Understanding SculpSure for Nonsurgical Fat Reduction
What is SculpSure?
SculpSure is a laser-based, noninvasive treatment that’s used to target and reduce or eliminate fat. It works for both men and women and on a variety of body types. One procedure takes an average of 25 minutes and can target multiple areas at once.
Noninvasive, nonsurgical cosmetic body procedures are becoming increasingly popular, especially to help with fat reduction. Nonsurgical procedures require no incisions or anesthesia. This can mean there’s minimal discomfort, a quick procedure time, and little to no recovery time.
Keep reading to learn more about SculpSure.
What does SculpSure do?
SculpSure involves a hands-free heat laser belt that uses specific wavelengths and heat to eliminate fat cells. In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)cleared SculpSure for its use in noninvasive lipolysis in the following areas:
- upper abdominal area
- lower abdominal area
People who are best suited for SculpSure have a body mass index of 30 or less. SculpSure is not intended as a weight loss option. SculpSure is usually not the best treatment option for people with obesity.
How much does SculpSure cost?
The cost of SculpSure varies based on the number of applicators used during treatment as well as where you live. Depending on the area you’re targeted on your body, you may need to use one to four applicators per procedure. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the average cost of a nonsurgical fat reduction such as SculpSure was $1458 in 2016.
Some offices offer incentives and payment plans. SculpSure is a cosmetic procedure, so it’s usually not covered by insurance.
Preparing for SculpSure
When discussing the procedure with your licensed practitioner, you should communicate which areas of your body you’re interested in treating. The practitioner will tell you how many sessions you might need to reach your goals. Based on licensing rules in your state, the licensed practitioner may be a:
- physician’s assistant
- nurse practitioner
The first SculpSure consultation often takes place right before the treatment, but sometimes you will have to schedule a separate appointment.
Be prepared to discuss your medical history and what medications you’re currently on. To minimize the chance of bruising, you might be told to avoid blood thinners and painkillers such as Ibuprofen or aspirin a few days before you plan to have a SculpSure treatment done.
How does SculpSure work?
SculpSure is a type of lipolysis. Lipolysis is a fat-eliminating process. SculpSure uses laser technology to “melt” fat cells away.
At your appointment, you will be seated in a comfortable, reclined position. The licensed practitioner will mark the treatment areas on your body.
During treatment, the SculpSure device is wrapped around you like a belt. Its applicators deliver a 1060-nanometer diode laser that reaches a temperature of 107.6 and 116.6°F. This is hot enough to kill fat cells underneath the skin while leaving other tissues unharmed.
The SculpSure device alternates between delivering a cooling effect and the heat laser. Each treatment takes about 25 minutes. During the procedure, you can relax, read, or nap.
During the 12 weeks after the procedure, your body’s lymphatic system naturally flushes out the eliminated fat cells. If you need additional treatments to reach your desired results, they can be done 6-12 weeks or more after the first treatment.
SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting
SculpSure and CoolSculpting have a similar basic purpose: to target and injure fat cells so they eventually die and are disposed of through your body’s lymphatic system. The difference is that while SculpSure uses controlled heat to eliminate fat cells, CoolSculpting uses the process of controlled cooling, also known as cryolipolysis.
The potential risks and side effects, as well as the pain level and downtime, are similar for both procedures. As of 2016, the average cost of CoolSculpting ranged between $2000 and $4000, whereas SculpSure averaged between $1400 and $1500.
CoolSculpting was cleared by the FDA in 2012, while SculpSure received clearance in 2015. Because CoolSculpting has been around for a few more years, there’s more available information on it, including more formal studies and clinical trials.
SculpSure risks and side effects
The heating phases during treatment may cause some minor pinching or a tingling sensation, but no numbing agent or anesthesia is necessary.
Few serious side effects have been reported, but because SculpSure is a relatively new procedure, research is still ongoing regarding the effects on the body.
After treatment, you may experience some soreness and stiffness. You may also experience bruising in the treated areas. Your licensed practitioner may recommend that you massage the firm areas during the weeks after the procedure.
SculpSure results and recovery
SculpSure takes 25 minutes and is noninvasive with little to no recovery time. This means that you could feasibly have a treatment done on your lunch break and return to regular work immediately.
As your body metabolizes the eliminated fat cells, fat reduction may be noticeable in as few as six weeks after one treatment. Clinical data from Cynosure, the creator of SculpSure, shows that on average, one session results in a 24 percent reduction of fat in the treated area. Full results are normally seen 12 weeks after the initial treatment. Because the cells eliminated during the procedure are destroyed with the laser, these cells won’t regenerate. Desired fat reduction should be maintained through healthy diet and exercise.