I recently had Sculpsure, does energy setying affect outcome. Any suggestions?

I recently had sculpsure on lower abdomen and flanks. The pain was so intense with my flanks I could only get up to a midlevel setting, will this effect my final result? My doctor claims output setting does not effect final result but that doesn't make sense to me. I'm think, 32 years old 116lbs, perhaps this is why it was painful?

Doctor Answers 13

Most Effective SculpSure Energy Setting

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This is a very good question that comes up frequently in my practice. Evidence shows that based on two separate trials that measured the effectiveness of this 1060nm laser technology, the patients responded just as well with the laser power settings between 0.90 and 1.40 watts/sq. cm. This range creates sufficient energy to raise the temperature of the fat cells to the target temperature of 42 to 47 centigrade. In fact studies show that settings of greater than 1.4 watts per sq. cm do not improve the efficacy of the treatment and may be less effective or cause harm. This is why we ask the patient to let us know what their comfort level is. 

A SculpSure treatment should not be painful. The patient is given a discomfort zone chart that let's the patient communicate what is tolerable to him/her. The applicators can each be adjusted independently as the amount of discomfort may not be the same for all areas being treated.
A mid-level setting as you put it will work just fine and no less than a higher setting as long as it is within the recommended therapeutic energy setting. 
I have had happy patients that were treated at the lower range of energy settings and saw satisfactory results.

Shoud be fine

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There are a range of settings for the SculpSure device.
The lower settings can provide more comfort, but are within the therapeutic range.

Range of effective settings

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There is a range of settings that will deliver results. It is up to the provider to find the balance between a patient's pain tolerance, the heat setting and the desired outcome. Hope this helps. 


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Thank you for your question. There are many factors that comprise a successful SculpSure treatment. I suggest that you move forward and consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to determine the right treatment plan for you and how to adjust the settings to allow you a comfortable and safe procedure.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Settings and Efficacy

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The setting does not impact the results. As long as you are feeling the deep heating sensation then you are in the fat destruction zone and should have a successful treatment. Keep in mind, it can take 6 weeks to see results and optimal results will be seen at 12 weeks.

SculpSure Settings

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Hi Csc4517,
Thank you for your question.
The SculpSure machine delivers complete treatment even at the lowest setting at .90. The different setting levels ensure maximum comfort for each individual because pain tolerance varies person to person.The setting levels are .90 to 1.4 all of which provide results. 

Jeffrey A. Klein, MD
San Juan Capistrano Dermatologic Surgeon

SculpSure settings are adjustable

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The SculpSure laser is very sophisticated and allows for adjustments during the treatment.  As long as you maintain a certain level of energy delivery to the targeted area you will see results.  Pain does not equal results with this machine, if the pain level is too high it must be dialed down to prevent any skin injury.  People with less "target area" (less fat) tolerate the treatments better and the settings tend to be adjusted upward, while people with more "target area" tend to need lower settings.

In this situation, your doctor was correct.  As long as you were in Zone 3 or 4, the fat destruction zones, your treatment will be effective.

Good Luck!

Do SculptSure energy setting affect outcome?

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It does seem that slender people receiving Sculp[tSure sometimes experience a bit more discomfort than people with thicker layers of fatty tissue. Don't try to over analyze the customized settings which you received. Your results should be should be equal to all other patients.

SculpSure settings

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Thank you for your question. The SculpSure settings will not affect your results. The settings are placed according to the pain tolerance of each patient. Our patients, who opted for lower settings during their procedure, still had the same great results.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

SculpSure Settings

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Technically, once you hit the "fat destruction zone," with the settings, it shouldn't affect your result. However, in practice, I have noticed that if you can tolerate a higher setting - without being in total agony - then you may have a better result. For my patients, I will keep them at a high setting and continually cool blast them and then raise the setting again. This makes the treatment a little longer, but the end results may be better. It's hard to say - and if you ask the company directly, they'll say that it doesn't matter.  For my patients with a little more fluff, they tend to tolerate the treatment better - if you are thin already, and the handpiece is near or on bone, it can be a little difficult to tolerate a high setting. Rest assured, I'm sure you did not grossly affect your results. Best of luck! 

Anthony J. Taglienti, MD
Norristown Plastic Surgeon

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.