Should I be concerned at the lack of positive results, and the emergence of seemingly permanent hard lumps in the areas?

I am coming up on 13 weeks post-Sculspure. I went with a friend, and we both have had the same negative experience. We don't look any thinner, and using measuring tape, we've actually grown a bit. Not only that, we both have hard lumps in our abs and flanks. We weren't told to possibly expect this by the doctor (he didn't tell us anything!), but we saw on here to massage them. Sadly that hasn't helped. Are we stuck with these hard lumps permanently?? This is so disappointing. Please help!

Doctor Answers 12


Hang in there. The lumps should go away with time and are related to injured fat.

Check your weight to make sure that has not change, and re-treatment can also be performed.


Sorry to hear about your experience. I have seen nodules and they do resolve with time. It is best to massage these sites a few times a day and continue to stay well hydrated as this helps the lymphatic system remove the digested fat from your body. As the lumps improve so will the inflammation and localized swelling around these sites and then you may start to see a better result.

Sharon Scherl, MD
Englewood Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

#Sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Prcoedures

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


Thank you for your question. Patients can expect to see fat reduction in treated areas in about 6-12 weeks after just one treatment. Patients may feel a little tenderness in the treated areas for a few days, but this sensation is comparable to that of an intense workout, and should not disrupt normal activities. Based on your slightly irregular and seemingly uncomfortable results, I suggest that you discuss your procedure with your board certified facial plastic surgeon to learn more about the initial causes. It would be prudent to meet with other facial plastic surgeons to discuss the best path forward.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Sculpsure Nodules

Hello and sorry to hear of your concerns. Give it some time, 12 weeks is usually what it takes to see results. If you are still feeling the nodules you may still have some inflammation as well. The lumps you are feeling are the destroyed fat cells. Drink lots of water, and massage the areas 5-10 minutes twice a day. This will help your body release those cells. You are not stuck with the lumps. This is a common reaction just give it some time. Best to you, Dr Faraz

Give it more time

just be more patient and continue to massage the area for 5-10 minutes a few times per day. you should also expect to need a 2nd Sculpsure treatment, usually done 6 weeks after the first treatment.

I had my Sculpsure treatment and immediately went to the gym with no problems. you should get back to exercising, if you have not already.

to get your best results, you want to increase your exercising and dieting, if you can.

hang in there.

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Post SculpSure Treatment Side effect

Some patients may experience temporary redness, tenderness, swelling and tissue firmness on the treatment sites. Tenderness may last up to several weeks. Patients are encouraged to gently massage the area twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes and are able to use a cold compress and/or acetaminophen to help relieve any discomfort. Many people resume normal daily activities including exercise immediately post treatment. Physical activity with proper hydration helps mobilize fat via lymphatic system which promotes the elimination process of the dead fat cells. The hard lumps that you feel are very likely a group of destroyed fat cells that eventually will be eliminated by the body. Because everyone's natural response system is different, there is no guaranteed timeline on when the nodules will disappear.. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Sculpsure results

Depending on the amount of fat you had before the treatment you may need more than 1 treatment to be happy with the results. The hard lumps are areas of destroyed fat cells that will resolve on their own but you can help it along by staying well hydrated and massaging the areas either by hand or using a electric massager. Good luck.

Renata Wix-Harris, MD
Livingston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

SculpSure Results

I am sorry to hear of your negative experience, but let me offer a few ideas. First, I would ask if you both only had one treatment? In most cases two treatments are needed and will yield the best results - if you are willing and able, I would suggest a second treatment. In regards to the lumps, this is a potential side effect of the treatment but no cause for concern. The lumps are actually groups of destroyed fat cells, waiting to be eliminated by your body. Massage several times per day for the first few weeks following treatment helps to encourage lymphatic drainage and can make a person less likely to develop these lumps, however your body will eliminate them on its own, regardless. SculpSure really is an incredible, cutting-edge procedure and I think you will be pleased if you take these thoughts into consideration and give it a second chance.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Lumps after SculpSure

SculpSure, the world's first FDA indicated laser for non-surgical removal of abdominal and flank fat, is still in it's infancy.  We and the company (Cynosure) are still learning how best to use the technology.  It does work, it is just a matter of discovering what the best combination of treatment options for you.

We are now performing "treat to complete" programs with SculpSure, which includes a much more aggressive first treatment followed by a second treatment, the results are impressive.  My guess is that you need more treatments a better result.

The lumps that you are referring to are areas of inflammation where the fat has been destroyed, and are actually a good sign.  Yes, do massage these areas for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times/day to help them resolve.  We offer Endermologie after the SculpSure treatments to help smooth the treated area.  This is like a mechanical deep massage, other physicians offer similar treatments to help improve the results of SculpSure.

I would recommend contacting your SculpSure physician and talk about the "treat to complete" program.

Good Luck!

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