Sculpsure or Lipo?!? HELP

I'm 21 years old, very active and fit and take very good care of my diet but can't seem to get rid of my flanks and inner thigh fat no matter what I do! I've been a volleyball player my whole life so the big legs are natural but I can't seem to slim down my inner thighs. I'm 5'6 and 140lbs. I've looked into both Sculpsure and Lipo and I'm not sure what would be best for me... Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 22

SculpSure or Liposuction

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Liposuction is the gold standard of body contouring. However, it is a surgical procedure with both downtime and recovery (think compression garment). SculpSure is, in my opinion, the most effective non-surgical body contouring procedure. I use it "off label" to treat the inner and outer thighs with great results but it will take 2 treatments in all likelihood. Hope this helps.

SculpSure would be an excellent option

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From your description it sounds like you would be an excellent candidate for SculpSure laser contouring. You sound very fit and active and due to the volleyball have some bigger thighs and flanks as would be expected. I really don't use BMI calculations with my athletic patients since it is completely inaccurate. Seek out a SculpSure specialist. This may not necessarily be a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. You want to see someone who SculpSure is their focus. 


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Thank you for your question. Sculpsure is not a tool for weight loss; rather, it is a body contouring procedure so most patients will need to be at a BMI of 30 or less to be eligible for the treatment. I suggest that you move forward and consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Fat reduction program

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The two options you are considering are very different in the way that they are performed and the nature of the recovery process drastically varies as well. 

SculpSure works by engaging a controlled hypothermic 1060 nm wavelength to the body, targeting the fatty tissue. The heated wavelength establishes a controlled hyperthermic temperature of 42°C and 47°C causing an injury to the adipose, without any damage to the dermal tissue. The damaged adipocytes will be absorbed and removed gradually by the body’s inflammatory process and the volume of fat in the treatment area will decrease. 

Some patients may experience temporary redness, tenderness, swelling and tissue firmness on the treatment sites. Tenderness may last up to two 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. 

Patients can expect to see results in approximately 6 weeks with optimal results seen in 12 weeks. 

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that requires downtime that can last anywhere from 10 days to a few weeks. Mobility is limited during the first week post liposuction procedures and the use of compression garment is almost always required for the first few weeks. (appx 4 to 6 weeks) 

I would certainly suggest going in for an in-person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can provide you with an analysis of the treatment areas that you are seeking for fat reduction and he/she can give you a realistic list of expectations as far as cost, associated discomfort, duration of recovery and post treatment after care between the two treatments. 

SculpSure is a non-invasive treatment so if you do not have the available free time for the associated downtime with liposuction, then SculpSure would be the best option for your fat reduction goals. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

#sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Procedures

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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 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

SculpSure versus Lipo versus Coolsculpting

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Coolsculpting is the only non-invasive method that has been FDA approved for the inner thighs.  Liposuction has the problem of having unevenness after the procedure and loose skin.  Please consult an expert. Best, Dr. Green

Inner Thigh Slimming. SculpSure vs. Lipo

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Although SculpSure is FDA  approved for fat reduction in the abdomen and flanks, it can be used off label for the inner thighs. Liposuction is the definitive treatment that comprehensively removes the fat in one procedure. It is done under local tumescent anesthesia in the office, is relatively comfortable and when it's over you have the final result as soon as the swelling and recovery phase is over.
SculpSure removes about 24% of the fat per treatment and two treatments is the recommended protocol at six-week intervals.  You will see the final result of SculpSure about 12 weeks after a treatment.
So for those patients who want a more definitive one-time treatment, liposuction or Smartlipo would  be recommended. 
If youare patient and don't want any surgical procedure at all, then a series of SculpSure treatments is fine. You may not have as much fat removed as you want with one or two treatments, but they are 25 minute treatments, very convenient, and you can always add another treatment if needed.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Sculpsure or Lipo?!?

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Without performing an exam, it is difficult to determine what the best option is for you.  However, there are some differences between the 2.  SculpSure is a nice nonsurgical alternative to reduce fat in the treated area.  It can take more than one treatment to get the result you desire.  Liposuction will often give you the result you are looking for in one treatment.  However, an invasive procedure is required and the recovery is more involved with some downtime.  Meet with a surgeon experienced in both procedures to make a decision.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

SculpSure vs lipo

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Sculpsure can take up to 24% of fat off of the area tested whereas liposuction will on average take more in one shot. The difference lies with the recovery and risk for irregularities.  Sculpsure has no down time and you must wait 3 months to see final results.  With lipo you will have to wear a gaent and wait about 6 weeks to see good results and up to 3 months for a bikini ready body. Lipo may have increased risk of irregularities because the procedure is performed by a human based on touch and sight while the Sculpsure is evenly heating the area of treaemt so you will likely have a more even result. I generally recommend that if you have less than a 2-3 centimeter pinch of fat in the area you're considering then you would gravitate to SculpSure and if it's 3  or more then you would see more results (with more recovery time) with lipo

Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

SculpSure or Lipo?

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The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer to your question. If you are adverse to minor surgery then Sculptsure is a good option.You would likely need two to three sessions in order to obtain complete results. However if you are not adverse to minor surgery liposuction or SmartLipo would provide even more dramatic results in one setting with minimal down time. You could expect very good skin contraction due to your age. Cost wise one SmartLipo session vs several Sculptsure sessions would likely be similar in cost

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.