One of the main concerns of women in my plastic surgery practice has to do with cellulite. Even women who are at their ideal weight are bothered by this condition that results in lumps, bumps and dimpling of the thighs, hips or abdomen. The fact that 85% of women who are over 21 years of age have some form of cellulite isn’t much consolation. There isn’t much that women can do to prevent this condition, as it has much to do with heredity, genetics, weight loss or gain, and the thickness or elasticity of the skin.
To understand what causes cellulite to be visible we need to look at the structure beneath the surface of the skin. The epidermis refers to the top layer of the skin, and beneath it lies the dermis. Under the dermis is where you find connective tissue. Below the connective tissue is a layer of fat. The fatty tissue is separated and pulled by connective tissue. Unevenness in this subcutaneous layer of fat produces the bumpy appearance known as cellulite. Women typically have fibrous bands that run vertically and if they become stiff, they allow the fat to push up to the surface of the skin giving that “orange peel” effect that women tend to despise. I often use the analogy of chair cushion with tight buttons to describe the situation. Having thinner skin than their male counterparts does not help the situation either.
Until now, I’ve been unimpressed with treatment options for cellulite. Most treatments were very superficial in nature and required repeated treatments to maintain any type of results. Fortunately, Cynosure has released a new, minimally invasive cellulite reduction treatment called Cellulaze that offers real promise. I have been watching the results of this system for a while now, as it has been available in the UK since September of 2011. Results have been impressive, and Cellulaze received FDA approval for use in the U.S. in February. Cellulaze is the first treatment that I have seen which addresses the underlying structural problem of cellulite. With a unique side-firing canula, it allows us to break up those vertical bands that hold the fat in place. In other words, it is loosening and breaking up those cushion threads allowing for a smoother surface. Additionally, the laser liquefies the fat so it is easily removed, and aids the body in producing new collagen all for a smoother surface. Thus far, 93% of those who have received the treatment have been satisfied or very satisfied with the results. I am excited to be the first board certified plastic surgeon in Michigan to be able to offer Cellulaze cellulite reduction to my patients. Results are long-lasting and patients are still realizing results 2 years post treatment.
For more information about Cellulaze or to schedule a consultation, please call Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Steven Ringler at 616.328.8800