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 17

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 21 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 150 reviews

Swelling post treatment

What you are describing sounds like normal post treatment swelling. Most of the time, this resolves within 3-5 days. Hope this helps. 

Sean T. Doherty, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Firmness after SculpSure is normal

You are most certainly not bloated, you just see and fell firmness over a treated area, which simply means your body is responding appropriately to the treatment. SculpSure works by using heat, the treatment causes a lot of inflammation, inflammation attracts water and may appear a bit swollen, but it's not significant. You definitely should feel tenderness, which is due to inflammation. This may linger for 1-2 weeks. in some cases longer but id completely normal. You should massage the real for 5-10 minutes twice a day for 1-2 weeks and stay hydrated.  Best, Dr.Avaliani

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

After SculpSure

In our practice, some patients have reported such sensitivity of the area post-treatment. This is expected and may be a good thing since your body is responding to the treatment and eliminating the destroyed fat cells. We offer lymphatic drainage massage following SculpSure for up to 12 weeks to help the elimination process, achieve results more quickly and also relieve any discomfort. Make sure you are in contact with your physician following your treatment. Any swelling and tenderness can take a few days to a few weeks to subside, depending on your body's response.  

Heripsime Ohanian, MD
Paramus Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


Hello Seemom,

No need to worry. What you are experiencing is normal. Each patient responds differently. Swelling can last up to 12 weeks. Your body is in defense mode after having the fat cells destroyed. Once your body releases those destroyed fat cells that is when you see the swelling decrease and usually by 12 weeks you will see your full results.

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

Swelling Post SculpSure Treatment

It is quite normal for the area that was treated with SculpSure to be swollen post treatment. It varies per patient on the duration. You should begin to see results at 6 weeks and full results at 12 weeks.

Patricia DePoli, MD, FACS
Skokie Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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 120 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 121 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 49 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.