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 16

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

Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 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 124 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 64 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! 

Anthony J. Taglienti, MD
Smithtown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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 73 reviews

SculpSure lasers have effects a little beyond the applicators

Yes, SculpSure treatment applicators emit a laser light that will extend beyond the area covered by

the plates (about 20cm when the applicators are places in a row). Temperature measurement studies by

the company illustrates that the heat extends about 1-2 centimeter past the plates. The lateral spread

for one plate is about 35cm2 and 140 cm2 for all 4 applicators. Infrared thermal analysis illustrates that

there is a gradual feathering of heat and the depth of penetration is about 2.5cm.

Hooman Khorasani, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Extension of laser activity

Yes, SculpSure provides a nice feathering effect with the laser activity dissipating outside the actual contact point by 1-3cm.  This avoids unevenness and "step-offs."  

Linda Hodges, DO
Cedar Rapids Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sculpsure treatment applicators

the applicators are about the size of an iPhone but when treating the area in need several applicators are applied at once thereby covering an area about the size of a rectangular tissue box. There is extension of the heat beyond the edge of the applicators so there is no shelving or hard edge at the treatment site. 

Jennifer Parker Porter, MD, FACS
Bethesda Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Thank you for your question. Please see the attached video for details regarding the actual processes and inner workings of the SculpSure applicator. Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 103 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.