Special Reports

Promising new procedure to treat cellulite

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summer will be here before we know it. And many women may be anxious about how they will look. Now there's a new procedure for one common problem.

It is often called the holy grail of plastic surgery. In a field that has perfected erasing wrinkles and adding curves, a solution for one of the most common patient complaints has eluded even the most cutting edge cosmetic surgeons.

Cellulite, most are told, is just something you have to live with. Well some promising results from a new procedure suggest you may not have to.

From movie stars to runway models to summer loving beach dwellers, cellulite does not discriminate.

"I have always considered myself in good shape, but I've been cursed with cellulite," says Meredith Edelman.

For Meredith Edelman, the solution has always been to cover it up.

"Even when I'm at the beach, I'm pulling my skirt on and off," Meredith said.

Cellulite has nothing to do with a person's weight; no amount of diet or exercise or expensive creams will get rid of it.

"There has really been no permanent treatment for cellulite to date," said Dr. Paul Glat.

But don't pack away those summer shorts yet.

Dr. Paul Glat says Cellulaze is a new laser procedure that appears to have promising and relatively long lasting results.

"We do expect about a 50 to 60% correction, as a permanent type of situation," said Dr. Glat. "I've been finding that we're getting more than that."

To understand how it works, think of cellulite as a mattress with the bottom being a layer of tissue and the mattress springs being fibers. As the springs pull down on the top of the mattress which represents the skin, you get a buttoned, uneven surface.

During the Cellulaze procedure, small incisions are made in trouble spots and then a laser is inserted under the skin--the energy cuts melts the fat, severs those fibrous bands, and tightens the skin, eliminating that orange peel look.

"There are different variations of severity of cellulite. The least severe tend to get the best results, whereas the most severe, we are a little more tempered with our expectations," said Dr. Glat.

The before and after pictures are pretty impressive. It's important for patients to know that this is not a weight loss procedure, and unlike liposuction, it does not remove fat.

Although Cellulaze has shown promising results, Bryn Mawr plastic surgeon, Dr. Ronald Lohner has reservations.

"My first reservation is that it's new technology," says Dr. Lohner. "There's a very, very high potential for burns in this technology."

The makers of Cellulaze are heavily marketing it as "One simple anti-cellulite treatment." Lohner believes it is a very promising technology, but cautions that Cellulaze is still a surgical procedure.

Patients will get a significant amount of bruising and be required to wear compression garment for two weeks.

"The problem is it is still invasive. You still have to put a catheter or a probe inside, and you still have to numb someone up. It is not as simple as doing something with some kind of topical technique," explains Dr. Lohner.

The treatment is costly, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on how much cellulite a patient has.

Lohner believes, as with any new technology, there will likely be adjustments made as they try to improve the procedure or fix unforeseen problems.

Currently the company that makes Cellulaze only sells the equipment to doctors with a liposuction background.



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