Cellulite knows no boundaries. It strikes aimlessly and without warning. One area of dimpling slowly turns into a scourge of ‘cottage cheese’ like skin. It affects all ages, body types and ethnicities. Every area of the body is susceptible. Once it finds a home, those summer shorts that once were celebrated, are soon relegated to the closet. It is a real problem.
In my practice, I have a special interest in office-based body contouring devices like SmartLipo™, VASER® Lipo, Smooth Shapes and VASER® Shape. I was an early integrator of these devices and regularly lecture to and educate other doctors on these technologies. Although these devices offer amazing results for improving one’s body shape, they only offer only marginal improvements in the appearance of cellulite. This has been extremely frustrating to both the surgeons and the patients.
The tide turned dramatically in April of 2012. With the introduction of Cellulaze™ by Cynosure, a truly novel approach for the treatment of cellulite was born. Unlike previous treatments that were heavy on promises but lacking on results, Cellulaze™ is a real game changer. It is the first device to treat cellulite at its source, below the skin. It is also the first device to utilize advanced laser technology specifically for treatment of cellulite.
In the United States, cellulite affects 80% of women between the ages of 20 and 55. That totals 70 million women in that age group who struggle with an unsightly cellulite appearance. It is easy to understand why this is one of the most requested procedures in my Denver clinic. It is a common problem that almost all women face. Therefore, if you are stuck staring in the mirror, dreading the look of your legs, don’t fret. We finally have a real long lasting answer and cellulite is running for cover.
- Cellulite development is complex. It is primarily caused hormone fluctuations (estrogen) and their effects on the skin and fat. It is also reinforced by any genetic pre-dispositions. Three specific changes are found when the area of cellulite is examined:
a. Bulges in the skin are formed from unwanted fat accumulation below the skin.
b. Divots in the skin are formed from abnormal attachments (septae) that tether the skin to the deep muscle layer.
c. Loose, thin skin develops with age and after pregnancy. This subsequently worsens the appearance of these bulges and divots.
- The Cellulaze™ treatment utilizes a proprietary 1440nm side-firing fiber, SideLaze3D™. This is a laser fiber that treats the three before mentioned changes associated with cellulite:
a. Thermally treats the divots by dividing the abnormal septae
b. Flattens bulges by melting fat near the skin
c. Thickens the thinning skin by stimulating collagen production
- It is a minimally invasive one-time procedure. Through a small incision, the laser cannula is inserted underneath the skin and all the problem areas are treated.
- The procedure is completed in the office, utilizing local anesthesia and with minimal discomfort. The patients are awake and the total procedure time is on average 90 minutes.
- The recovery period is short and patients are generally back to normal activities within 10 days.
- Bruising and swelling can occur, but this is limited to the first week of recovery. Combining this treatment with Smooth Shapes treatments can further reduce the time required for recovery.
- Although excellent improvement is seen within the first 30 days, the final results occur after 6 months.
- It is realistic to expect at least a 50 to 60% improvement in the treatment area.
- 70% of my Cellulaze™ cases are combined with SmartLipo™ treatments. This is beneficial to my patients as I can remove the unwanted appearance of cellulite while improving the body contour
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the best candidate for this procedure?
The best candidate for a CellulazeTM treatment is a healthy and active patient with mild to moderate cellulite of the abdomen, buttocks, arms and legs. Patients with severe skin looseness, especially after a large amount of weight loss, would not be a good candidate and would be better served by a more formal procedure (e.g. body lift).
Does the patient feel any discomfort during the procedure?
This procedure is well tolerated by my patients. In my experience, the patients feel only minimal discomfort during the procedure and this carries over to the recovery period.
How soon after pregnancy can a woman be treated with Cellulaze™?
I would prefer to wait 6 months after delivery to ensure that the pregnancy related changes to the body have normalized. Remember, cellulite formation is related to hormone fluctuations, therefore, it is in a patient’s best interest to have normal hormonal levels before treatment.
What occurs during the consultation process?
A majority of the consult is spent discussing this technology and the steps of the procedure. The most important aspect of the consultation is the exam, which is decisive in determining if a patient is a candidate for the procedure. Around 70% of the patients I evaluate for cellulite are candidates for a CellulazeTM treatment.
How soon can one resume physical activity after the procedure?
The recovery time from a Cellulaze™ treatment is 7 to 10 days and my patients are generally back to normal activities within 2 weeks. Most of my patients are able to return to work within 3 to 4 days after treatment. Recovery time is shortened with the addition of Smooth Shapes treatments post-procedure.
Why do you personally like this treatment?
The field of plastic surgery has changed drastically in the past decade. The benefits of combining technological advancements with superior surgical technique has allowed for procedures with transformative results and minimal downtime and discomfort. The CellulazeTM device is at the forefront of this change. It has truly revolutionary technology that has the potential to permanently improve the appearance of cellulite. As I have an expertise in body contouring related surgical technologies, CellulazeTM was an excellent fit.
What are the top three areas that both female and male clients choose for treatment with Cellulaze™?
The top three areas for treatment are the back of the thighs, the front of the thighs and the buttocks.
Is there a certain time of day/year that you recommend for patents to receive Cellulaze™?
Unlike other treatments, Cellulaze™ treatments can be completed anytime of the year. Due to the short recovery time, there are minimal limitations on scheduling. I do recommend that patients give at least 6 weeks of recovery time before major events like weddings.