Have you heard of a painful recovery after sculpsure on thighs?

I had sculpsure done on my outer thighs about six days ago. The procedure was definitely more than uncomfortable. In fact, I would say it was painful at times. However, my question is have you ever heard a patient complain about intense pain during recovery? My thighs are swollen, hard, and very tender to the point that I cannot lay on either side and I definitely can't massage them. I ice them periodically and use otc pain meds. Should I be concerned?

Doctor Answers 9

Pain after SculpSure is very unusual

Although rare, pain can be felt after a SculpSure treatment.  However, what people are calling pain, it usually can be relieved with over the counter the medication (OTC), not narcotics.  So, I have my doubts if it is really pain or just some mild discomfort.  I would recommend taking OTC anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Alleve, Aspirin, etc) and massaging the area for 5-10 minutes twice/day for 2 weeks.  If this does not help, contact your physician for help.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 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

Pain After SculpSure Treament

  Thank you for your question. During a SculpSure procedure you should not have intense pain, that usually means the energy level is too high. When a patient feels intense pain during the procedure the machine should be placed into a cooling mode followed by a reduction in the energy level. I have never had a patient with pain after the procedure just mild soreness. You need to see the physician who performed your treatment.

Intense Pain After Sculpsure -- Not Common

In my practice pain is very minimal with sculpsure treatment.  I suggest you see an expert or speak to your MD if you are concerned about your previous treatment.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Sculpture and pain

Short answer- yes. SculpSure is less painful than Coolsculpting post procedure in most cases, however some patients are super sensitive. This is because it causes inflammation of the fat. Like others, we have found the legs (inner thighs especially) very sensitive. 

I usually start at 0.9 and try to push to 1.2, ideally in this area, 2 sessions spaced 6-10 weeks apart will give the best results. 

Pain wise, normal OTC such as panadol, aspirin, nurofen or other NSAIDs can help. Pain will settle in the next few days. 

All the best, 
Dr Davin Lim
Fiori Institute of Body Contouring 
Brisbane, Australia. 

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

Pain during and after on thighs

The legs seem much more sensitive and have caused me to start low (.9-1.0) and work up although the outer surface is less so than the inner. Heating the fat should be mild-mod uncomfortable to get the results you would like, but swelling and pain at 6 days is unusual--call your doctor to be seen is what I recommend.

Pain & discomfort after SculpSure

Thank you for your question. It is normal for some patients to experience more pain after the SculpSure treatment. The areas that you had treated are still swollen and recovering. Please continue to ice them and massage when possible. Wait a few more weeks so that the swelling goes down. If it’s still a concern to you then please schedule a follow up appointment.

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

Significant pain during sculpture treatment... should i be concerned

I am sorry that you are having issues about your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Sculpture should not be a painful procedure during or after the treatment. adjustment of the energy delivery and independent management of the applicators should allowed for adjusting the various sensations on the different treatment areas. 

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Painful recovery after SculpSure

I would say that a painful recovery after SculpSure is possible, but not the norm.  For most people, the procedure and the recovery involves little or no pain.  I do not know the specific details about your treatment to comment on whether the settings were appropriate for you or not.  I would contact the physician who treated you to let him or her know about your pain.  Your doctor could then decide if an examination might be helpful or give you advice as to pain control.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.