Which will give best results for fat loss in upper arms - SculpSure or CoolSculpting?

My upper arm skin is still fairly tight so that is not the issue. The issue is the amount of flab underneath that won't seem to go away with cardio and weight lifting. Which of the two machines would you say will grasp on to more of the upper arm fat in order to obtain a greater area of total fat reduction? I know Sculpsure is the newer procedure and doesn't take quite as long as Coolsculpting, but Coolsculpting is tried and true. Just looking to get the best results possible.

Doctor Answers 12

#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

SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting works by sucking the fat into the applicator and freezing the fat cells to the point of destruction. The problem with this treatment is that only the area inside the applicator will get the benefits of fat loss. In some patients, this may cause “shelfing” which is an uneven appearance where there is a noticeable line of demarcation between treated and untreated fat. The SculpSure uses heat to destroy the fat cells; the heat fans out onto some untreated areas giving a smooth and even transition. Additionally, SculpSure applicators allow you customize treatment to almost any area of the body to treat undesired fat without the logistical issue of having enough fat to suck into the applicator.


Thank you for your question, Jenn234. SculpSure targets the stubborn subcutaneous fat more effectively than CoolSculpting with a more comfortable procedure and recovery time. I suggest you consult with an experienced board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Upper arms - SculpSure or CoolSculpting?

Both procedures will give similar results, with about a 20-25% reduction in the volume of fat with each treatment. However, although we have both, we much prefer SculpSure (SS) to Coolsculpting (CS), particularly for areas like the upper arms. The handpiece with CS can be difficult to apply to the upper arms, and the multiple handpieces with SS allow for a much more customizable approach. Also, because SS does not have a suction component, it avoids the post-procedure difficulties that CS has, including swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, and even nodularity. Plus the treatment is done in a single 25 minute session, versus CS which will take an hour for each arm, for a total of 2 hours. Finally, SS is a laser device, so it has the added benefit of providing some skin tightening effect. Overall, a much better option.

Craig Schwartz, DO
Leawood Vascular Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sculpsure or coolsculpting for arm ...

Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

It is difficult to determine what to choose based on the novelty of sculpsure. based on the design, sculpsure will be a better system to customize to the stubborn areas. however, coolsculpting has being longer in the market. the pit fall is the design of the applicator in my personal opinion. adapting to circumferential areas with a suction system seems the least appropriate method. 

Finally, make sure that you have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Wishing you the best in your journey

SculpSure is best for the arms

I have used both CoolSculpting and SculpSure for the upper arms and the winner, hands down is SculpSure. Here is why:

CoolSculpting uses an applicator head that draws the tissue in with the use of a powerful suction.  So, there has to be loose skin present or this method cannot be used.  This requirement alone eliminates over half the people who want/need treatment of their upper arms.  There is only one applicator head and the treatment time is one hour, so for both arms the treatment time is 2 hours.  CoolSculpting of the arms is uncomfortable and awkward during the treatment session.  Also, there is a very sharp cut off of the treated area and the non treated area that can be noticeable as a bump or irregularity under the skin.  The recovery period can be very uncomfortable and bruising has sometimes been noted.

SculpSure uses 4 separate, 4" by 6", applicator heads that sit flat on the skin, no suction is needed.  So, even though this area of the body is designated "off label" by the FDA, any person can have this area treated, no loose skin is needed.  Because the applicator heads are smaller and there are 4, you can actually treat both arms at the same time, the TOTAL treatment time is now 25 minutes vs 2 hours. The treatment can also be uncomfortable, but much less so than CoolSculpting.  There is some feathering of the edges of the treatment using the laser, not a sharp cut off, so the result is more smooth and uniform.  Repeat treatments are easy if needed and there has been some skin tightening noticed.

Both methods should reduce the fat about 25% on average and both methods are FDA approved.  SculpSure uses heat (laser) to destroy the fat cells, CoolSculpting uses cold.  CoolSculpting is about 5 years old and SculpSure is less than 1 year old.  In my opinion, the sophistication, adjustablility and long term results of SculpSure will bypass CoolSculpting to become the preferred method of non surgical fat reduction.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Depends - Coolsculpting vs SculpSure

I have use both these devices for reducing fat on the upper arms. The question really is- which is the better device for YOU. You are indeed spot on, CoolSculpting is tried and true- if your fat deposits fit in the applicator, its DONE. It works, full stop. Take longer, recovery longer (not by that much). So, if you fit in the designated applicator size- go for the tried and tested treatment. 

Now, SculpSure. Anything off the abdo and flanks is off label. This works, IMO I reserve this for patients who are not suitable for CoolSculpting. Why? Because I believe in this site, if you suit the CoolSculp applicator, it has a higher probability of better results. 

Like all treatments, a tailored approach gives the best results,

Dr Davin Lim 
Fiori Institute of Body Contouring
Brisbane, Australia

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

SculpSure for upper arms.

Thank you for your question. At our practice, we are huge proponents of the SculpSure treatment. It can treat various areas as long as there is enough fat deposit. We’ve had patients do their upper arms and thighs. SculpSure is a hyperthermic laser fat removal system that works by directing laser energy into your treated areas. What I like about the SculpSure is that it heats up the fat cells so that it not only gets rid of them, but also helps promote collagen or elastin production for tighter skin. I feel it’s the best non-invasive option for fat removal in the market. If you’re interested, please schedule a full-in person consultation with a physician so that they can review your desired treatment area.

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

SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting

Thank you for your question. Efficacy-wise, the procedures are fairly equal. Most patients will have a response where approximately 20-25% of the fat cells in the treated areas will be reduced. SculpSure isn't FDA-approved to treat the arms, but most clinicians have been using it off label (just like we use fillers in various areas of the face, even though they are not FDA approved to be used in certain areas). The only advantage that I can see with SculpSure is that the treatment pieces are smaller, and therefore can be molded to the upper arms more easily than with CoolSculpting. Because of this, you are likely to have a better result. Your best bet is to have an in-person consultation with a Plastic Surgeon to see if you are a good candidate for the treatment. Best of luck! 

Both can be done

Both can work.
However Coolsculpting requires the tissue to be drawn into the machine.
Sculpsure heads can be placed onto the skin as needed.
Sculpsure takes less time and has less downtime.

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.