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 13

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


Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Does SculpSure hurt?

Thank you for the great question.  It's one of the first questions all our patients want to know.  Does it hurt?   I've had SculpSure and so have a large number of our patients.  At the point where you feel like you  are about to feel the pain, the cooling cycle starts and the patient feels fine.  Some patients have reported experiencing the heat as feeling like a menstral cramp. Out of all of our patients, we have only had one that has stated that it was not a comfortable experience.  She did finish though, she didn't want to stop.  The laser is devised to work with your tolerance for the absorption of the heat.  If you feel pain, it is to be turned down.  Also, some areas can feel more painful than others and luckily the laser's settings can be changed per applicator--so it can be completely indivualized to your body.  I hope this helps.  The results we are seeing are exciting and our patients have been very happy!

SculpSure Treatment Tolerance

Most patients that have been treated in our office usually describe SculpSure as tingling and similar to the effect of putting on too much Icy Hot. We talk to our patients to distract them, and advise them to bring headphones or a book to keep them occupied during the treatment. Everyone's tolerance is different and everyone's experience is different. 

Patricia DePoli, MD, FACS
Skokie Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Sculpsure Pain Management?

We have had SculpSure for quite some time, and have treated numerous patients, and both myself and my staff have also done it, and we have had very little trouble with pain management. Clearly, everyone's perception of pain, and their own pain tolerance can be extremely variable. However, the device allows us to vary the energy used, so that the goal is to get a patient to the point where they are feeling heat in the treated area, but not to the point where it is burning or extremely painful. As long as the patient knows what to expect, and care is taken to monitor them closely, we have found no need for any anesthesia or pain medication, and almost no one has had difficulty with the treatments. While some patients are more sensitive to pain than others, we have not found that any particular body area is more sensitive.

Sculpsure pain management?

I have a very low threshold for pain myself, but I was able to tolerate sculpsure without a problem. There was some discomfort,  but not excruciating pain. In my opinion ulthera is much more painful. I do not believe that certain areas are more sensitive than others and there is really nothing to lessen the pain other than distraction such as listening to music. I have been offering sculpsure for 7 months now and I have only had 1 patient who could not tolerate the treatment.

Sculpsure pain

I have had the treatment myself and so I will comment personally, even though every patients pain tolerance is different. There is some burning and heat tingling primarily in the first 4 minutes while the machine gets to the desired temperature. I would rate this as a 5 out of 10. The person administrating the treatment, can decrease the heat if the person feels it is uncomfortable. I also recommend headphones and music. Certain areas of the body are more sensitive.

Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

SculpSure Treatment

Hi there,


Pain management is unique to every patients pain tolerance levels. The threshold is often gained by circumstances that help you develop a reference point to compare the levels of discomfort you may experience during a SculpSure treatment.

Most patients tolerate SculpSure treatments very well. SculpSure technology has been developed with the Contact CoolingTM system, which provides the patient with comfort during their procedure. Within a few minutes of starting a treatment, you will feel intervals of deep warmth followed by cooling. This cooling system eliminates the painful temperature spikes during the treatment, and it remains consistently on to ensure that the temperature is well tolerated by the patient. 

Following the procedure some patients may experience:

temporary redness, tenderness, swelling, and tissue firmness on the treatment sites. 

Most of the side effects should subside within 2 weeks

Tenderness may last up to 2 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.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Pain with SculpSure?

I have undergone 4 SculpSure treatments myself and I would not call it painful.  There is some discomfort, but not real pain.  The laser settings are adjustable and feedback from the patient is essential to achieve the best possible results, so no topical or oral pain meds should be used during the treatment cycle.  There are some people who just can't tolerate the treatment for whatever reason.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Sculpsure, Vanquish, Ultrashape, CoolSculpting Non Invasive Fat Removal / Body Contouring Treatments -- Pain During Treatment?

I rarely have patients with too much pain from Sculpsure. SculpSure has adjustable settings which can be adjusted to the patient's tolerance level. Coolsculpting has more pain but is still tolerable.  Vanquish should be combined with both to give better outcomes along with z wave/cellutone.  Ultrashape has no pain but takes a number of treatments for any results.  Please see a body contouring expert for a consultation to see what you are a candidate for. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Pain After SculpSure.

SculpSure has adjustable settings and if the patients is in pain the settings should be turned down until the patient can tolerate the procedure. Ideally, there should be some discomfort for a second or two and the laser will go into the cool phase for the best results. We have found arms and inner thighs to be the most sensitive. I would not recommend anesthetic or pain medication because the level of discomfort is the feedback we are looking at to adjust the laser setting. The opposite is true also. If you don't feel anything we need to turn the settings higher.

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.