Cellulite is a problem that unfortunately afflicts 85% of women living in the United States.  Currently, over 88 million women report that they have cellulite on their thighs, buttocks, or both areas.    While many women are not bothered by cellulite, over 37% of women state that they would undergo a procedure to reduce or remove their cellulite.  Because of this remarkable demand, we brought Cellulaze ® into our practice at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery®.  Cellulaze is an FDA-approved, laser based procedure that permanently reduces cellulite in the arms, legs, and buttocks.  It has a unique, proprietary design that maximizes its ability to treat cellulitic skin.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is formed by the coalition of three events.  In women, there are small septations that run from the superficial fascial plane of the body, through the subcutaneous fat, and insert into the skin.

These septations produce visible “dimples” in the skin that are irregularly shaped and sized.  As well, cellulite has areas of bulging, which are the result of a prominent fat plane in conjunction with a weakened deep dermis.  This weakened dermis allows the fat to “push out” the skin, creating a bump.  Lastly, with cellulite, there is always a component of collagen loss to the skin.  These three components coalesce into the creation of cellulite.

Now that you understand the causes and anatomy of cellulite, it is important to understand how cellulite is classified.  You may be surprised to know that there is a classification system for this adverse skin process.  The Nurnburger-Muller Scale was developed in 1978, with four separate classifications for cellulite.

Cellulite is classified by two separate examination components:  one while standing, and one while seated.  After examination (visual and palpation), cellulite is graded into one of four groups.  The most common types are Grade 1 and 2.

How is Cellulite Treated?

Any effective cellulite treatment must address all three components of cellulite:

  • removal of septations in the subcutaneous plane
  • Tightening of deep dermis/collagen induction
  • Reduction of excess subcutaneous fat

Cellulaze® is a laser-based, minimally invasive therapy that is FDA approved for the treatment of cellulite.  Unlike all of the other modalities currently available on the market, Cellulaze delivers results by treating all three components of cellulite.  Cellulaze is a laser based treatment that directly tightens skin, reduces subcutaneous fat, and thermally cuts (aka subcises) subcutaneous septations.  By providing all three processes, Cellulaze is truly the only platform that directly treats and removes the foundational causes of cellulite.


The treatment uses a 1440nm NdYAG laser to vaporize fat, tighten skin, and subcase/cut subcutaneous septations.  The procedure is done through a small 4mm incision.  A cannula (tube with laser) is then introduced under the skin, and energy is delivered to the septations, the skin, and to the fat.  The energy removes the fat, tightens the deeper skin layers, and cuts the septations, allowing the skin to smooth, firm, and tighten.  The cannula used has two separate laser heads, one directly at the tip of the cannula, and one at 90 degrees to the tip.  This allows the cannula to simultaneously subcise septations, vaporize fat, and tighten skin.

How long is the recovery from Cellulaze?

The larger the area treated, the more recovery needed.  Patients will experience bruising and swelling after the treatment, but these issues resolve spontaneously over the course of a few days.  Patients feel soreness for at least 1-2 days following treatment.


Are there permanent scars from Cellulaze?

Yes, but they look like freckles over time.  The incisions are 4mm in size, which is bout the size of a sunflower seed.


How long do the results last?

Cellulaze is a very long-term solution for cellulite.  It currently holds an FDA indication for permanent removal of cellulite.  Our experience has shown that most patients enjoy complete resolution of their cellulite after Cellulaze®.


Can this procedure be done awake?

Only for small spot areas.  We STRONGLY recommend conscious sedation for this procedure, as the heat involved can become very uncomfortable if you are awake.

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