Would like to know if affects of SculpSure procedure are normal?

Ok it's only been 5 days since the SculpSure procedure and I know it's early in the process. But I feel like I might have something odd. On my left flank I have an area that is actually bulging out. It's a hardened area sitting right on top of my hip bone. The other side feels normal with what seems like small fat deposits I can feel. I am hoping it's just a fat deposit sitting in a bad spot that causes the bulge but I thought it was worth asking. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 9

Lumps after SculpSure

Thank you for your question. The lumps are normal as the treatment area is swollen and the dead fat cells have detached. The lumps will dissolve as time passes but you can start to massage the area daily for 5-10 minutes. It’s almost like when you bruise and some bruises are a little lumpy, after a few days of massaging, the body slowly dissolves it. 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Effects after SculpSure

The small bumps that you're feeling are likely some localized areas of inflammation. These areas can feel like small, hard, tender marbles and will go away in a couple of weeks. In my experience, if you are relatively thin, and the applicator was placed very close to bone, you may be more prone to develop these areas of nodularity. However, they do go away. As has been said, your results will start to be noticeable as early as 3 weeks after treatment (but don't be surprised if you don't see anything until week 6), and will continue to improve for up to 3 months after the treatment. In the interim, you can gently massage the bumps 2-3 times a day for 10 seconds to help expedite the healing process. Best of luck! 

Anthony J. Taglienti, MD
Smithtown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

#sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Procedures

Thank you for your question.

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 our 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

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Lumps after SculpSure

What you describe is not uncommon after SculpSure.  Fat tissue that has been destroyed can often manifest as "lumps" which over time should resolve as the body eliminates the dead tissue.  Gentle massage in a circular motion can help dissipate the tissue faster.  If there is concern, you should certainly go back and consult with your SculpSure provider.  

Anh-Tuan Truong, MD, FACS
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

More bulging on one side after scu;lptsure

It is not unusual to have some transient swelling or mild lumpiness after a sculptsure treatment for a short period of time. This can at times be more obvious on one side than the other. However, if you are concerned I suggest you convey these concerns to your doctors office and have he or she examine you.

Jeffrey K. Scott, MD
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Bumps and lumps after SculpSure

Immediately after SculpSure there can be localized lumps and bumps for several weeks.  This is actually a good sign, it means your fat is being "destroyed".  Gently massage this area for 5-10 minutes twice/day for 2-3 weeks and it will resolve.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Bulge after SculpSure

You likely have an area of localized swelling in the area where you feel the bulge.  This is probably due to inflammation caused by the heating of the fat in this area.  The areas around the hip bones tend to be a little more sensitive to the laser. The bulge will go away but it may take a few weeks.  If if is not tender, you can gently massage the area to help speed up the resolution.  If it persists longer than a few weeks I would recommend checking back with your doctor who performed the procedure.

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews


It would be helpful to see a picture of the bulging area over hip bone--there aren't too many explanations other than either a reaction of the fat that is burned, or a reaction of the covering of the hip bone that may be included in the flank procedure (esp.if sitting when it is done). I am assuming this is a SMALL bulge and represents one of these and should resolve over 4 weeks. Is it tender? Top of hip bones can be sensitive from flank laser and swelling probably also.

Lawrence Eisenhauer, MD
Encinitas OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Still early days

Yes it is only 5 days, and things will settle in the next one week. Left area - budge maybe swelling OR maybe an area of collagen contraction. This occurs early in the process, and is how your skin reacts to the heat generated by the laser. This will subside over the next week or two. As for the other side of ' small fat deposits'- this is somewhat unusual. Perhaps another expert can comment on this? Usually the effects take a few weeks before working, and the process is gradual. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
BRISBANE, Australia. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 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.