What risks are involved with Sculpsure? Does it provide any amount of skin tightening and should areas with scars be avoided?

Doctor Answers 22

Sculpsure Risks, Skin Tightening and Treating Around Scars

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Today, Sculpsure is both the most effective and the safest non-invasive fat reduction treatment available. It is FDA-cleared for permanent fat reduction, meaning the FDA declares Sculpsure both safe and effective. There are no known major risks and zero downtime.

Patients typically experience a range of no soreness to mild or moderate soreness for a few days to about a week post treatment. In our over 600 Sculpsure treatments, we have noted a correlation of the amount of fat mass to the amount of soreness, i.e. the more fat, the higher probability of soreness. With this being said, please remember that we are all individuals with different perceptions and experiences.

Sculpsure has not been FDA cleared as a treatment for skin tightening but we know that the heating of collagen produces skin tightening. It seems likely the heat produced by the Sculpsure laser produces the same effect. With more than 600 treatments logged, we have seen no increase in skin laxity after the treatment. Many of our patients have reported a skin tightening effect after having the Sculpsure treatment.

We do not treat with Scupsure directly over scars but we can treat around scars. The applicators should be carefully selected and strategically placed for optimum treatment; by so doing, it is possible to treat in area with a scar.

Sculpsure risks

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Generally, no, but we can’t guarantee you won’t experience any slight swelling, tingling, redness, or tenderness after your session. If you do experience these minor symptoms, they’ll likely go away within a few hours up to 2 days. We’re here to discuss any concerns you may have at your free consultation. Although sculpsure  is not a skin tightening device, skin tightening is accomplished through melting elastin bonds and new elastin bonds forming in the skin. Yes scars will be avoided during treatment.

SculpSure & Skin tightening

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SculpSure is not a skin tightening device. However, since it is a laser and therefore uses heat to melt the fat, the treatment has be associated with skin tightening. In terms of scars, yes, they are to be avoided. Hope this helps. 

Skin tightening and scars in Sculpsure

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Generally speaking, we avoid treatment overlying any large scars.  The device allows us to easily attach and accommodate to unusual body contours.  The procedure is not promoted for skin tightening but there likely is some improvement.  The younger your skin, the more tightening you can expect.  Overall, SculpSure is very safe with no major risks.

Angela Bowers, MD
Southlake Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

What risks are involved with Sculpsure? Does it provide any amount of skin tightening and should areas with scars be avoided?

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Sculpsure is very safe. The laser penetrates to the subcutaneous layer of skin and melts the adipose fat.  The skin's surface is not affected so there IS NO RISK of skin damage. The skin tightening depends on several factors including, the elasticity of the skin, along with patient's health and age. During the consultation, scars will be evaluated by the physician, and treatment will be adjusted to work around the scars as needed.


Risks with SculpSure? Is there Skin Tightening?

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SculpSure is very safe.  The laser penetrates beneath the skin and melts the fat.  The skin surface is not affected so there IS NO RISK of skin damage.  The fat is absorbed over time.  Since the fat melts, there occasionally can be nodules that form. These resolve with time.  There is NO RISK of indentation of the skin or "shelving" affect as in CoolSculpting.  We have seen skin tightening in many patients. Results are usually seen after the second treatment per area.  If you have a very high calorie diet and don't exercise to flush the fat out, the risk may  be that you don't have the expected results.  


Linda J. Banta, MD
San Antonio Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Safety and results from SculpSure

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SculpSure is a very safe procedure with zero down time.  It is not recommended to treat directly over scars due to the fact that sensation in that area could be affected.  A day or two after the procedure, many patients notice a mild soreness in the area that can last for about a week.  Occasionally some people will develop nodules which almost always resolve over time.  I would not count on it for skin tightening.  However, I have not had any patients complain of more skin laxity after losing fat with SculpSure.

Cheree Dunbar, MD
Folsom Preventative Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sculpsure is a very safe procedure

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Sculpsure is an incredibly safe procedure when performed properly by a physician experienced with the device.

After treatment there is usually some mild soreness over the treatment site but it is does not interfere with your ability to resume normal activity.

We try to avoid treating over scars because it tends to cause more discomfort. Additionally, Sculpsure cannot be performed over the site of an abdominal hernia.

The device is not FDA approved for skin tightening but there are reports suggesting that it does have the ability to do so.  Heating of collagen will cause tightening and it is likely the heat produced by the device that may cause this positive effect.


Sharon Scherl, MD
Englewood Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Risks for Sculpsure

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Sculpsure is Extremely safe and doesn't have any real risks when performed properly by a physician.  It uses lasers to melt fat which have been used by many different devices for the skin and the fat in the past like smartlipo/laser liposuctin and for laser peels.  It also has applicators that apply constant cooling to the skin making it even more save and comfortable so that the treatment is easy and quick at 25 minutes. 
While heating the skin can cause some tightening, Scuplsure also cools with the applicator. No studies have been performed to show whether Sculpsure works to tighten the skin because it is so new, but skin tightening at this point and with the way that the machine works will be minimal.  So if you have a lot of skin laxity you will have to use something else like Thermi which seems to be very effective for tightening skin.
Sculpsure is not recommended on scars at this time because the lack of data, but if you have scars then there is likely less fat under the scar than under the surrounding tissues.  The applicators can be simply adjusted to be around the scar so that it is not affected or involved during the treatment.


Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Sculpsure, Coolsculpting, Vanquish, Thermi

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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.

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 her 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
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

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.