37 Year Old Mother of 2, Tired of Muffin Top - Doyelstown, PA

At 5'5, 126 lbs, I know I am not overweight, but I...

At 5'5, 126 lbs, I know I am not overweight, but I have a muffin top that drives me crazy! I workout 4-5 times a week, a mixture of running, strength training and Crossfit. I eat healthy at least 80% of the time, but I still have stubborn fat around my midsection that just won't budge. Even when I was at my lowest weight as an adult (117 lbs) I still had a belly pooch. I can usually disguise it with the right clothes, but it is frustrating to me that I can't tuck fitted tops in, or I sometimes get a muffin top effect in my workout clothes. I have a hard time buying pants because my waist is disproportionately larger than my hips, butt and thighs. If I buy a size up to accommodate my waist, the pants look baggy everywhere else. If I squeeze into a smaller size, I have the lovely muffin top.

I was looking for a non-invasive procedure to improve my belly fat and considered Coolsculpting. After reading so many reviews here (thank you reviewers!), I decided that it wasn't for me. At the same time, the place I have been going for laser hair removal got a Sculpsure machine. It sounded like the perfect procedure for me, so I started doing more research. The more I read, the more I liked. I came across a review here on realself that said there is an office in Doyelstown, about an hour from me, doing Sculpsure for only $700. I checked out the doctor's website, and it seems like he is an expert in laser procedures, so I made my appointment.

This Friday I have my consultation followed by the procedure. I am very excited!

My current measurements are:

Waist 27.5"

One inch below belly button 33.5

Hips 35.5

Consult and Procedure Day!

Today I went for my consult with Dr. Debias and had my Sculpsure treatment immediately after.
Dr.Debias asked me what areas I was interested in treating and examined me. He felt I would get excellent results from two treatments to my lower abdominals. The way my fat is situated, he recommended doing two applicators applied in a landscape orientation in the area right under my bellybutton and said I should come back in 4 weeks for a second treatment. During the second treatment, they will apply the applicators on either side of my belly button but in a portrait orientation. He said my fat does not extend wide enough to warrant using 4 applicators across the bottom, nor do I have enough fat above the bellybutton to do two and two today. He described me as having a donut of fat around my belly button, which I felt was an accurate description. The fat in this area is very soft, which he said is the type that responds best to Sculpsure. His office is currently running a special that gives you 2 applicators for $350, which is the best deal I have seen. He assured me that he guarantees that price for the entire course of treatment to the areas I chose to treat today.
The other area I was interested in treating was my flanks. Dr.Debias said that I would not get as good a result on my flanks because my tissue is fibrous in this area. He likened it to a sponge. There are pockets of fat, like the holes in a sponge, that will shrink from Sculpsure, but the fibrous tissue, the sponge in this analogy, will not change. He told me a 10% reduction in my flanks was a reasonable expectation. He said I would see smoothing and improvement, but it would not be as drastic or complete as my lower abdominals. I decided to give the treatment for my flanks a try anyway, but I am really hoping I did not waste my money on that one (also $350 for 2 applicators, so I spent $700 total today. There will be similar additional charges for follow up treatments.) I was surprised that he only thought I should go with 2 applicators to my flanks, but I could understand his reasoning when he explained it to me. The fact that Dr.Debias did not pressure me at all or try to up-sell me made me feel more comfortable and confident. He repeated several times that he did not want to mislead me about my flanks and the results I could expect.
Although I technically could have had all 4 applicators applied at once, Dr.Debias suggested the procedure be broken into 2 sessions of 25 minutes for my comfort. The technician started with my lower abdominals. Dr. Debias had marked where the applicators should be applied, and she attached the belt and applied the applicators according to this. After a four minutes, she told me I should start to feel a cooling sensation on my skin. I told her I could not feel anything at all, so she turned up the machine to a higher setting. At that point, I felt warmth spread through my abdominal region, but it was actually quite pleasant. To me it felt like a heating pad and was relaxing. When I told the technician this, she looked at me in surprise, so I don't think this is a normal reaction. She told me she had had the procedure done herself and felt a mild cramping sensation. I never felt anything other than a gentle warmth. After 25 minutes, she switched to the areas marked on my flanks. My flanks were not as comfortable as my abdominals. Particularly the left flank felt a bit of a snapping pain. It was very similar to the feeling of laser hair removal. The technician told me she could control each applicator independently and asked if I wanted her to turn the left one down. I chose not to because it wasn't intolerable, just not comfortable. The right side barely felt like anything.
I know some people on this site have said that Sculpsure hurt and others said no pain. Perhaps the answer is in your body composition. Maybe subcutaneous fat, the type for which this procedure was designed to treat, is painless. Fibrous tissue and visceral fat, which are not treatable with this procedure, might hurt. This was not told to me by either the doctor or technician, I am just guessing from the difference in sensation that I experienced. I also think I may have experienced less discomfort than some people because I only had 2 applicators at a time. I imagine the heat and discomfort would be amplified with 4 at a time.
I return in 4 weeks for my second treatment. I do not plan to post any further updates until then, unless I have any side effects in the next few days or weeks. I am not posting any pictures right now because there are no immediate changes following treatment.

2 days post

Just a quick update, I have not had any real discomfort following the procedure on Friday. When I touch the areas that were treated, it feels like they are bruised. My skin looks completely normal, and it only hurts if I press. I have been able to exercise and go about my life as normal. It is very hard not to get impatient for change to begin, but I know it will take a few weeks to see anything.

9 days post

9 days after procedure and all of my tenderness is gone, except the left flank, which is getting better. This is also the only area where I experienced discomfort during treatment. No changes yet, as to be expected, but I just wanted to update everyone on my recovery time frame. I return to Dr.Debias at the end of September for a second treatment. He had recommended coming in at 4 weeks, but the schedule just wasn't working with my job.

Slight change or wishful thinking?

I know results are not supposed to come until 6 weeks after treatment, but my belly was feeling a little former to me, so I took these pics wearing the same shorts as my befores. It might just be wishful thinking, but I THINK there is a bit of progress.

It's working!

Only 2 weeks post, and I have lost an inch off of my lower abdominal region. I have been very careful to measure exactly one inch below my belly button to ensure that I am consistent in monitoring my progress. As I noted in my 10 day update, my stomach has been feeling firmer, and I am so happy to be able to verify this with measurements! I am very excited to see what is still to come as this is early to see results.

Side by side comparison photos

Same 2 week pics just side by side with befores

Second treatment

I have not seen any more change since my last update, so no new pics at this time. I really hope I will have some more improvement to show in the coming weeks and will definitely post new pictures if / when I do. My doctor said to expect the most change at the 8-12 week point from my first treatment, so hopefully in another 2-4 weeks I will shed another inch or two.
Today I went for a second treatment; I am 6 weeks post the first one. For this treatment, they put the applicators in different positions. The two lower abdominal ones were in a portrait orientation and had what the technician called a bridge piece separating them so that they were more spaced out. (My first treatment was landscape orientation right next to each other). The flanks pads were applied more on the sides then the back this time. During my first treatment, the abs and flanks were treated in 2 separate 25 min sessions, which the doctor had suggested for my comfort. Because I tolerated it very well previously, I opted to do all 4 applicators (2 on abs, 1 on each flank) at the same time today. I felt absolutely nothing on my abs sensation wise, even less than the first time. I told her to crank it up to max heat, and I truly felt nothing. Just like the first treatment, my flanks were somewhat uncomfortable but tolerable. Again, it was my left flank that bothered me more. Although I can't explain it, I can understand why some people think this is painless and others have pain. I am one person, yet my experience with abs and flanks was totally different, so it is not a question of pain tolerance. I saw another reviewer posted that her doctor told her it hurts more if you have less fat. I do not believe this to be true, or I would expect my abs to hurt more than my flanks. I think providers honestly do not know for sure what causes more pain in some people than others, and they are just offering up some explanation to appease the customer- just my opinion.
I will post again in a few days to let you know about the recovery this time.

No side effects from second treatment

I am 9 days post my second treatment and just wanted to report that I have not had any lingering soreness this time. After the first treatment, my abs and flanks felt sunburned or bruised to the touch- although they looked normal visually. This time I have not had any soreness at all. I also have not seen any change. I am still down one inch as I was two weeks post first treatment, but no further progress. I am 7 weeks post the first treatment, so it is still early days for more progress. Staying hopeful!

8 week update

I think I am seeing some signs of improvement. I feel like my fat pockets are deflating / smoothing out some.
BTW, I read a doctor's answer to another reviewer's question that said early change, like I had experienced, is actually from collagen tightening rather than fat loss. I feel like that explains why I saw some improvement at 10 days out but then nothing since. I am, of course, hopeful to see more change over the next 4 weeks.

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