Advice Centre Comparing SculpSure SculpSure vs Liposuction

SculpSure vs Liposuction

Compare SculpSure to liposuction by:



What is it? Non-invasive procedure that uses lasers to denature fat cells under the skin Invasive procedure that involves sucking out small areas of fat
Treatment duration 25 minutes for multiple areas 2-3 hours depending on size of patient and number of areas
Number of treatments 1-2 sessions Usually 1 treatment
Uncomfortable sensations? Sensation of deep warmth with potential of mild, short-term soreness Post-operative pain is common
Marks on the body No marks Small scars from incisions
Immediate aftercare Get up and go treatment Careful recovery period is needed
Side-effects Little to no side-effects Expect bruising, swelling and scarring

What is SculpSure and what is liposuction?


Uses lasers to denature fat cells away under the skin. No suction needed, just an applicator that sits on the skin.

SculpSure is medically known as non-invasive laser lipolysis.

Click here to find out more about what SculpSure is and how it works.


Involves sucking out small areas of fat that are hard to lose through exercise and dieting.

Carried out on areas where fat is deposited, such as the buttocks, hips, thighs and tummy.

Invasive procedure, meaning incisions are made in the skin.

Differences between the treatments (scroll down for similarities):

Treatment duration



25 minutes for multiple areas

SculpSure takes 25 minutes to treat one area and multiple areas can be treated at one because of the set-up of the machine.

For example, both flanks can be treated in the 25-minute session.

2-3 hours, depending on the size of the patient and number of areas being treated

But a typical patient will be in the surgical facility for 3-7 hours. The procedure takes longer using local anaesthetic than general because of the time it takes to inject it.

Number of treatments needed



1-2 sessions to complete treatment

One session of SculpSure usually suffices. This is because multiple areas can be treated at once. If you want to treat your flanks and your stomach, this can be done at the same time.

Usually 1 treatment

With liposuction, the first treatment is usually the best chance for the best result, but treatment can and may need to be repeated if the patient is a suitable candidate. A gap of 6 months is advised.

Uncomfortable sensations



Sensation of deep warmth with potential of mild, short-term soreness

During treatment you will initially feel a cooling sensation, followed by a deep warmth and/or tingling. You will be able to continue with your ordinary day after the treatment, though some patients describe mild soreness that does not interfere with their day-to-day activities.

Post-operative pain is common

Pain from liposuction can occur at three stages: during the infiltration of tumescent solution, during liposuction and after the procedure.

Post-operative pain is far worse if liposuction is performed under general anaesthetic than local, because the latter lasts for several hours after surgery. With general, patients often need strong painkillers to control the pain.

Marks on the body



No marks

SculpSure uses laser heads to treat the body, which means there are no visible marks left on the skin.

Small scars from incisions

Because liposuction involves making incisions in the skin, some scarring is inevitable; however, the marks are usually small and the incisions will be made in discreet locations on the body.

Immediate aftercare



Get up and go treatment

No immediate rest or recovery procedures are needed with SculpSure.

Careful recovery period is needed

Depending on whether liposuction is performed under local or general anaesthetic, the surgeon will advise on different aftercare measures.

Under the less painful local anaesthetic procedure, aftercare may involve gentle exercise to reduce the risk of clotting, and sometimes wearing compression garments to reduce swelling.




Little to no side-effects

No long-term side effects. No bruising. Patients may have some short-term swelling and mild to moderate tenderness.

Expect bruising, swelling and scarring

Common side effects from liposuction include: temporary swelling, bruising, minor scarring where incisions were made, numbness around the treated area, and pain/discomfort for the first week or so.


SculpSure and liposuction are both used to treat stubborn areas of fat that are difficult to lose through diet and exercise. Both SculpSure and liposuction are FDA-approved procedures. Temporary swelling can occur after both Sculpsure and liposuction.


SculpSure and liposuction are essentially designed to achieve the same thing – to remove excess fat – so although they are very different procedures the end result can look very similar. Although with liposuction the results can be seen more immediately, for the right patient Sculpsure can deliver up to 24% fat reduction in the targeted areas.

But because SculpSure is a non-invasive treatment, unlike with liposuction there is no:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Risk of serious complications, including fat or blood clots, infection and excessive blood or fluid loss.

Click here to view Before and After photos

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