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Body Sculpting with EmSculpt

What is EmSculpt?

EmSculpt is a non-invasive medical procedure that is used for body contouring, muscle toning and fat reduction. It utilizes a technology called High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy to induce powerful muscle contractions in the targeted area of the body. These contractions are much more intense and rapid than what can be achieved through voluntary muscle contractions during exercise. It is an attractive option for individuals looking to enhance their physique without undergoing surgery. It is commonly used to target areas such as the abdomen, buttocks, arms, and thighs.

EmSculpt is known not only for its muscle-toning capabilities but also for its ability to promote fat reduction in the treated area. This dual-action benefit sets it apart from some other body contouring procedures.

The mechanism behind EmSculpt’s fat reduction ability involves the intense muscle contractions it induces. These contractions require a significant amount of energy, and the body responds by breaking down nearby fat cells to release energy for the muscle contractions. This process is sometimes referred to as “lipolysis,” which is the breakdown of fat.

As a result of this lipolysis, fat cells in the targeted area can be reduced in size, leading to a reduction in overall fat volume. EmSculpt is most effective when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, it can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to tone their muscles and achieve a more sculpted appearance. Studies report that High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy is an effective option for noninvasive treatment of subcutaneous fat.

Your consultation with a Coastal Skin and Eye Institute dermatologist

At your consultation appointment, your dermatologist will review your medical history and listen to and assess your individual body sculpting goals and determine whether EmSculpt treatment is suitable for you. It is for people already in good shape who seek to sculpt their body and define their muscles.  It is popular among athletes and both men and women.

Good candidates are healthy and in good shape with no serious medical conditions that could be contraindicated for the procedure such as pregnancy, certain neurological conditions and implanted metal devices. 

What is the EmSculpt procedure?

Here is an overview of the EmSculpt procedure.

  1. Preparation: On the day of the procedure, you will be asked to wear comfortable clothing, as we will need access to the specific area to be treated, such as your abdomen, buttocks, arms, or thighs. There is no need for anesthesia or sedation, as EmSculpt is a painless procedure.
  2. Application of the EmSculpt Device: You will lie down, and the EmSculpt device will be applied to the targeted area. The device consists of applicators that emit high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy. These energy pulses are directed toward your muscles.
  3. Muscle Contractions: The EmSculpt device then delivers a series of rapid and powerful muscle contractions in the targeted area. These contractions are much more intense and frequent than what can be achieved through voluntary exercise. You may feel the muscles in the area contracting, but it should not be painful.
  4. Treatment Duration: A typical EmSculpt session lasts approximately 30 minutes. During this time, you will experience thousands of muscle contractions. The specific number of sessions required depends on your goals and the area being treated, but several sessions over a few weeks are often recommended for optimal results.
  5. Recovery and Downtime: One of the advantages of EmSculpt is that there is little to no downtime associated with the procedure. You can return to your regular activities immediately after the session. Some individuals may experience mild muscle soreness, similar to the feeling after an intense workout, but this usually subsides within a day or two.
  6. Results: Many individuals start to see and feel results after a few sessions, with continued improvement over several weeks. EmSculpt can lead to increased muscle tone and definition in the treated area, as well as a reduction in localized fat.

The EmSculpt procedure works to cause muscles to contract 20,000 times in thirty minutes which builds muscle tissue and burns up local fat stores to feed the muscles during the procedure. Essentially it removes fat by working the muscles.

Contact Coastal Skin and Eye Institute to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists to learn more about EmSculpt today. With offices in Carmel Valley, Encinitas, and La Mesa, we provide expert dermatology care near you.


  • Kinney BM, Lozanova P. High intensity focused electromagnetic therapy evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging: Safety and efficacy study of a dual tissue effect based non-invasive abdominal body shaping. Lasers Surg Med. 2019 Jan;51(1):40-46. doi: 10.1002/lsm.23024. Epub 2018 Oct 10. PMID: 30302767; PMCID: PMC6585690.
  • Katz B, Bard R, Goldfarb R, et al. Ultrasound Assessment of Subcutaneous Abdominal Fat Thickness After Treatments With a High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Field Device: A Multicenter Study. Dermatol Surg. 2019 Dec;45(12):1542-1548. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001902. PMID: 30882507.
  • Rambhia PH, Turner L,et al. Muscle Stimulation for Aesthetic Body Shaping: A Comprehensive and Critical Review. Dermatol Surg. 2022 Oct 1;48(10):1076-1082. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000003550. Epub 2022 Jul 22. PMID: 35985005.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology