This January, I had a chance to meet with the Hologic team at BlogHer Health. I am a fan of what Hologic does for mammography (they make the new SmartCurve Breast Stabilization System for a more comfortable mammogram), gynecology (they make the ThinPrep Pap Test for pap smears, the MonaLisa Touch® for vaginal rejuvenation and NovaSure for endometrial ablation), and DXA scans. You might not be aware of what Hologic makes, but they’re everywhere. And I was really excited to see some of their newer products.
I was really excited to learn more about SculpSure® at BlogHer Health and loved talking to the SculpSure team. Rarely do you get a chance to meet a technology and get a chance to meet the entire team, before a procedure. I entered a giveaway on a whim for a SculpSure package. If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know already that I won a full package from SculpSure! The Hologic team put me in touch with a local clinic that has a SculpSure machine and a few months later, I was ready for my first treatment.
What is SculpSure? It’s a body contouring technology from Hologic. You might have heard about CoolSculpting® – and while it’s similar in the fact that it’s a non-invasive fat sculpting treatment, SculpSure is very different. CoolSculpting uses suction and freezing to destroy the fat cells, while SculpSure does not use suction and uses heat to destroy the cells.
You can treat many areas with SculpSure – from the abdomen, flanks (aka love handles), backs (aka back fat), thighs, and even under the chin (aka turkey neck). SculpSure treatments often include more than one 25 minute treatment, 6 weeks apart, for best results.
How does SculpSure work? SculpSure works by targeting fat cells with intense heat. With this heat, it destroys the fat cells which are then carried out through your body through waste products through the lymphatic system within a few months (6-12 weeks). Each treatment can destroy up to 24% of treated fat cells.
Does SculpSure Hurt?
Does SculpSure hurt? It sure does. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was not expecting this much burning pain during the treatment. Truth bomb, nothing this effective comes easy.
Here’s what the SculpSure site claims about the treatment,
When the treatment starts, initially you will feel a cooling sensation. This helps keep the skin comfortable during treatment. The cooling will be on the entire treatment, while the laser cycles on and off, raising the temperature of the fat cells. Most patients feel a deep warmth and/or tingling sensation intermittently throughout the treatment which is generally well-tolerated3,4.
I had watched a few videos where the model said that it was warm, but because it alternated between cool and hot, it was tolerable. It was not tolerable. You guys, it was like fire.
You know that feeling when you touch something hot and your body has a natural instinct to pull away? I had that feeling, but I couldn’t pull away because the SculpSure wands was strapped onto me. They alternate between cool and a warmth that is tolerable, and at the very end, there are seconds of pain-staking heat that you want to scream, but when it reaches peak heat, it automatically cools down, and the process starts over again.
I was doing fine for about 5 minutes and then my body went into full panic mode and I started sweating profusely. The guy running the machine jokingly suggested I should take Xanax next time I come in. No kidding.
About 10 minutes into the treatment, I asked if they could turn it down. If they couldn’t turn it down, I debated for a few seconds if I could just have them turn it off and I could just go home. Thankfully, they said that they could turn it down. I really wish they would have explained that to me first. In fact, I wish they would have told me straight out that I could expect some pain, and that I wasn’t just a total lightweight.
FAQ’s about the SculpSure treatment
Do I need to prepare for my first SculpSure treatment? Not really. Just don’t wear any lotion on the area that is going to be treated. Honestly, next time I’m going to prepare by bringing an ice pack for my neck to cool me down during the treatment. Also, maybe a fan. If you have a phone with game apps, try to play games during the treatment to distract yourself.
What can I expect after my SculpSure treatment? Once the treatment was over, I was told to expect swelling and bruising. I did not bruise much, but I did swell – about a size. I could not button my jeans as normal, and focused on wearing stretchy pants. While they claim that there is no down time, I could not do abdominal exercises for a few days. It was far too tender to want to do planks, curls, and teasers. I describe the pain on my lower abdomen as “that feeling after you get hit in the stomach by a 2×4.” I never thought that I could describe something that way, but it sure felt like that. It was tender to the touch for at least a week – a mild side effect they do warn about in their literature.
You have to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to flush the destroyed fat cells out of your system. Granted, this is just smart for anyone to do.
You’re also expected to massage the area twice a day for 10-15 minutes. I will tell you that I was a little grossed out the first time I went to massage myself. It felt like there were little lumps of fat under the skin – and that’s kind of what they are. This “tissue firmness” is a mild side effect from the treatment.
Does SculpSure Work?
Does SculpSure work? I’m still waiting for results because I only did the treatment two weeks ago. SculpSure is not a quick fix – nothing is. You have to wait for at least 6 weeks after treatment to see any changes, and most come at about 12 weeks. All I know is that if I get results that are showcased on their website, I’d be pretty excited.
Any fat cell that is treated will not regenerate. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t gain weight in that area. That’s why SculpSure will always recommend you pair a SculpSure treatment with a healthy diet and lifestyle for the best results.
How much does SculpSure cost? My package was worth about $3,000 and that included two treatments on one site. I chose my lower abdomen. Regardless, it’s quicker and safer (safe because you’re not taking the risks of going under anesthesia) than a tummy tuck (listed at around $6k) – although I’m sure the results are not as effective as a surgical procedure.
Want to win a SculpSure treatment? As of June 2019, they are running a giveaway where you can win your own SculpSure treatments and meet their new spokesperson, Brook Shields. ENTER HERE: https://contest.sculpsure.com/nyc
Thank you to BlogHer for connecting me with the Hologic and CynoSure teams, and picking me as a random winner of multiple SculpSure treatments. I can’t wait to see the results, so stay tuned for a follow-up blog post about 12 weeks from now with results!