Advice Centre Comparing SculpSure SculpSure vs Tummy Tuck

SculpSure vs Tummy Tuck

Compare SculpSure to a tummy tuck by:


Tummy tuck

What is it? Non-invasive procedure that uses lasers to denature fat cells under the skin Invasive procedure that involves removing excess fat and skin from the abdomen
Treatment duration 25 minutes for multiple areas 2-3 hours depending on the amount of skin to be removed
Number of treatments 1-2 sessions Usually 1 but more are possible
Uncomfortable sensations? Sensation of deep warmth with potential of mild, short-term soreness Post-operative pain is common
Marks on the body No marks Leaves large horizontal scar
Immediate aftercare Get up and go treatment Careful recovery period is needed
Side-effects Little to no side-effects Expect bruising, scarring and numbness

What is SculpSure and what is a tummy tuck?


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.

Tummy tuck

A surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen after, for example, pregnancy or losing a lot of weight. It is the removal of skin that sets this procedure apart from SculpSure.

A tummy tuck is medically known as abdominoplasty.

As a rule, a tummy tuck is best suited to individuals who have sagging skin and a lot of excess fat, as this procedure can tighten the skin. SculpSure is best suited to individuals in reasonably good shape with some stubborn fat.

Differences between the treatments (scroll down for similarities):

Treatment duration


Tummy tuck

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 on average, depending on the amount of skin to be removed

Most people will need to stay in hospital for a few days after the operation, too.

Number of treatments needed


Tummy tuck

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, but more if needed

You can safely have more than one tummy tuck in theory, but it depends on factors such as how much excess skin is present and whether the patient wishes to have children. This is also a costly option.

Uncomfortable sensations


Tummy tuck

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

Tummy tucks are often very tender to moderately painful, particularly if the surgery has involved tightening the abdominal muscles.

On a scale of 1-10, post-operative pain is typically rated at around 6 or 7. Pain relief is provided after the operation but full recovery usually takes around 6 weeks.

Marks on the body


Tummy tuck

No marks

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

Leaves large horizontal scar

Because tummy tucks are invasive, meaning an incision is made in the skin, there will be scarring. This will fade over time, but never disappear completely.

Immediate aftercare


Tummy tuck

Get up and go treatment

No immediate rest or recovery procedures are needed with SculpSure.

Careful recovery period is needed

After any major surgical procedure the recovery period should be taken seriously. Tummy tuck patients need about four to six weeks off work after the operation, with at least the first few weeks spent taking it easy.

A special corset or tummy control pants will also be worn during the recovery period to help reduce swelling.

Side Effects


Tummy tuck

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, scarring and numbness

It’s common after a tummy tuck to find it difficult to stand up, have pain and bruising, feel numbness in the tummy area, have temporary swelling and raised, red scars in the first six weeks.


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


SculpSure and tummy tucks are different procedures, in that a tummy tuck will remove excess skin from the stomach, while SculpSure reduces fat. However, both procedures aim to sculpt and streamline the shape of the abdominal area, and for the right patient Sculpsure can deliver up to 24% fat reduction in the targeted areas.

And because SculpSure is a non-invasive treatment, unlike with a tummy tuck there is no:

  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Numbness
  • Downtime
  • Risk of serious complications.

Click here to view Before and After photos

Return to the Advice Centre

Find A Provider

SculpSure is an FDA cleared treatment that reduces the number of fat cells in specific areas. Find your provider today!