After cleaning up my diet and getting on an exercise regimen, I turned to this body-contouring treatment to tighten my stomach a bit further.

Heather Muir Maffei
May 17, 2018

Since reaching my goal weight for my wedding (I dropped 25 pounds!), I have been maintaining my body for the past two years with better eating habits, strength training, and running. Then I received an offer to test a new in-office laser body-contouring treatment called SculpSure. During my tenure as a beauty editor, I’ve tried almost every facial treatment under the sun but had yet to venture into body. While the procedure doesn’t promise weight loss, FDA-cleared SculpSure, according to the company, “is designed to reduce stubborn fat, helping you achieve a slimmer appearance without surgery or downtime.” Sign. Me. Up.

So how does it work? Targeted laser energy heats fat cells under the skin, destroying their integrity. Over the following three months, the damaged fat cells are processed and eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system (you pee them out). Results can be seen as quickly as six weeks, and they say fat cells will not regenerate.

Most patients need multiple treatments (which cost from $600 to $2,500 per session) to achieve results—I had three. My procedure was done at the plastic surgery practice of Jennifer Levine, MD, in New York City. After taking photos, I was asked to lie down (I adjusted my clothing so my midsection was exposed). The technician secured straps over my lower abdomen—they reminded me of a seat belt with plastic brackets—that pushed out my pooch. (I did not want to selfie this step, but it didn’t hurt.)

Once the attachments were in place, I felt a cooling sensation, which continued throughout the 25-minute treatment. Then I felt a blast of heat, which signals the laser (it cycles on and off). The warming sensation goes from feeling like a hot-water bottle to moderate period cramps, which were uncomfortable but tolerable. When it was over, I returned to my job and had no negative side effects. Since the results are gradual, I didn’t wake up to a life-changing flat tummy one morning, but a few months later, my jeans buttoned more easily and I felt even better in a bikini. While my stomach doesn’t define me (or anyone!), if this is something you’re interested in, it delivered results.