Another non-invasive technology uses a mechanical roller, infrared light and bipolar radiofrequency, known as Velashape II (Syneron Medical Inc., Irvine, California). Heat generated by the infrared light and radiofrequency is theorized to increase oxygen’s separation from the oxygen-carrying molecule, called hemoglobin, and increasing oxygen diffusion into adipose tissue. As with Endermologie, the mechanical massage improves circulation and may stretch the connective tissue bands in the fat layer. The treatment recommendations are one treatment per week for six weeks with maintenance sessions of one every three months. Velashape II has been shown to produce a 25-50% improvement in the appearance of cellulite, however, only temporarily.
Due to the limitations of these non-invasive medical technologies, minimally invasive techniques used for the treatment of cellulite have been brought to market.
These minimally invasive medical technologies include both laser and ultrasound energy based devices. The laser technology uses a side-firing light fiber at 1440 nm to cut the fibrous septae bands producing the cellulite indentations, known as Cellulaze (Cynosure, Burlington, Massachusetts).
The minimally invasive ultrasound device is known as VASERsmooth (Solta Medical, Hayward, California). The VASERsmooth ultrasound energy cuts the fibrous bands and provides liposhifting of fat to fill in the areas of volume deficiency. Also, the physician may graft the patient’s own fat into the indentations unresolved by cutting the fibrous bands.
Additionally, one can add their own stem cells and/or their own growth factors. These growth factors are harvested and concentrated by taking two teaspoons of your own blood, known as platelet rich plasma (PRP), and spinning the blood in a special test tube in a centrifuge.
The clinical benefit of Cellulaze was evaluated by Dr. DiBernardo in ten patients who showed a patient survey of 3.2 (5 point scale) with a patient satisfaction rate of 93%. Objective measures revealed improved skin elasticity of 29% and increased skin thickness of 25%.
Dr. Troell evaluated the efficacy of VASERsmooth in six patients and revealed similar results to Cellulaze with greater than a 90% patient satisfaction rate, increased skin thickness and elasticity. The advantage of the VASERsmooth modality over the laser technique is the procedure takes one third to one half the amount of time (VASERsmooth: 45-60 minutes compared to Cellulaze: 2-3 hours) and is completed only with oral sedation.
Marking a patient for VASERsmooth minimally invasive cellulite treatment. (Red areas for fat removal, blue lines for cutting the fibrous bands).
Once there was no satisfactory treatment for cellulite, now there are both non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures. The advantage of the minimally invasive procedures, there offer greater than a 90% patient satisfaction rate with long term (1-2 year observations) follow-up, while the non-invasive options offer no surgery with as much as a 25-50% cellulite appearance improvement.
Have a consultant with your cosmetic or plastic surgeon today to determine which option may be right for you to transform your legs into the sexy smooth look of younger years.
The author is Robert J Troell, MD, FACS who is Medical Director of The Institute of Advanced Body Sculpting at in Laguna Beach at the medical office building at Mission Hospital 31852 Coast Highway, Suite 203, (949) 7076-1115. He is quadruple board certified to include the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in Facial Plastic Surgery, and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in Breast, Body & Extremity.