Cellulaze – Cellulite Eliminating Treatment

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Cellulaze is a minimally invasive, FDA approved laser treatment for cellulite removal. Actually, Cellulaze is the first one-time cellulite reduction treatment with long-lasting results. Created by Cynosure Inc., Cellulaze uses laser beam to achieve 3 main goals: 1) heat and melt away underlying fat causing cellulite appearance 2) break up the fibrous bands, that keep the fat together 3) thicken the dermis of the skin.

The main advantage of Cellulaze is that it works beneath the skin directly on connective tissue and changes the way the skin is attached to underlying fat and muscles. Reduction of pressure against the skin makes the surface of the skin look smoother; the procedure tightens skin and improves elasticity.

Few Words About Cellulite

Since you are reading this article we assume you know what is cellulite and how it looks like, so we will only touch base. Cellulite appears in women of any age as long as they reach puberty. What causes Cellulite is still not quite clear. Multiple factors such as hormonal changes, genetics, smoking, inappropriate food intake, etc., contribute to cellulite appearance.

Cellulite is the result of structural changes in fatty tissue, which slows down blood and lymph circulation. Step by step the connective tissue bands and the walls of fat cells lose their elasticity and finally become rigid and inflexible. As a result the correct distribution of fat and liquid circulation also becomes an issue. In other words, the fat is compressed within the cells to further accumulate in certain spots (pockets), which become constricted between the rigid bands of the surrounding tissue. As fat and liquid are stock in these pockets they start to push into the skin, causing dimples. With age our skin becomes thinner and cellulite becomes more pronounced.

The impression that diet or exercises can help resolve the problem of cellulite is false, since even physically active women who maintain proper weight suffer from cellulite.

The Cellulaze Procedure

The procedure is performed in a dermatologist’s office under local anesthetic to numb the area. Usually the sedative medication is given prior to the procedure. The doctor marks the area with a marker and makes pinhead size incisions to insert tiny cannula of Cellulaze laser under the skin. The laser gently heats the area, melting the fat pockets; destroys the fibrous bands that pull down the skin and hold the fat together; thickens the dermis of the skin from inside.

A single treatment is enough to see significant results in cellulite reduction. Patient satisfaction with Cellulaze treatment is rather high, about 90% of patients report to be happy with the results. Combination of Cellulaze with Smartlipo, allows eliminating some deeper layers of fat for maximum results.

Cellulaze shows best results on people that are not significantly overweight, with moderate cellulite on their thighs, buttocks and hips.

What to Expect During and After the Cellulaze Treatment

The procedure lasts 1-1.5 hour depending on the area to be treated. Most patients do not report it to be painful or heavily uncomfortable, but some do say it was very painful. Patients experience substantial bruising, swelling and mild discomfort for 1-3 days after the treatment. Nearly all patients are able to resume their normal activities within this period (it’s better to take 2-3 days off).

Usually patients are helped into a compression garment right after the procedure and wear them for 1 to 4 weeks (depending on the area and doctor’s preferences). Be prepared for some draining from the incision site for the first 12 to 36 hours following the procedure, but no visible scarring is reported.

The most common Cellulaze side effects to expect during recovery:

    • As with any surgical procedure there is a risk of infection, but otherwise side effects are limited.
    • Bruising/ Swelling: all patients experience some degree of bruising/ swelling that can last up to few weeks. The compression garments and supplements like Arnica help to manage this side effect.
    • Tenderness/Soreness/Numbness: since the treatment is applied directly to the skin, general soreness that lasts from few days to few weeks is normal. Bruising and tenderness takes 2-3 weeks to resolve. Swelling and soreness may persist a few weeks longer. Some patients experience patchy areas of numbness or tingling that resolves over time.

Cellulaze Results and Costs

The results of Cellulaze are not immediate; some areas show improvements faster than others. By the time bruising and swelling is gone, the results will become more pronounces and continue to improve for up to 6 months. Clinical studies officially report the results to last for up to 2 years, but most of the personal stories tell us 1-1.5 years are more likely (so far, since the procedure is relatively new for US and was first used in Europe and Canada).

The clinical studies had shown increase in skin thickness by as much as 25% within a year and up to a 30% increase in skin elasticity.

The price range for Cellulaze varies from $2,500 to $6,000 for both buttocks or outer thighs. Each added area is charged separately which can substantially increase the cost of Cellulaze procedure.

Difference between Cellulaze Vs. Smartlipo

Both treatments are designed by the same company Cynosure and are based on use of 1440 nm wavelength laser to target fat reduction. SmartLipo destroys fat located deep below the skin and is designed for body contouring. It works on deeper fat levels, not just under skin where cellulite exists. Smartlipo is technically considered liposuction, but substantially less invasive with less bruising and shorter, easier recovery.

Cellulaze is specifically designed to treat just cellulite, the depth of the treatment is very shallow and targets the cellulite affected areas right beneath the skin. Though the main laser wavelength for both treatments is the same, the fiber of Cellulaze laser is modified to split the laser beam. Тhe SmartLipo laser beam comes out strait from one end of the fiber, while the Cellulaze fiber has 2 ends (one on the side of the fiber) and the energy is split in half and directed off under a certain degree angle. 

The side-fired laser in Cellulaze allows to impact the underside of the skin for extra skin tightening and has the ability to cut the fibrous bands that dimple the skin. However, with Cellulaze the fat melting is minimal and changes in the structure of the skin in the main goal of the procedure.

Some doctors prefer a combination of Smartlipo and Cellulaze, which makes the procedure more beneficial, but way more intense and longer lasting.