SculpSure plates treatment area question. Any suggestions?

Hello Doctors! I understand the SculpSure treatment applicator plates are very small (a little smaller than an iPhone5 screen). Does the laser extend out beyond this applicator plate dimension when melting the fat? If so, by approximately how much (using 1 applicator as an example)? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

Halo Effect

There is a halo effect around the applicator of 1-3cm. This causes patients to have a smoother and more even result. 


Skokie Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

#sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Prcoedures

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

The treatment will extend at least 1-2 cm beyond

The advantage Sculpsure has over Coolsculpt, is that heat will cause an effect to adjacent fat cells for 1-2 cm, making it very unlikely that you will get areas of unevenness.

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

SculpSure Applicators

Great question Amy1976,


SculpSure technology does go beyond the applicators treatment 'sites' however, it is not significant enough to cause a dramatic reduction in fat to the surrounding areas. The benefit of this can be seen in smoother results to the contours of the body post SculpSure treatment. The exact the amount of distribution probably wouldn't be over an inch or two. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

SculpSure plates treatment area question. Any suggestions?

Yes, there will be some spread beyond the treatment area.  The fat is being heated by laser energy and that energy will dissipate some to the surrounding tissue.  This allows for a more even transition from treated to untreated areas.  The amount of spread is minimal, probably in the 1-3 cm range.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Sculpsure/Applicator Size/How Far Does Treatment Extend--Targeted Treatment/Good in Combination/RF/Ultrasound

Yes, the applicators are small in order to treat a targeted area with some heat extending out a few inches. Keep in mind that Sculpsure works best in combination with other treatments in order to reduce fat and tone the area. I usually recommend Sculpsure with a combination of radiofrequency VAANQUISH/Exilis/Venus Legacy, or laser treatments in order to create the best results. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Sideways spread?

Because the applicators are "fat heaters" the hot fat (warm) will transfer some energy to the heat conductive fat tissue next to it. This may be as much as 1-2 cm around--but not as much heat as the focused area. This is a "feathering" effect the we see. Remember thought, fat is an insulator for us against heat transfer in hot and cold environments so it is a small effect.

SculpSure Treatment Area

Thank you for your question. Yes, the applicators or treatment frames are small - the majority of energy is focused on these areas, but there is about a 1 - 3 cm fanning out of the energy that happens below the skin. So while the applicators are small, you do get a little more bang for your buck when being treated.

Typically, for the abdomen, patients require 4-6 treatment frames; for the flanks, 2-3. All of this depends on the amount of fat in these areas, and patient desires. Also, while clinical studies tout approximately a 24% reduction in fat in clinical studies, I have found that some patients respond better than others, and most (if not all) patients should anticipate needing at least an additional treatment to the area approximately 6 weeks - 3 months after the first treatment to really see an improvement in their abdominal contour.

Also, anecdotally, some clinicians feel there is a correlation between the energy setting and the amount of fat reduction. If you can handle a higher energy setting without being completely uncomfortable during the treatment, it may be worthwhile. With newer, non-invasive modalities, as long as patient expectations are set prior to the start of the treatment, most patients are happy with their results. Best of luck! 

Specifications of SculpSure

SculpSure is the world's first FDA indicated laser for non surgical fat reduction of the abdomen and flanks.  It is an outpatient procedure that takes 25 minutes with no anesthesia and no down time.  The AVERAGE amount of fat reduction is 24% per session, and more than one session may be necessary.  Off label uses of SculpSure include the thighs, arms and back.

There are actually 4 applicator heads that deliver the laser to the targeted fat area.  Each applicator measures 4" by 6" and any where from 1-4 applicatirs can be used per session.  There is some feathering outside the targeted area, about 25% spread, so there is no demarcation line of destroyed fat/normal fat.  This prevents "step off" deformities that are sometimes seen in CoolSculpting.


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