Had Sculpsure done 2 weeks ago on my flanks. I experienced bruising and multiple firm nodules, some quite large. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 11

Is this normal?

Thanks for your question. Two weeks is relatively fresh and nodules/bruising may occur and is normal. Bruising will go away and a massage always helps. Follow up with your doctor in another 4 weeks to discuss if this persists.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nodules after SculpSure

Thank you for your question. While I haven't had any patients have bruising, I have had patients experience the feeling of a bruise after the procedure - tenderness to the area when touched. Also, some will report minor swelling. When I had the treatment on my flanks, I had firm nodules that lasted approximately 3-4 weeks. Rest assured, they resolved with time. So yes, it is normal - if you were able to tolerate a high setting, and had very minimal or localized areas of fat, this is likely why you are currently experiencing this after your treatment. But, rest assured, it'll all get better. Continue to push the fluids, and lightly massage the nodules 2-3 times a day to hep expedite the healing process. Best of luck! 

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


Thank you for your question. SculpSure is one of the safest in-office procedures as the only risk is post-soreness. There are no risks of discoloration, bleeding or other complications. I suggest that you keep your board certified facial plastic surgeon informed of your healing process and continue to follow their recovery instructions.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 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 91 reviews

Nodules and bruising after SculpSure

While your results are certainly not typical, they are not abnormal at all. The vast majority of our patients do not experience any bruising or nodularity post-treatment. However, these can occasionally occur, and are not signs of damage or concern. SculpSure uses laser energy to destroy fat cells, so there is going to be some inflammatory reaction. Bruising will resolve fairly quickly on its own, although you could use Arnica to speed this up, and daily massage of the area will help the nodules slowly shrink down. Make sure these issues are resolved before you do a 2nd or follow-up treatment in the same area.

Craig Schwartz, DO
Leawood Vascular Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nodules and bruising after sculpsure... normal or abnormal

Congratulations on your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

The nodules is something that can be present 1 or 2 weeks after the procedure. However,the bruising is a more rare side effect. massage and arnica are some tools that you may consider for recovery. 

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

Sculpsure and Bruising/Nodules

This is not a typical reaction for sculpsure but it doesn't mean that you have caused harm.  Give it a few weeks to calm down, get massage, and speak to your physician.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews


These are great answers. The only thing I would add would be to wait until they resolve before doing a second treatment in same place. The inflammation should be gone before reinjuring the same spot.

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

Lumps will settle

Small hard lumps in the first few days can be due to two reasons, firstly contraction of collagen and septa- this feels tight rather than lumpy- settles within a few days. 

Lumps later on is secondary to inflammation of the fat- this is how your body's immune system clears unwanted fat cells. It can occur with treatments such as Sculpsure and also with Coolsculpting. Massage, and time will settle these areas. Nothing to worry about.

All the best,

Dr Davin Lim
Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia
Fiori Institute of Body Contouring 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Post SculpSure Bumps

Thank you for your question.  While it is unusual to have bruising with #SculpSure, some patients experience "lumps" under the skin.  The lumps are a result of inflammation (called panniculitis) that helps remove the permanently disrupted fat cells from the body.  We utilize a Cellutone (acoustic wave technology) to prevent this occurrence.  Alternatively, you can firmly massage the areas as often as possible.  The massage will improve the blood flow to and the lymphatic drainage from the area to more rapidly resolve the nodules.

Best of luck,
Suneel Chilukuri, M.D.
Houston, Texas

#Cynosure, #bodycontouring, #fatreduction, #liposuction, #CoolSculpt, #Vanquish, #Ultrashape, #Velashape, #Exilis, #Thermi, #radiofrequency, #laser, #nomorefat, #bodybuilding, #aesthetics, #dermatology, #plasticsurgery, #Houston, #Texas, #KHOU, #RefreshDermatology

Suneel Chilukuri, MD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.