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 13

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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 107 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 58 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 70 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 94 reviews

No shelving with Sculpsure

Hello Amy1976,

Thank you for your question. The advantage that Sculpsure has over cool sculpt is that you will not see any shelving as you do with cool sculpt. The applicators are arranged to sculpt each patients areas of concern. Their is a feathering effect that goes 35% outside of the areas  the applicators are placed. Best to you, Dr Faraz


SculpSure has built in feathering.  The laser light is aimed straight down and some outwards at about 45 degrees.  This spreads the effect out for up to an inch or so and helps prevent contour deformities.

Sculpsure spread beyond plates

The heat generated by the laser of the Sculpsure will extend a short distance (few centimeters) beyond the actual plate, which allows a smoother transition from treated to untreated areas without a "step-off" or "shark bite" effect that can occur with some other treatment modalities.

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.