I’ve gained and lost weight most of my adult life. And I’ve had two very big babies who left me with the gift of that baby pooch that — no matter how well I eat or how much I exercise — I just couldn’t change. So when SpaMedica offered to let me try SculpSure in its Toronto location, I jumped at the chance to try a non-surgical body contouring treatment that’s a far less-invasive alternative to liposuction or a tummy tuck. I’m excited to show and tell you more about my SculpSure results!
The results with SculpSure vary for everyone, and most patients have better success after two sessions, but there are more things I need to tell you about my experience before I show you my Sculpsure results. Because at this point, you’re probably here because you have a lot of questions about SculpSure — and that’s a good thing, because it’s an investment. Here’s what else I’m going to tackle below:
- SculpSure vs. Coolsculpting
- How long is a SculpSure procedure?
- Does SculpSure hurt?
- SculpSure for weight loss
- How long does it take to see SculpSure results?
- What to do after SculpSure
- SculpSure locations & clinics
- How long do SculpSure results last?
- Will SculpSure get rid of my cellulite?
- SculpSure side effects
- How much does SculpSure cost?
- And, OF COURSE: my personal SculpSure results! (Complete with before and after SculpSure photos)
First of all… SculpSure vs. Coolsculpting — what’s the difference?
The short version: SculpSure uses heat while Coolsculpting uses cold.
The longer version: SculpSure, unlike Coolsculpting, uses laser-directed heat to basically make the targeted fat cells explode. Then, over the next six to 12 weeks, your body simply flushes them out like the detox machine it is. Coolsculpting results can be similar but the process — as its name suggests — freezes the fat cells instead.
Many patients I’ve spoken to find Coolsculpting painful, but there are some people who also find SculpSure painful (don’t worry…we’ll get to that below). Coolsculpting “squishes” your fat between a roller-type apparatus and SculpSure uses between one and four “pads” that sit on top of your skin in the targeted area(s).
How long is a SculpSure procedure?
The non-surgical body sculpting procedure itself is only 25 minutes long, but depending on several factors — pain tolerance, treatment area, whether or not you’ve taken pain meds or eaten protein before your appointment (do BOTH but pay attention to what kinds of meds your health-care professional suggests!) — the sensation you feel during that entire 25-minute SculpSure treatment might be anything from mild discomfort to so much pain that you’ll be tempted to put a stop to the whole darn thing.
The good news? It goes in waves about every 30 seconds, followed by a sharp cooling period that comes at just the right time. The bad news? There’s no way to know until you try it which camp you’ll fall into.
Does SculpSure hurt?
For me, when the SculpSure laser pads (called PACs) were on my stomach, it was uncomfortable, like an ongoing pinching and burning feeling during the 30-second heating period. I hesitate to call it pain per se, but it was uncomfortable enough that I had to keep my eyes closed and focus on deep breathing.
There were a couple of times during my first SculpSure treatment that I needed the medical aesthetitian to give me a “cool shot,” but the second time around I’d taken a Tylenol 3 about an hour beforehand and it was much more tolerable. When I had the SculpSure PACs on my flanks (sides/waist), however, I felt great! No discomfort whatsoever and it was easy to carry on a conversation.
I’ve had some people reach out telling me my Instagram Stories made it look easy compared to their experience. And I would say that I have a higher-than-average pain tolerance.
If it helps, the discomfort wasn’t enough to prevent me from doing a second treatment.
SculpSure for weight loss
One SculpSure treatment will reduce some fat in your targeted area, but two treatments may bring that total to an average of 25 per cent for many patients. There are no guarantees and it’s not necessarily going to take any inches off your tummy, waistline, etc. This is not about weight loss, either. So if you think weight loss is what you’re after, this is probably not the right treatment for you.
How long does it take to see SculpSure results?
Results appear very slowly, taking up to 12 weeks from your final treatment. Be patient. And follow your post-procedure instructions.
Again, the results will vary from patient to patient. If you’re looking into Coolsculpting results vs. SculpSure results, I can tell you that several people I know who had Coolsculpting done consider it successful but all of them experienced side effects like bruising. One of my friends also said she nearly passed out from the pain, so there was never any part of me that considered Coolsculpting over SculpSure.
What to do after SculpSure
You might be a bit sore (like you’ve done a big ab workout) for a few days, and you need to be ready to devote a fair bit of time each day to post-treatment instructions. This includes drinking A LOT of water each day to help flush the fat cells, and massaging the affected areas quite firmly for a minimum of five minutes four times a day for at least two weeks (but up to six weeks) to help prevent nodules from forming — hard, little balls just under the skin’s surface.
They will go away on their own, but you can reduce the probability of getting any at all if you follow the directions. I had one small one on the left side of my abdomen that I could feel for about three weeks after the first treatment. Nada after treatment No. 2!
SculpSure locations & clinics
SculpSure technology is the same from clinic to clinic, but make sure you get references from people you know before you let anyone near your body! I trust SpaMedica’s reputation and Dr. Mulholland’s staff, and I’m not sure I’d have let just anyone perform non-surgical lipo on my belly.
So, before you assume all SculpSure locations are basically the same, think of it this way: most places that serve coffee can make a decent enough cup, then there are some who do it consistently well, and then there are fancy baristas who can make an outstanding cup every time AND add those pretty designs on top. Who do you want making your coffee?
How long do SculpSure results last?
Results from SculpSure are not necessarily permanent. If you don’t keep eating right and working out, you can say goodbye to your new non-surgical body contouring!
I’m not gonna lie…my eating habits have been deplorable for nearly a year, and I have undone some of the great results. But I still have some nice definition that didn’t exist before my SculpSure procedures.
Will SculpSure get rid of my cellulite?
SculpSure works best when followed up with several weeks of additional body-shaping cellulite-reducing treatments such as Venus Freeze or BodyFX. These are offered as part of SpaMedica’s overall treatment package, but other clinics may add these on a la carte.
SculpSure itself, alone, does not reduce the appearance of cellulite, and I personally found that it made mine appear worse at first because my skin was a bit looser before the skin-tightening protocol that followed at SpaMedica.
SculpSure side effects
No procedure comes without potential side effects. I personally did not experience any bruising or swelling with my SculpSure procedures, but my tummy area was a bit tender for about 12 hours after and I was extremely tired immediately following the first treatment. I simply listened to my body, went to sleep and then woke up the next morning feeling great and went to the gym! Be sure to discuss all possible side effects during your consultation.
Compared to some of the Coolsculpting side effects I know of through friends — one of whom experienced nerve pain for a few weeks — SculpSure’s most common side effects seemed easier to manage to me as we discussed them during my consultation at SpaMedica.
How much does SculpSure cost?
Finally, SculpSure — while less expensive than liposuction or a tummy tuck — does not come without a hefty price tag. At SpaMedica, the cost of each SculpSure session is around $3,000 per area (note that tummy is considered one area and flanks are a second area); then they bundle in six weeks of Venus Freeze treatments for another $2,799 for two total areas.
Obviously, SculpSure costs will differ from clinic to clinic — and those fluctuations may be pretty wild depending on too many factors to get into here. Ultimately, you need to feel confident in your specific SculpSure clinic and its staff. Cost should be second to that, in my opinion.
My SculpSure before-and-after results
Here they are! The results of my two SpaMedica SculpSure treatments on my tummy and flanks, plus six Venus Freeze treatments around my tummy, waist and up into the bra line around my back:
You can see above and below that my tummy is flatter, and even the pudge around my bra line is almost entirely gone. This was always one of my problem areas — back fat! — and I can now wear a string bikini top and my back looks fantastic.
Both my back and my tummy have a nicer shape overall thanks to SculpSure. Seeing the outline of my rib cage in a healthy-looking way is one of the biggest measures of success throughout this experience for me.
The upside of my SculpSure experience: although SculpSure didn’t get rid of my “mommy pooch” as effectively as I’d hoped, it definitely made enough of an impact that I’m now much more comfortable wearing a bikini. This photo shows the extra definition it gave my tummy as well, which I love!
The downside of my SculpSure experience: I saw very little improvement in the cellulite on my stomach (yes, I’m one of the lucky ones who has it on my tummy. Yay!). My medical aesthetitians at SpaMedica suggested coming in once a quarter for more Venus Freeze treatments (which are about as lovely as a massage, so I’d love to go just for the soothing warmth, plus they did tighten my skin overall), but after six sessions, I didn’t see enough of an impact to make the cost seem worthwhile for me to make it an ongoing thing. That said, I didn’t do six in a row like I was supposed to because I had life get in the way, so I may revisit this idea.
To be honest, without seeing the before-and-after SculpSure pics, the results were soooooo gradual that I’m not sure I would have noticed that there was this much of a difference.
Every SpaMedica visit was a great one, and I loved that they made an effort to book me with the same couple of staff members each time. I spent a lot of time with those ladies and enjoyed the conversations that built visit after visit. I was usually there for an hour at a time since I was treating two different areas, so it’s nice when you actually like talking to someone for that long!
Only you can decide what feels right for your body and your wallet. For those looking for an alternative to surgery and the additional risks that come with it, SculpSure might be the right choice. If you’re anywhere near the Toronto area, I recommend booking a consultation at SpaMedica to start the conversation.
SculpSure discount code
Lucky you! Use “Andrea30” to receive 30% off of a SculpSure and Venus Freeze treatment package when you present this coupon code at SpaMedica. Just call or come in and ask for the promo by September 30, 2019, for it to apply. Note that your consultation AND treatments can take place after September 30, 2019.
Any questions? Shoot ’em down below in the comments! 🙂
DISCLAIMER: As noted earlier, SpaMedica invited me to be a demo patient to not only provide them with before-and-after photos for their gallery, but also to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.