Doctors Disagree Over Latest Cellulite Treatment

Princess 19 on 7 Oct 2011 at 3:00pm

Got cellulite?  Even celebs like Katherine Heigl or J.Lo have to deal with the unsightly dimples.  Apparently, a relatively unknown laser treatment called Cellulaze can zap that spongy problem away in just an hour.

Nashville oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Brian Biesman told RealSelf that Cellulaze can "improve skin thickness by 25%" and "skin elasticity by 29%."

Women have reported that the appearance of cellulite disappeared from anywhere between one to two years, which, for some, may justify the $5000 cost.

It's a lasering procedure, but Dr. Biesman notes that “it is not an external technique.”  The laser has a probe that is placed just beneath the skin - less than a 1/2 inch or about 1 cm. 

"The procedure consists of the three step approach to treat the structures associated with cellulite,” he says.

  1. Treatment of herniated fat or raised fat areas that need contouring 
    [zapping actual fat]
  2. Thermal subscission of septa that pull the skin creating dimples 
    [zapping layers of skin so they separate, making cellulite less obvious]
  3. Subdermal heating of the dermis to disrupt herniated fat in the J-Lo has cellulitedermis and remodel collagen 
    [heating the skin to deter further fat deposits - as well as stimulating collagen to create stronger skin that is not prone to cellulite]

Not everyone believes the hype, however.

“This is a treatment derived to separate patients from their money and is worthless,” says Palo Alto plastic surgeon, Dr. George Commons.  “It may improve cellulite 5% for a week or so, but it's baloney [sic].  This is one of the many high-tech nonsense items like Thermage and Titan, etc. that are bad ideas.”

So, it may not be as effective as some claim?  And before you go calling your doctors, ladies, there's a catch:
"Cellulaze is a laser sold in Europe and awaiting FDA clearance in the U.S.," says NYC dermatologist, Dr. Deborah Sarnoff (wah-wah...).

Would you be willing to buy a plane ticket overseas to possibly zap that cellulite away for two years?  

Photo credit: Flickr By and HollywoodLife

Comments (12)

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If cellulaze works, then more power to them. but i would suggest that people wait for the FDA clearance. thanks for the update!

I completely agree with waiting for FDA clearance. I don't believe that the device will be sold in the US until FDA clearance is received. One way or the other, I would recommend patients wait for clearance before having this treatment.

hi there Dr. Biesman, im from Turkey and im gonna have the treatment in five days. But, despite the FDA clearance i'm still unsure about the results. Could you help me to find reliable results?
I don't mean to be blunt, but if you are looking for consistent, predictable results for the treatment of cellulite I might hold off of treatment. While this product holds much promise, I do not feel that any cellulite treatment has achieved a point where it can be considered "reliable". If you are willing to hope for the best but accept what you get, you may end up very pleased. If you will only be satisfied with marked improvement, I would suggest you think carefully before proceeding.

Hi sophiekowalsky -- did you go through with Cellulaze? How are your results?

No. I didn't. I am still not sure about the results and it is really hard for me to pay bunch of money while im not sure of it. Im still waiting, reading about it and hoping to find someone who had the treatment.

The comments I made were based both on discussions with the surgeons who participated in the clinical trial of this device and on review of the data collected and analyzed from this trial. Both the feedback from the surgeons and the trial outcomes support my statements. I feel it is important to objectively evaluate the best data we have available when making conclusions about the efficacy of any drug or treatment. I have no financial interest in either the product or the company that manufactures it.


Thank you Dr. Biesman.   I look forward to hearing more about Cellulaze as it becomes more widely used in the US.


Thank you for the clarification. Personally, I hope that Cellulaze does exactly what you said. Even if it doesn't 100% rid one of cellulite, it'd be great if there's a procedure that reliably helps the issue a little bit.

I definitely think we'll be seeing this procedure come up more and more within the RealSelf community!


1) Thank you to Dr. Commons for putting it so frankly:  "This is a treatment derived to separate patients from their money and is worthless"   and 2)  Are those really J Lo's legs?  For once, she makes me feel better about myself than feeling like I can't compare - way to go on keeping it real J Lo!

Thank YOU for your comment!  And yes...that is SO J.Lo's legs.  It caused a stir last year at a concert in Puerto Rico.  Poor thing to be scrutinized so much - her dress is so pretty.  Why didn't anyone talk about THAT? LOL.