Whole Beauty® Institute

Cellulaze is an FDA-approved therapy that provides permanent cellulite reduction with a single treatment.

Many of the women who come to me as patients are very athletic. They exercise 5 to 6 days a week, do Yoga, eat a Mediterranean diet, and yet when it comes to cellulite, it is all to no avail. Cellulite is an irregularity of the skin and the fat just beneath it, most commonly in the back of the thigh, the buttock, and the outer thigh, but sometimes in other areas.

A variety of descriptive terms apply to cellulite, each a little awful: wavy, cobblestone, and cottage cheese. Many women are quite sensitive about its presence and at least in this regard look with some dread toward the warmer months of swimsuits, shorts, and tennis dresses.

Since cellulite affects between 60 and 80% of all women to some degree, it comes as no surprise that an industry has sprung up with various devices and lotions that purport to reduce or even “cure” it. Unfortunately, other than a temporary plumping effect, none of them work on a long-term basis.

One of the advantages of training residents to be plastic surgeons is that a certain number of the people one trains go on to become leaders, and they return the favor, so to speak, of what I have taught them by sharing knowledge about innovations. This was how I became aware of Cellulaze®. I heard about the FDA studies and learned that it appeared this novel therapy might have long-term effects.

To understand how Cellulaze® works, you need to have a conceptual grasp of the structure of cellulite and an appreciation of the ingenious design of the delivery system.

Cellulite has three components: irregularity of the fat just beneath the skin (think cobblestones), tethering bands of connective tissue that cause dimpling of the skin (think quilted chair seat), and a thinning of the overlying skin at its deepest level.

Virtually all medical lasers fire in a forward direction in a straight line. The cleverness of the Cellulaze® design (and patent) is that it enables the laser to fire at a side angle.

This means that when the surgeon places the laser fiber through a tiny nick in the skin he or she can turn it to fire in various directions. If the laser is turned to fire down, it can smooth protrusions of the underlying fat. If it is turned sideways, it can be used as a knife of sorts to sever the bands of tissue that cause dimples. If it is turned upward, it can produce a thickening of the deeper layer of the skin. This combination can produce some remarkable effects.

Here is a summary of what I have observed with this significant breakthrough technology. Cellulaze® works well for the majority of patients. It will produce a significant improvement but not a complete elimination of cellulite in a particular zone with a single treatment. For many patients, this makes the difference between hiding under long pants all summer and wearing normal summer outfits.

Initially, there is swelling, which makes things look better, but the real improvement occurs 3 to 6 months after therapy. Some further improvements continue up to at least a year after treatment.

Cellulaze® may disappoint people with minimal cellulite or those with extremely severe cellulite. Fortunately, most women are between those extremes and will benefit nicely. Skin tone is extremely important. In general, the tighter the skin, the better the result. The original FDA studies showed sustained improvement at 1 year. Most of these original patients have been followed for 3 years, and the improvement is still holding.