As a provider who has been working with the skin for over 15 years, one of the most common questions I get from my patients is how to permanently treat cellulite. For years, cellulite creams, mesotherapy, and procedures like Vanquish were used with minimal to no effectiveness. In fact, up until about three years ago, the single best therapy I could recommend was regular deep tissue massage. Over the last few years, a couple of procedures have actually started to amass some real clinical data. The two that have shown the most promise are Cellfina™ and Cellulaze™, so today I will compare the two.
Let’s start with what the procedures actually do. Both Cellfina™ and Cellulaze™ target the vertical bands of connective tissue that pull the skin down from below, which causes cellulite dimples. The theory is that when these bands are interrupted, the tension on the skin is released, resulting in smoother skin on the surface. However, the method for releasing these bands is significantly different between the two devices, so let’s take some time to discuss the how of each procedure.
Cellfina™ uses mechanical release to create smooth, cellulite-free skin. This means that there is no heat, no laser, and no chemical; the bands are simply, physically cut. During the Cellfina™ procedure, local numbing is used over the area that is being treated. A tiny blade, less than 2mm, is then used to focally cut these bands at a consistent depth, usually set to 6mm. The procedure only releases the bands under the dimple, so there is no sagging in the surrounding skin. The Cellfina™ procedure usually takes about 45 minutes, and patients are back to regular activities within 24 to 48 hours.
The Cellulaze™ procedure, in contrast, uses a directional firing laser to disrupt the tissue bands in question. This involves numbing larger areas of skin and treating the entire area. There is no fixed depth gauge, so achieving a consistent depth is up to the provider and introduces significant variation in the procedure. The laser creates some heat, which may help with tightening tissue (this tightening has been shown in studies with Smartlipo™ but not necessarily Cellulaze™), but in some cases, causes damage to the delicate vascular beds in the superficial skin, which can leave permanent discoloration on the skin (Erythema Ab Igne-like conditions). The procedure usually takes one to two hours. Patients can typically return to their normal activities within the first week.
Two of the most important factors when comparing these two procedures are the clinical results and patient satisfaction. This is where the results start to show a clear winner. A quick check on RealSelf shows that the “Worth It” rating for Cellfina™ is almost 90 percent, while the Cellulaze™ rating is only about 56 percent. These results are also reflected in the treatment’s clinical data, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The Cellfina™ procedure has shown patient satisfaction scores over 90 percent. Cellfina™ has shown 90 percent patient satisfaction even after three years, indicating that it is likely permanent. The cost of either procedure normally ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on geographic location and the size of the area to be treated.
If you are interested in learning more about Cellfina™, please call 303-683-3235 to schedule your consultation or fill out our online contact form.
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