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 21

Extension of laser activity

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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."  


Cedar Rapids Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sculpsure treatment applicators

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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 24 reviews

SculpSure Applicators

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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
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

SculpSure plates treatment area question. Any suggestions?

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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 78 reviews

Sideways spread?

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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

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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
Norristown Plastic Surgeon

Specifications of SculpSure

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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 83 reviews

Smooth Feathering Effect

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Good Morning and thank you for your inquiry!  Yes, Sculpsure does offer a smooth transition between the treated and untreated areas.  You will not find a step-off which is one of the major benefits of the treatment vs other options.

Have a wonderful day!

Dr. L

It does extend

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The effects do extend beyond the area of the plates, which makes it a safer non surgical fat reduction method.

Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

SculpSure applicators

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Yes, the SculpSure applicators are small but there is more than one applied to the treatment area. Also, the laser does extend out from the applicator by about 1-3 cm. This helps to prevent uneven looking results. Hope this helps.

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.