Bloating after SculpSure. Is this normal for one week?

I had Sculpsure one week ago and have had (still have) quite a bit of bloating in my stomach. I haven't noticed any individual nodules, but the whole area feels firm...kind of like a baby bump. Is this normal for one week?

Doctor Answers 12

Possible SculpSure Side Effect

By your description, it sounds like you may be experiencing swelling that may be giving you a bloated feeling.  Patients can experience mild swelling, soreness and/or redness initially after treatment.  Most of our patients who experienced any discomfort, reported all side effects subsided in the first 3-5 days.  Although, there are some occasions patients experience these side effects for up to 2 weeks.  Discomfort can be easily relieved with a chilled towel and/or compression.  Keep in mind, everyone's body responds differently and it's always important to have your doctor monitor your progress.  

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


Thank you for your question. Please post a picture of your bloating - your experience may be more of a feeling of the fat cells being destroyed. Many patients cite minor soreness after the procedure, which might be your case as well. I suggest that you next consult in person with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Bloating after SculpSure.

Yes I would have to say that is very normal and the swelling and tenderness can last up to 2 weeks. Patients are typically encouraged to massage the area twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes on average.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Possible side effect

Hi there,
Based on your description, it could be a possible side effect post treatment. 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. If you feel further discomfort after 3 weeks I would suggest seeing your practitioner for an in-person evaluation for the areas of concern. Best of luck!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Bloating After SculpSure. Is This Normal for One Week?

This is a transient effect and the firmness will  go away. Here is a description of the side effects reported during the device trials submitted to the FDA.
Adverse Events
All events were transient and were mild in nature. Instances of erythema were reported and all resolved within a day on average. Instances of pain and edema were reported and all resolved within 4 to 7 days on average. Instances of bruising were reported and all resolved within 12 days. Instances of nodules and hardness were reported and all but one resolved within 55 to 69 days on average. Nodules and hardness that were reported did not interfere with daily activities and did not require surgical intervention. One (nodule) outstanding adverse event remained at Dr. B's Study center at the 12 week follow up. The patient still had a trace indurated mass present. This is non-tender, not visible from the outside and has no clinical significance. The patient is satisfied with the result of the treatment and is not disturbed by the presence of the mass which she has trouble finding on her own. The nodule was 5 mm and required no treatment. The patient returned 6 months post treatment for an examination, at which point the nodule was considered resolved. The only interventions used were massage. There were no reports of blistering, pinpoint bleeding, crusting, scabbing, itching, pustules, skin burns, scarring, infection, allergic reaction, hypopigmentation, and hyperpigmentation.
Nodule  8 patients 23% of patients Mild 5 Moderate 3 Duration Average 70 days Minimum 35 days Maximum 139 days.Some discomfort occurred in 74% of patients, Mild in 70%, Moderate in 30 %, 0 Severe; Duration Average 7.4 days, Minimum 0 days, Maximum 28 days.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swelling after SculpSure

I have had some patients experience swelling after a treatment with SculpSure.  This is perfectly normal, although not all patients will experience swelling.  This is an inflammatory response.  The body is working to destroy and eliminate the fat cells.  Please continue to massage the area for five minutes, two times a day.  Don't forget to drink plenty of water to help your lymphatic system remove the waste from your body.  I hope you enjoy your results.  Our patients love SculpSure!!

Consider giving it more time

Thanks for your question. Yes that is normal for a couple of weeks post treatment as the body breaks fatty cells. Optimal results typically occur at about 6 weeks. Should experience anything severe, please consult your doctor.

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

SculptSure and Post Results -- Add Vanquish and Cellutone

I find that post treatment compression and/or Vanquish cellutone do well.  Please see an expert. This can last a few weeks.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Bloating following SculpSure

Bloating after a SculpSure treatment is normal.  The body is working to destroy and eliminate the fat cells, and this can cause swelling.  Continue to massage the area, and your symptoms should resolve with time.  In a few weeks, you should start to see your results.  I always recommend following up with your provider if your symptoms worsen or fail to resolve.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Healing response

The firmness you are feeling is likely fat that was injured during treatment and the body is metabolizing the tissue.  This will take some time to improve.  Keep hydrated and massage can help with the firmness.

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.