Does not getting lumps post sculpsure procedure mean it was not as successful?

My boyfriend and I did the Sculpsure procedure today and had similar experiences of moderate discomfort during the procedure and soreness post. I could tolerate 1.2 and 1.3 level settings, and my boyfriend stayed at 1.3 and 1.4. He has now developed lumps on his lower abdomen where his treatment was concentrated. research is saying "thats inflammation and dead fat cell pockets". Im not swollen like him, does that mean mine wasn't as potent?

Doctor Answers 21

Differences in Patient Response

Thank you for your question. I have found that patients who can tolerate a higher setting may have lumps and bumps after the treatment, and be in more (minor) discomfort - compared to those treated at a lower setting. When I performed the treatment on myself, I tolerated up to 1.4, and had some lumps on my flank area that lasted about 6-8 weeks. So, that can happen. However, everyone does respond differently, and you were certainly at a high setting - and will start to see results in approximately 6 weeks, with full results at 3 months. This also highlights the difference between men and women - we have different types of fat (men tend to be more firm), and even when I perform liposuction the post-operative swelling and firmness is different between the sexes. Hang in there, SculpSure is a great treatment - it just takes time to see the results. Best of luck! 

Smithtown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sculpsure and lumps

Your question is very good. Some patents can tolerate higher settings and some patients can develop some lumpiness following the treatment. Lesser setting do not imply a lesser result, but the higher the settings within a normal range may produce better results in some patients. Lumps are very uncommon in my practice, but they can occur. I would massage them twice a day and they should resolve within 6 weeks.

Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Everyone responds differently

You are the perfect description about how differently people respond.  Some people are very sore after the treatment and have some lumpiness, others are not sore nor do they feel much of anything.  I do not see a correlation with the ultimate result based on these early differences.  You are correct that some people get less of a result and some more of a dramatic fat loss but it is far too early to know which category you will fall into. It takes 6-12 weeks to see your result and best advise right now is drink lots of water and give things time to see your results.

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Post SculpSure Lumps

Thank you for a great question.  The short answer is that lumps or bumps do not predict how effective the treatment was. Based on the information you gave, you both were treated at high settings and as long as you felt that deep warmth, you were in the appropriate " fat burning zone".  Having performed many treatments on patients and including myself, I can tell that from my clinical observation, men had a higher frequency of reporting swelling , redness or bumps and that is most likely due to their fat being distributed differently compared to women.  It has been 3 months since you posted this question so it would be interesting to find out how your treatment went. Best, Dr.Avaliani

Anna Avaliani, MD
New York Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lumps after SculpSure

Great question! Everyone's body reacts different to the treatments. Some people develop the little nodules (lumps) after and some people don't. Either way your treatment is still working, you can massage the lumps to help get rid of them faster. Final results will be 12 weeks after treatment

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


Thank you for your question. Each patient reacts differently to procedures so it is best not to compare your reactions to the procedure. You may need a few treatments for optimal results of 25% loss of belly fat while your boyfriend may need only one treatment. 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 121 reviews


In my practice, patients have varying degrees of tolerance for the procedure. I have found that on occasion some patients develop areas of small nodules or "lumpiness" after the procedure which are easily massaged out over a few weeks. Any tenderness that occurs is usually dissipated by the first 3-5 days. I would not have any concerns about the difference in your two treatments.

Pamela Stuart, MD
San Jose Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Lumps post SculpSure treatment

Thank you for your question. 

Different patients can tolerate different energy levels. It is completely normal that you were treated on a lower energy level setting and did not experience swelling post procedure. Edema is common in most patients, however every body responds differently to the treatment.The efficacy of the treatment will not be compromised if you didn't experience the same as your boyfriend.  

As far as feeling a nodule or lump in the treated area, we've seen this in our patients and advise to massage the area everyday to break the nodule up. Drink plenty of fluids to expedite the dead fat cell elimination process and contact your treating practitioner within 6 weeks if your boyfriend does not feel improvement from the massage.

Hope this helps!

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Lumps after SculpSure

Thanks for the question.  In short, the presence or absence of lumps after the procedure does not indicate the potency or effectiveness of the treatment.  Some of the patients that I have treated and gotten the best results with had no lumps at all.  Also, the difference in the settings between you and your boyfriend are not clinically significant.

Robert J .Paresi Jr., MD, MPH
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lumps post Sculpsure

No, the development of swelling or firm lumps has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the procedure. These are just areas of mild local inflammation from the treatment and some people get them and others don't. People heal differently, you can compare it to the development of bruising. Some people will develop a huge bruise after just small bump into something while it wouldn't leave a mark with others. Nothing to worry about. Good luck.

Renata Wix-Harris, MD
Livingston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.