling following the heat, so it does not have to be hard to tolerate for it to be effective. 

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

SculpSure Discomfort

It can be very normal for different areas to have different pain experiences.  We always expect that there will be some mild to moderate sensations, but the will be short lived as the undulating cooling wave replace the heat cycle.  The variability between body areas and days is normal. 

SculpSure and Pain -- Add Vanquish and Cellutone

The best results are by adding RF treatments after.  Pain is normal a small amount but not tremendously.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

You don't have to have pain for results

You don't have to have pain for the treatment to work.  That being said, the treatment should have a low level of discomfort during the procedure and many patients experience a mild, deep discomfort for several days after the procedure that feels like having done sit-ups.  I would suggest that if you and the treatment technologist should communicate during the procedure and the energy should be increased until you feel very mild discomfort.  

Todd E. Perkins, MD
Washington DC Dermatologist


I have found that there is a wide range in levels of discomfort among my patients. I have not found that the degree of tenderness has any impact on the treatment. You should speak with your physician, however, if you have any concerns or questions. 

Pamela Stuart, MD
San Jose Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Variation can be expected

I doesn't sound like there was a treatment issue. I often have patients who have one side or area more sensitive. The great part of about SculpSure is that we can adjust each individual laser during treatment. We can modify individual temperatures based on minute-to-minute comfort levels. That is why I feel it is so critical for either myself or my nurse practitioner to be there for the entire treatment to make constant adjustments as needed. 

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.