Sculpsure Pain Management?

Sculpsure being touted as causing little discomfort, etc. But most patients/reviewers say it's actually quite painful during treatment. What can doctors/patients do, if anything, to lessen the pain during treatment? And are certain areas more sensitive to Sculpsure pain than others? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 22

SculpSure & Pain

I have not had a lot of issues with pain among my SculpSure patients. Most would describe it as mild discomfort if they feel anything at all. I have never had to pre-treat a patient for pain. Hope this helps.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Pain Control with SculpSure

There is no pain associated with SculpSure treatment and on average the user discomfort is a 3 out 10.  There is mild discomfort but after 4 minutes into it, every one can tolerate it given that it's only 25 minutes and for a great outcome. I  did not have a single patient who required any pain medication pre or post treatment.  Please remember that by reading a lot of stories about the treatment, your anxiety level may be increased, which also contributes to higher discomfort level during the treatment. Individual responses vary greatly. Some patients feel it while others simply fall asleep or read a book during the treatment.  I suggest you come to a provider that will explain the treatment, what to expect and  the discomfort management tools, etc. Wear comfortable or loose clothing and bring something that will help to keep you distracted. Please do not have this treatment when you are hang over or super tired or close to your period. Good luck and enjoy your body contouring treatment. Best.Dr.Avaliani

Anna Avaliani, MD
New York Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

SculpSure and Discomfort

I have found that each patient experiences SculpSure differently.  Some have found it to be fairly uncomfortable, while other patients have fallen asleep having the exact same areas done.  Most patients tolerate it well, but sensitivity varies from patient to patient.  I've also found there is no predictability about which areas may be more sensitive than others.  Of my patients having both areas done, some claim flanks were a bit more sensitive, some say abdomen.  Your clinician should provide you with a full explanation of how the treatment will work and provide appropriate expectations.  I no longer tell prospective patients that it's pain-free, as everyone's definition of pain is different also.  

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


Thank you for your question. Our patients do not find discomfort with the SculpSure laser. In fact, many patients cite a pleasant feeling with the procedure because it emits a warm sensation. The SculpSure laser offers a range of settings that can be adjusted based upon the patient's experience. Always consul with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

No pain management needed for Sculpsure

Hello and thank you for your question. Sculpsure is not designed to be intolerable. No pain medication is needed. Some areas are much more sensitive then others. The settings are increased or decreased by the patients tolerance. A higher setting does not mean a more successful treatment. The settings are increased by the patients zone. During the treatment you will feel depths of heating then cooling and those settings are keeping the patient in a range that is appropriate for the individual. The patient should not be in pain to have the treatment be effective. Hope this helps. Best, Dr Faraz

Patricia Faraz, MD
Ladera Ranch OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

SculpSure not designed to be painful

Thanks for your question. Because SculpSure is intended to be tolerable, doctors don’t provide pain management during SculpSure. Every person’s pain threshold is different. If you typically don’t handle discomfort well, taking something over the counter may be a good idea. Or distracting yourself during the treatment i.e. reading, listening to music, may also help you feel less discomfort. Best, Dr. Katz

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

Pain tolerated with SculpSure for fat reduction

SculpSure uses externally applied laser to heat the fat below the skin to kill fat cells. As the heat increases, a cool cycle is created by the device and the heat is slowly increased as tolerated. The physician/operator has the control to diminish the energy for those who find it uncomfortable.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

SculpSure is Well-Tolerated

Pain tolerance of course varies based on the individual, however SculpSure is typically very well tolerated, only causing minimal discomfort. The laser works by heating up the fat cells to a specific temperature necessary to cause destruction without damaging any of the surrounding tissue or structures. In order to minimize discomfort during the procedure, the machine is designed to cycle through rounds of heating and cooling, that is 25 seconds of warming followed by 10 seconds of cooling - just when you may begin to feel uncomfortable, the cooling kicks in and you normalize before the process repeats again. The entire procedure is only 25 minutes long and most people find it quite easy to tolerate, particularly relative to the benefit. If you still find it uncomfortable, you could take two Tylenol prior to the procedure to lessen your discomfort.

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

#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 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

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Myself and my staff have had the Sculpsure treatment with no problems

it does get very warm but then it cools down and then cycles. there is no reason you can 't take two Tylenol if you are concerned. we also have a TV in the room and encourage patients to look at their TV or do stuff on their phones to distract them and that works great. 

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 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.