Cursed with Cellulite Since I Was a Pre-teen...

My story is like so many others I have read on...

My story is like so many others I have read on this site. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this. I remember the first glimpses of cellulite at the age of 12. I do recall the fateful day that I say these bumps and bulges all over the outsides of my thighs. I remember comparing myself to my step sister who was one year older than I was, and significantly overweight. Yet she did not have this cellulite. This has been proven to me over the years that cellulite attacks who it attacks, and your weight has nothing to do with it. So anyway, I went through my adolescence and teen years avoiding any setting that involved swimming. I never wore shorts. When I did swim, I would always wear a T-shirt to cover up. At one point I remember my mom saying to me, "You're too young to have cellulite." And that really hurt. As I grew up, I'm in my 30's now, I learned to cover up in different ways: wearing skirted bikinis, board shorts, anything to cover my thighs. I really just felt deformed and ugly.
Fast forward to 2009…
I started researching cellulite treatments. I found Lipodissolve. This was a costly waste of time. I spent something like $1800 on a series of 6 treatments that left me swollen and in pain. The results were nil! I had at that point resigned to live with cellulite. I thought there was no way that I would get rid of it. Doomed.
Fast forward to 2013…
I heard about the procedure Cellulaze. I researched it and for the first time I had some hope that this was FINALLY the answer for me. The science and the principles behind it made sense. There was an explanation for these dimples, there were bands holding them down. And if the bands were cut, the skin would lay smooth. Plus I was very encouraged by the before and after photos. The only problem is the procedure wasn't performed by any doctors in the Memphis area. In the back of my mind, I knew... not IF, but WHEN Cellulaze came to Memphis, I would be signing up!
Fast forward to 2014...
I saw an advertisement for Cellulaze in Memphis. I went to see the doctor at the Laser Aesthetics Body and Wellness Center in the Memphis area. The doctor, Dr. Campfield, was very nice. He has a nice practice. He specializes in SmartLipo and other cosmetic procedures. But after talking with him, it turns out he has performed ZERO Cellulaze procedures; and I was not about to be his guinea pig. Plus, he was not on the Cynosure list of certified Cellulaze doctors. (I highly recommend people look at their website and check). I was overall unimpressed or convinced he could perform the procedure with confidence and expertise. He offered a combo of SmartLipo and Cellulaze for the same intro price of $2900. I researched that evening and found that Cellulaze and SmartLipo CANNOT be performed in the same area at the same time. So that was another red flag to me. So I walked away. I am glad I did my research. And I implore you all to do the same.
Later that day, I went home feeling depressed. I got my hopes up for this procedure and now my hopes were dashed. I went about looking for doctors close to me. I found a certified doctor, Dr. Bacon, in the Nashville area. He was highly reputed, and I even saw him on a news program talking about Cellulaze while I was Googling. So I called up their office. I spoke with Claire Bacon on the phone, who was so helpful, so kind, and accommodating. She informed me that people come to Nashville from all around to get Cellulaze. In lieu of a consultation, I sent 8-10 photos in different lighting, from different angles via email to their office. Dr. Bacon reviewed the photos the same day and returned a quote to me. This doctor is one who charges by the size of the area to be treated, which cuts down on the overall cost. I only needed a small area on each outer thigh, so the quote was $2400.
I have scheduled the procedure for Monday, June 2. The doctor will call in a prescription for antibiotics, and a pain killer that Friday before the procedure. He suggested I get a good compression garment. From what I have read on RealSelf, people talk about the open crotch compression garments. They said I could use Spanx, but I have heard they are not the best to use for cosmetic procedures. So, I found a good surgical grade one: Taylor & Taylor brand Stage 2 Shaper Compression Garment with Open-Crotch. It retails for close to $100 and I found a new one on eBay for $60, and free shipping. This is a slip-on one, as opposed to a zippered one (that sounds awful to have to zip it up). I will travel to Gallatin, TN near Nashville and have the procedure done in their office soon. I will keep you all posted. I’ve uploaded my before photos for you to see.

before photos

Here are my before photos

Day After Procedure

I had Cellulaze yesterday. I took my antibiotics starting the night before as I was asked. I also took a Vicodin before the procedure as a preemptive measure :) However, It was not at all as painful as I expected. The only part that hurt was the numbing of the area where the incisions were made. He injected Lidocaine in 4 areas, 2 on each leg, where the cannula/laser entered. Then he pumped my legs full of numbing solution, after that I felt nothing, The whole experience lasted about an hour. Afterward the nurse pushed out all the remaining numbing fluid in my legs, which was gross. Then she bandaged me up really well at the incision points. I was told to wait to put the compression garment on until I got home and had a shower. This was a good suggestion because as I sat down in the car to leave, my legs gushed fluid. I went home and showered. I was told no bath or pool for a week. I got my husband to bandage me up after the shower. It made me feel very nauseous to see the fluid and blood trickle out. It continued to trickle out the rest of the night, although the bandages helped keep it off the bed sheets. I slept on one of those absorbent pads just in case. Overall, soreness. Not really painful. Hard to walk and sit down. If I was still, it felt tolerable.
Day after:
Today the pain is much better. Still sore but less than yesterday. Bruising is starting to form. Idon't see any results yet. I know some people saw improvement right away but I am reserving judgements until 6 weeks, that's when my doc said I could start to see results. I will continue to update.

day 3

I've uploaded two more photos. Virtually no pain today :) bruising is not as bad as it could be.. Thanks to the Arnica I've been taking for 2 weeks plus Rome lain tablets. So far so good with the drainage.. I think I could get by with bandaids from now on.


Damned autocorrect ...Bromelain tablets!!!

3 days post op pics

I don't see any inkling of improvement yet.. Kinda worries me bc some ppl say they can see where the dimple bands were cut and I can't :( I'll update again in a week. Wish me luck

9 days out...

Bruising is looking way way better. First day at the pool ...I'm still wearing my swim skirt bc as you see the cellulite looks completely the same... Perhaps a bit worse. You can actually see all the imperfections in the natural sunlight. I know I'm only a week or so out but I am overall saddened bc I see ZERO improvement. I don't care what they say about 3-6 months.... The ppl who get good results see the beginning of improvement immediately ...I see nothing and so based on the reviews and photos I've seen on here I will probably be one of the unlucky ones... Need some encouragement here :((((

3 weeks post op

I don't know but I THINK I might be starting to see a LITTLE TINY bit of improvement

pics 3 weeks post op

1 month

Today I see a tiny bit more smoothness. The big dimple is still there but I am slowly starting to feel this MAY work.

Side by side pics

2 month pics

I am still waiting to see the full results. Not totally satisfied. I see improvement but it is SLOW coming. Please leave feedback thanks
Dr. Bacon

Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful

Comments (41)

Sort by

Hope all is well and your continuing to heal with great results :) Have a good day!
  • Reply
Wow! I think there has been a VERY noticeable improvement! Your legs look amazing! I seriously hope you felt comfortable enough to ditch the swim skirt at this point in the summer! Thank you for the very thorough documentation of your journey! My story is exactly the same (except my Mom, who was never overweight, had cellulite so I knew it was hereditary!) The shame of my thighs and bottom really impacted my self-confidence as a teen and, I too cannot remember a time when I have not dreaded walking down to the water on the beach or across the pool deck at the pool club. I can't wait to see your "final" results side by side with your before! I bet you will have better than 90% improvement. Please keep posting!
  • Reply
Thank you so much for posting your results. Honestly, the pictures where you are more tan in the before show great improvement in the after. Like you, I started having a deep dimple in the 8th grade at about 90 pounds. Was always thin growing up, but tend to gain weight in my inner and outer upper thigh. I've always worked out and my diet is good, but as we know nothing gets rid of cellulite. Now, in addition to the deep dimple, which has lengthened, I have additional cellulite, which is to be expected with aging. Your pictures have given me a good sense of what to expect. I have a consult this week. His before and after pictures weren't very impressive TBH. At my age, I'll have an honest discussion with him about options. I have NEVER been able, even at 5'7" and 110 pounds (when younger), to walk around in a bathing suit without covering up, because of the deep dimple. I always viewed it as a deformity and a curse. Sad to be otherwise toned and healthy, but never able to enjoy beach vacations with my family like the other moms on the beach. :( Please keep posting your results. Honestly, even seeing your before pictures made me feel not so alone. I've managed my entire life to hide that area from everyone. To have pictures taken of it horrifies me. Hang in there! I can really see improvement in your latest pics.
  • Reply
Your August 9th photos look like a big improvement from baseline!!! Wow!
  • Reply
It's so sad that in this day and age of modern technology and advanced medicine that they can not come up with a permanent correction that plagues certain women. Like we all know age, diet, and weight have nothing to do with why we have this cursed condition. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures, I do see improvement in your pictures but unfortunately I do see some dimpling and after spending the money and recovery time it must be disappointing that it isn't at least 75% improved. Keep the faith and I am sure you will continue to see progress. In the meantime lets all pray that within the next few years they develop a even better treatment for cellulite that is 100% effective and safe!
  • Reply
Looking great!!
  • Reply
I definitely see an improvement. I have heard from other women that it takes 6 months and to feel normal again. So far so good :)
  • Reply
I appreciate all your documentation of your case. I live in Memphis too, went for a consultation for Cellulaze at the same place you mentioned. The Dr. wasnt in that day and I'm scheduled to go back to meet with him. I grew up and my parents live in Gallatin and so I was interested in all your research and opinion about the two surgeons. The more I read about Cellulaze, the more it seems that experience REALLY matters in order to have a decent result. Please continue to post your results and I am thinking very seriously about making an appointment in Gallatin.
  • Reply
Don't go to my doc that I went to in Gallatin. I am not seeing results
  • Reply
Well I won't say not seeing ANY results not on the dimples. They still remain.
  • Reply
Looks good. I hope u post more pictures.
  • Reply
looking smoother!
  • Reply
Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress, I think things looked to have smoothed out, would be great if you could do a side by side next update. 
  • Reply
I will do that Eva next week is my 6 week mark
  • Reply
sorry i meant update pics in 4 months not 3 duh
  • Reply
Results look way better. I hope you post more pics! How do you feel about the results currently?
  • Reply
In certain light, (esp natural) it looks a little better, but then i see myself in the bathroom under artificial light and it looks the same. I am not satisfied. But I am glad I didnt spend as much as some people have. My doc charged by the square. If it doesnt work, I may consider lipo to get rid of that fat at the top of my thigh. It pushes down on my leg and makes the dimples look worse.
  • Reply
I eat a clean diet and exercise regularly and nothing gets rid of that fat. The rest of my body shrinks and i lose weight everywhere BUT there. ;(
  • Reply
My smart-lipo on arms went well,what a breeze. Thank god because that day my friend who took me had a breakdown due to his loved one having stage 4 cancer and that rose my blood pressure,extremely high,i would say the highest ever in my life . 139/89 140/90 is pre hbp/ My normal bp is 97/67. But all went well and i am recovering super fast no bruising and no pain. I will update pics and lemme see any new pics you might have on your legs. My legs are horrible but i'm too scared to do cellulaze, my biggest fear is it getting worse,wasting $ and a long painful recovery. This is why i'm here asking your honest opinion. Is it worth it? thanks
  • Reply
Hi My smart-lipo on arms went well and i am healing super fast. I am just very impatient and want instant results as we all do. lol. I will update pics after 2 weeks. Not much change from 6 days to 7 days. But i will keep the updates. I had no complications with surgery and after 5 days i was out and about. 7 days was june 25 and i drove my car which is stick. WoooHooo Maybe i'm the 1% but i tend to heal fast as i am healthy and i do have a high tolerance for pain. I understand we are all different,so,i can only share my personal opinion about my experience. I'm EXCITED and love what my arms look like after 1 week i can't wait for 3 months or even 6. Have a great day. Bella
  • Reply
It looks much better in natural light then your before pics. I would caution against doing anything additional that is invasive. I had cellulaze done by one of the top Drs who was apart of the initial study and it cal sometimes take up to 6 month before you see all of the final true results. It took up to 6 months for my legs to heal and get the feeling back (numbness and tingling). So if you plan to get lipo you may want to wait up to a year and try massage or endermologie to manipulate the area. FYI, the Dr's technique has a lot to do with the results believe me. My condition was worst than your's and I saw 50% improvement. For really deep dimples there's a procedure called fat filling (transferring fat to even out). But, your's doesn't look that bad for that procedure. Also I think you may benefit from Infared heat wraps (I love em). Research it and let me now your thoughts. Its great for smoothing some cellulite by pulling toxins out of skin. Hope some of this helps. I'm not in the medical field at all. I'm just a fellow female who has tried everything and will do anything to get rid of dimples ;)). Much luck!
  • Reply
Hi, I am thinking of doing cellulaze in october in the fall so no one can see my legs and by spring there will be some improvement,i hope. I spoke to my doctor today because i wanted cellulaze but the horror reviews discouraged me ,so i asked about thermage,he said straight up it didn't work only cellulaze does. Lemme know how you progress with your results. i am wondering if this statement is true or are they both useless. Thanks and keep me posted with pics and results. Do you have any lumps or stinging in your legs?
  • Reply
Bella, It did have a lumpy type thing that has completely gone away at week3 post op. It was long and felt like the spot where the cannula went in, kind of like a piece of tissue/fat/whatever that was the canal or tunnel where the cannula kept going in and out. That is just my interpretation. As far as stinging. I did feel some weird twinges or stings for a while. Almost all the stinging has subsided. I used to get these pulses or jolts if I jumped up and down while exercising. But those are all gone. I have patches of numb areas on both legs, i think it's nerve damage, but that, too, is improving. I feel I am healing well. Do you honestly see any difference in my latest photos?
  • Reply
I do see a slight difference in your legs. I'm sure after 6 months you will look great. I wanted to know if you got any varicose veins during the procedure? scars? discoloration? you did say numbness. I was curious,because i'm too scared to get this procedure done. It just seem like the $,minimal results and excruciating pain outweighs the good,which is hard to determine with so many mixed reviews. i'm torn. Can you update pics in about 3 months? Thank You Bella
  • Reply
Yes, i will update throughout. I did not get any new veins. I had spider veins prior to the procedure.
  • Reply