Can SculpSure cause uneven fat loss?

I had SculpSure done on my flanks about 5 weeks ago. I definitely notice fat loss on my left side but my right side still looks the same causing me to look lopsided! Is this something that will resolve over the next few weeks? Has anyone seen this before?

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.  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

Uneven Results after SculpSure

While I've not had any patients that have had this experience, I will share with you my own personal experience with this.  I've had SculpSure done on my abdomen twice and my hips once.  Both abdominal treatments were a breeze.  However, the treatment on the hips was a bit different.  It was nothing major, but my right side had some swelling and my left side did not.  It was the strangest thing!  This discrepancy lasted about a month - only noticeable to me.  However, now that the full 3 months has passed - there is no difference at all.  It's unlikely SculpSure results would be asymmetrical.  Give it time.  Be sure you are doing your massages and a true lymphatic massage may even help.  

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

SculpSure results

Thanks for your question. 5 weeks is too soon to see final results- you should allow the full 12 weeks before comparing before and after photos as everyone responds differently. Should you still appear lopsided, you may discuss options with your doctor. Best, Dr. Katz

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

It would be very, very unusual to have uneven fat loss after Sculpsure

you need to wait a full 3 months after your last treatment of Sculpsure before assess if you are uneven. 

it is also important to be aware that the left and right sides of our body are NEVER exactly the same. it is common after any bilateral procedure to pay more attention to symmetry and thus notice asymmetries that were present before the procedure (this is true of breast augmentation and reduction as well as blepharoplasties etc) 

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

SculpSure

Thank you for your question. You may find that over the next 1-7 weeks (the recommended 6-12 week post op period) that you will heal evenly. I suggest that you also discuss with your board certified facial plastic surgeon. Your before and after photos will indicate the extent of your progress and unevenness.

Best wishes,


Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Sculpsure and asymmetry

I would agree that it is too early to judge the final result as it does take about 12 weeks.  That being said there are several reasons you may be noting the difference.  The most simple is that you may have been asymmetric to start with.  This is where taking good pre-procedure photos is a must.  The two sides may have responded differently, which can be the result of the way the transducers were placed, the settings, or any number of things.  My suggestion is to wait the 12 weeks, take photos and compare to your before photos, and discuss with your provider about a repeat treatment if necessary.  

SculpSure Results

Perfection is something we all strive for, however that is far from the truth when dealing with the human body as no part of the body is actually identical. (it only appears to be so) 

Genetically we are all created differently so it is not easy to say that you may or may not produce uneven results from getting a SculpSure procedure. The good part about SculpSure is that it uses a heat induced laser which distributes to the surrounding areas as well during the treatment session so the likeliness of you having a hallow appearance or what some call "shark bite effect"  next to the non-treated area is very rare or highly unlikely. In the case of irregularities, it can be easily treated with another session of SculpSure to balance and smooth out results if required. I suggest waiting up to the recommended 6 to 12 weeks to see the final results. 

Other factors that may contribute to uneven fat loss could be a poorly fit applicator head to the treatment site. A tight and secured skin contact is required for the machine to effectively deliver the laser to the body. Consult with your practitioner who performed the procedure for you if you feel concerned.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Asymmetry after SculpSure is possible

SculpSure is not perfect and neither are our bodies.  In fact, no one in the entire world has symmetry from one side of the body to the other.  I would be patient, wait for the swelling to subside, and then if you are still asymmetric, then a second SculpSure treatment on the larger side would be indicated.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

SculpSure Timing

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that you are looking lopsided. However, it's important to note that with SculpSure it really takes up to 3 months to see your final results. So, your right side may just requiring more time before you see the same results. Of course, it's important to note that everyone has some asymmetries, and that you may have been slightly more full on the right side prior to the procedure and never even noticed! It also depends on where the treatment frames were placed. Assuming they were placed at the same level on each side and at roughly the same energy setting, there is no reason to think that you will not have the same results. Hang in there, and speak with the person who treated you in a couple months if you still notice an asymmetry. Best of luck! 

Uneven fat loss with SculpSure

Thank you for your question. SculpSure is a fantastic laser therapy that will destroy fats cells and over time the body will get rid of the fat cells that have been damaged. Many people will need 2 treatments. After the first treatment it can take up to 12 weeks for the body to remove the damaged cells. Since it has only been 5 weeks you still have a little bit more time before you see the final results. It is important to make a follow-up appointment with your doctor at the 6 week mark to see how you are progressing and evaluate the need for another treatment. Most of us are asymmetrical and probably don't notice until there is a change in us. Check with your physician and discuss the plan for complete body contouring.

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.