No pain or swelling after SculpSure — not effective?

Im reading about alot of people having pain and swelling after sculpsure. I had sculpsure done on my inner thighs a week ago but no pain or swelling. Does that mean it wasnt effective? The inquiries i been reading about the pain and swelling the doctors were saying that means the procedure was effective and that the fat cells were dying.

Doctor Answers 18

SculpSure Effectiveness and Side Effects

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Often times patients associate potential side effects of procedures with effectiveness, however this is almost always unrelated. A common side effect of SculpSure is pain or soreness and minor swelling, however if you are not experiencing these things I would consider you lucky as opposed to someone who did not receive an effective treatment. With SculpSure the settings used will determine whether or not the treatment is effective. Your fat cells must be heated to a temperature between 43 and 47 degrees Celsius and held there in order for the cells to die - the minimum setting during "build," which is the initial four minutes of the procedure where your cells are being heated up, has been shown to be enough for the treatment to be effective. As long as you stayed at this minimum setting (or even went higher) your treatment would have been effective. Don't worry - just be patient and wait for the results which you can see as early as six weeks, but could take up to twelve.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

No pain & swelling does not mean no results

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Just because you aren't experiencing any pain and swelling following your SculpSure treatment does not mean that it wasn't effective. I would simply say that you are lucky. You should see your visible results in 3-6 weeks. 

Sculpsure and pain

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Many patients experience mild discomfort or soreness after SculpSure that can last days to weeks.  However, the level of soreness doesn't directly correlate to the effectiveness of the treatment.  Personally I think the level of soreness is related to the proximity of fat destruction to muscle fascia which has more pain fibers than fat.  Just because you don't have soreness doesn't mean your treatment was not effective.  Be sure to follow post-procedure instructions and follow up with your physician as directed to check your progress.  Good luck!


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Thank you for your question. Some patients may experience a small degree of tenderness after SculpSure, but SculpSure is effectively a pain-free procedure. Please keep in mind that there are settings on the machine through which the operator can increase or decrease its effectiveness and the associated sensation that comes with it. Perhaps your first SculpSure experience was performed on a lower level setting. Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews


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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.  No compression garment required.

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

Post-procedure pain and sweeling and efficacy of SculpSure

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Hello Hilife808,

Thank you for your question. We have to keep in mind two things, first that every person is unique and different, and second that pain is subjective. Some people are more sensitive to pain than others and also, different areas of the body have different sensitivities. Whether a person feels pain or experiences swelling after SculpSure does not indicate whether the treatment was effective, nor does it indicate how effective the treatment was. During the clinical trials for SculpSure, including all the before and after images Cynosure (the company who makes SculpSure) provides for the treatment, all patients were treated at a 1.1 setting, which is the lowest setting the machine has. That said, regardless of whether someone had higher settings used, or if he or she experienced any pain or swelling, the treatment will be effective. If you're not experiencing any post procedure discomfort that's wonderful! Trust in the process and be patient; you will see your results in as soon as 6 weeks, with full results at 12 weeks.
Best of luck! Richard J. Dittrich DO, MBA, FAGOG

Richard Dittrich, DO, FACOG
Philadelphia OB/GYN

Pain after Sculpsure

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Most of our patients have little or no pain after a Sculpsure treatment.  The procedure works to permanently destroy fat cells and has been very effective.  The fact that you're not having any pain or swelling does not mean the procedure didn't work.  You're like the majority of patients that tolerate the treatment very well.  

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Swelling after SculpSure

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I have not found swelling to be common after SculpSure treatments.  I follow up with my patients in 2-3 days and most are doing just fine with no side effects whatsoever.  This does not mean the treatment was not effective.  Patients can be slightly sore, but it has not been reported to me that this soreness interferes with any normal or physical activity.  If swelling occurs, a cool compress or ice pack can be applied for your comfort.  Tylenol (not ibuprofen) can also be used if there is tenderness after the procedure.  

Linda Hodges, DO
Cedar Rapids Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

No Pain or Swelling after Sculpsure

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In my experience most patients do not have pain or swelling after sculpsure.  In general, most patients have a sense of slight soreness , as if they did a gym workout on the area where the sculpsure was done.   The sculpsure will be effective regardless of the subjective symptoms the patient has. 


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No pain or swelling during or after your Sculpsure treatment does not mean that your treatment was not effective. Each patient has a different pain tolerance. Some patients experience some discomfort during the treatment but not all patients have that same experience. With Sculpsure it is a pattern of heating and cooling. The patient being treated should not be in pain or the treatment unbearable. The settings are individualized to each patients tolerance .Give it the full 12 weeks to see the results. Best, Dr Faraz

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.