Best Cellulite Reduction/Treatment Options

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Cellulite is a common term used to describe pockets of bulging superficial fat between fibrous bands that cause skin dimpling and lumpiness. It affects 80–90% of women but does occur rarely in men, even those on a healthy diet and of normal weight. There are many predisposing factors including hormones, genetics, weight changes, and even lifestyle. Cellulite most often appears on the buttocks, thighs, and hips. Its appearance is often called “cottage cheese-like, or “lumpy.” For several decades plastic surgeons and dermatologists have sought a means to predictably treat cellulite which can negatively affect a woman’s self-confidence, beach ware and clothing choices. Finally, and fortunately, there are some good means to minimize Cellulite.

Minimally invasive Options (No stitches required):

Cellfina uses a novel approach to standardizing treatments for more predictable results by stabilizing soft tissue with a vacuum device and guidance application system while the numbing solution is injected and bands are cut with a fine cutting needle-like scalpel that reciprocates dividing the fibrous bands that cause cellulite. In my experience the suction dramatically minimizes the discomfort of the entire procedure. It is a much quicker procedure than Cellulaze, and done under local anesthesia only taking thirty minutes to an hour depending on the amount of cellulite treated. It is the only FDA approved device for two or more years of cellulite reduction. As of this date, Cellfina has a 90% Worth It rating on RealSelf over 24 months. This is the best available treatment option for maximal results in my opinion.

Cellulaze employs a side firing laser to cut the fibrous bands causing skin dimpling from under the skin. As a laser is used, heat is produced which to a degree will cause fat to liquefy. It takes on average 1–2 hours when done under local anesthesia. It is highly dependent on the skill of the user. As of this date its Worth It rating on RealSelf is 54% over 24 months.

After both of these procedures:

  • Some bruising and discomfort are common and varies from person to person. For a few days, small amounts of fluid may leak from incision sites. Your physician may recommend use of a compression garment.
  • Return to normal activities after 1–2 days and resume strenuous exercise after 1–2 weeks.
  • Results will continue to improve for the next 3-12 months.
  • Results can be improved in many cases using additional non-invasive energy source options (Radiofrequency or RF, Laser or Ultrasound) following this procedure such as Velashape 3, ThermiSmooth, Thermage, Ulthera and Endermologie. The most effective of these in my experience is Velashape 3 and ThermiSmooth, and least effective in my opinion is Endermologie. There is no down time for non-invasive procedures.