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Cellulaze Patient Review - Durham, NC

I had Cellulaze and am pleased with the results. I...

I had Cellulaze and am pleased with the results. I am not one to buy into gimmicks, and this is the only treatment that I have ever tried for cellulite. I based the decision on the available trial data and the mechanism of action of the laser (i.e. "cutting" the bands that contribute to the lumpy texture of cellulite.) I still have some bruising at about 2 weeks out, but it has diminished enough for me to see results. Hopefully, these results will last!

Here is a summary of the experience:

Pre-procedure - the surgeon and his staff were very informative and comprehensive regarding preparation. I started a prophylactic antibiotic the night before and continued that for 7 days. Avoided alcohol and NSAIDs for a few weeks prior to the procedure.

Procedure - I took a sedative, pain medication and anti-nausea medication about an hour prior to the procedure (while in the clinic.) The sedative pretty much knocked me out... I don't recall many details after taking it, including having my legs marked up with three colors of Sharpie pen. During the procedure, the only discomfort was the injection of the lidocaine to numb my legs. I did not feel anything from the laser itself and I think I drifted in and out of sleep. After the procedure was over, the nurse helped me into the compression garment and I was taken home by my designated driver.

Post-procedure - I did not need to take any pain medication after the procedure. Not even Tylenol. The only discomfort felt like my muscles feel after a hard weight training work out - soreness that comes when I use the muscles to walk up stairs, etc. The drainage from the incisions lasted about 24 hours and I had to ensure that I had towels under me when I was laying down. I did spend that first afternoon and evening lying on the sofa and not doing much else. But, I was able to get around just fine the day after.

The bruising was particularly ugly for me, but I bruise very easily, so I was expecting this. The Sharpie markings were annoying and it took about 5 days for those to fade. The compression garment is also a pain, but I have been very compliant with it in order to ensure the best results. The surgeon requires the garment to be worn at all times for 7-10 days, but I plan to wear it until my bruising subsides completely. It is also recommended that a compression garmet is worn during exercise for several weeks, so I purchased an athletic wear garment for that purpose.

Bottom line: I am really surprised by how good the treated areas look. I do not have before and after photos and I am not really the kind of person who will post personal photos on line. I realize that some readers want more proof that the procedure is effective, but I can only offer my assessment as someone who has been through it. I hope this is helpful!

I am now 9 weeks post-procedure and am doing well....

I am now 9 weeks post-procedure and am doing well. I still have some very slight soreness when pressure is applied to my legs, but am almost back to normal. I continue to have slight discoloration under the skin, much like light bruising, but that also continues to improve every day. My small incision scars are dark, but this is consistent with my typcial healing process, and I expect them to fade over the next 3 months or so. My swelling resolved completely by the third week post-procedure.

Bottom Line: I can absolutely state that I see an improvement in the cellulite. As a 45 year old woman, I certainly didn't expect to get the legs of a 22 year old bikini model, but the appearance of the cellulite is definitely improved, especially on the outer thighs.

I've read some reviews that I have found to be somewhat insulting to those of us who have been relatively pleased with our progress, so I feel compelled to respond:

1. I am NOT employed by a cosmetic surgeon and have no relationship with any surgeons or clinics. I do not appreciate the implication that the positive reviews have been posted by individuals who work for the surgeons. My review is meant to provide information and personal experience to other women who are considering making an investment in this relatively new procedure.

2. Prior to undergoing this procedure, I did my research and feel that my expectations were reasonable. If you reviewed the before and after photos provided in the clinical trial submission, you will see that none of the trial subjects ended up completely cellulite free. The goal of the procedure is improvement in the appearance of cellulite. It is important to note that my surgeon was very clear about the fact that results will vary and our hope was for an improvement. I do not know if baseline body type and weight may have an impact on the results, but I would certainly recommend that a prospective patient ask this question before they spend their money on this procedure.

3. The experience of the surgeon is critically important. My surgeon has significant experience with body contouring procedures and I felt comfortable that his experience would provide a good result. Based on the Realself reviews from the other patients in Durham, they also appear satisfied with their procedure. This leads me to believe that our surgeon is, in fact, very qualified and skilled, which translates into patients who are pleased with their results.

4. I stand by my comments regarding the discomfort during and after the procedure. As I noted in my review, the only significant discomfort came during the numbing process, which did not last long. Following that, I did not feel any pain during the procedure. My discomfort following the procedure was mild soreness during walking - similar to muscle soreness after a heavy weight workout (when you haven't trained your legs in months, then you suddenly lift heavy weight!) Pressure applied to the legs would cause discomfort, but I avoided applying any unnecessary pressure. Pain is relative, so I do not doubt that there are other patients out there who have a lower tolerance for pain and discomfort than I do, but I have in no way under reported my level of discomfort.

I have a follow-up appointment in mid-July and will provide another update on the appearance of the cellulite after that appointment. While I was originally not going to post photos, some of the other comments have compelled me to re-consider. So, if I can get the before and after photos from my surgeon, I will post them in July after my last follow-up appointment and "after" photos. Best of luck to all potential Cellulaze patients.

Update now that I am 4 months out on the first...

Update now that I am 4 months out on the first procedure to my front and side thighs and 9 weeks out from my second procedure to back of thighs. NOTE: the second procedure was not a touch up - it was a first procedure to new areas - the back of the thighs - which I did not get done during the initial procedure.

I remain reasonably satisfied with the improvement to the front and side thighs. They appear smoother to me. The only issues are the remaining discoloration under the skin (which has continued to fade, but four months of mottled tone under the skin seems long.) I also noticed some slight increase in spider veins on the side thighs. It is not dramatic, but I wasn't expecting it. The discomfort in the front and side thighs has almost completely resolved, even when pressure is applied. So, for those of you still experiencing tenderness at 1-3 months, hopefully it will eventually resolve as mine did. It has never been painful, just tender and uncomforable when pressure was applied.

Regarding the second procedure to the back of the thighs, I really do not see any improvement at all. I did not experience the mottled discoloration in the back of the thighs, but I do have some residual swelling under the treatment area on the back of one of my thighs. It looks odd. The surgeon expects that it will continue to resolve over time and it does appear to be getting better... slowly. The back of my thighs are still tender to the touch at 9 weeks out, but this is getting better each week. The surgeon did note that the cellulite on the back of the thighs is different than the front and side thighs and it may take longer to improve. I worry that it won't improve at all, but am willing to wait out the full six months before I declare the procedure a failure on the back of my thighs.

I have posted a few photos. The before photos were taken by the surgeon, but we will not be taking the after photos until September when I am four months post the second procedure. However, I have taken some "home" after photos until I can get the official surgeon photos. Just keep in mind that these are not using controlled lighting and the quality is not great.

I have also changed my rating to "Not Sure" - specifically due to the lack of results to the back of the thighs. I feel that my expectations are reasonable - I want some improvement, not perfection. But since there is no improvement to the back of thighs, I cannot really say the entire process has been worth it. I will re-assess after the 6 month mark.

Update 9/18/12: I am posting new photos from the...

Update 9/18/12: I am posting new photos from the surgeon's office (much better than my "homemade" photos, which I have removed.) After looking at the new photos in comparison to the pre-procedure photos, I do think I am now starting to see some improvement in the back thighs. As a reminder, I had the back of the thighs done as a second procedure approximately 3.5 months ago. The surgeon indicated that improvement may be slower for the back of the thighs (for me in particular.) So, hopefully, I will continue to see some additional smoothing. The sides and fronts of my thighs still look good and are definitely improved at 5.5 months post-procedure. So, I am now going to change my worth it rating back to Yes. I don't have perfect thighs, but I do have improved thighs. This procedure may not work well for everyone. But I must say that after seeing the results from Dr. Miller's (Durham, NC) other patients (here on Realself), I do believe that surgical skill plays a huge part in the success of the procedure. At this point, I am also free of any tenderness or discoloration. I still have the incision scars, but they continue to fade. I do have another appointment with the surgeon in two months, so I hope to post more photos with even more improvement. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I have posted some new photos. While I was...

I have posted some new photos. While I was satisfied with the outcome as of my last post, I can now say that I am even more pleased at this stage. I have definitely seen continued improvement since my last appointment with Dr. Miller. As I have said all along, I never expected perfect legs, so perhaps this has made the whole process a more positive experience for me. Given the percentage of improvement, I would absolutely say that this procedure worked for me. Based on the other posts, though, it is clear that this is not for everyone, and the response rate appears to be variable. Therefore, it is important for prospective patients to understand this risk before making the investment. Best of luck to everyone!
Jason Miller, MD

Very attentive staff, highly skilled surgeon, relaxing clinic environment UPDATE 9/18/12: I have continued to have great experiences through all follow-up visits. Dr. Miller and his staff are wonderful.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (64)

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I love the results. No one can expect perfection from any procedure. I'm hoping to find out if the results have lasted as it is now august 2014. Any input would be appreciated.
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Dear Aging in Bklyn, If you will notice these photos from start to finish, you will see that this patient lost a significant amount of weight, which most likely resulted in the loss of cellulite. You can also see from this patient's skin, that she is quite young. I don't want to burst anyone's bubble here, but we ladies have to be realistic. Please read the amount of other stories from other women that were basically horror stories. I just don't recommend this procedure for anybody. You are more likely to get results from a serious weight loss program and serious work outs. That way, even if you still have a little cellulite, your body will look fabulous so it won't matter. That's my two cents. Suelja
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This is really helping me to take my decision. I know it's not easy to post personal pictures but they are very helpful to others, like me. Amazing result!!! So glad for you.
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HI All, if you will look at these photos a little more closely, you will see this patient lost a significant amount of weight between the before and after photos, and therefore we are not seeing real results of a cellulaze treatment but only results of weight loss and most likely a strong gym regime. Oh, and an amazing trainer too!
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Was this done on only your outer thighs? What about your bum and inner thighs?
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I don't know this person or review but I am a 45 yr old mom. Fit, healthy but had unsightly cellulite. I have no connection to the medical business. I had cellulaze 1 1/2yrs ago. I had tremendous success. About 70 percent improvement. Are my results typical of everyone? Did I have a more skilled MD? Did I respond better than normal? All I know is it was a success for me. Does it work across the board? No. Does it get rid of all cellulite? No. But can some people get moderate to significant improvement? Yes. It is not a cure, but more an option for some. I am one of the lucky ones.
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llisa, I agree with you. You should definitely post it all over Facebook. We need the truth! Thank you. Suelja
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A bit off topic but I think I have different kinds of cellulite and some are more helped by cellulaze than others. I had cellulaze on the "banded kind" on my upper thighs (back) that I've had since puberty without much improvement (if at all). I keep wondering if the procedure would help more with the dimples and bumps as it did with yours. Or even the newest cellulite I have on the fronts of my legs from loose skin with age. I hate to give up. I also think the Dr. should have experience. Mine did not as it was so new a year and a half ago here in the mid-west. Oh well. I am happy with your success and know that it is real. I just wonder why it works for some people and not others. I feel they should look into this more. My Doctor seemed to have no clue. There might be a reason that can be fixed!
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Hi LaurelC, A bit off topic but I believe that I have different kinds of cellulite. The "banded kind" on my upper back thighs that I have had since puberty... The "dimples kind" on my thighs and bum that gets worse with age... And finally "the loose skin kind" on the front of my thighs that didn't show up until the year I turned 41. I tried having the banded kind treated with Cellulaze a year and a half ago with no luck. Now that I have done more research it seems that is the hardest kind to get rid of. I wish I had known that. My doctor had no clue. I wish I had waited until a doctor in my area (mid-west) had more experience and knowledge. Anyway, I wonder if I might have better luck with the dimples and bumps as you've had? I also hope they figure out why it works for some people and not others (which it absolutely does.) I am glad some people have been lucky as you have. Maybe the rest of us will too someday!
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We welcome all experiences, both positive and negative, but all posts must adhere to our Community Guidelines and will be removed if they are not conducive to the community. Reviews are the place for community members to share their individual stories. Everyone is given the same space and mutual respect is expected.You are welcome and we encourage you to post your own review about your experience as well. 

Thank you :)
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Hi I love your results. I am currently looking into this doctor for this procedure I saw a before and after on his website and was impressed with the results. Did you pay 7000 all together including the back of the thigh as well? Also do you workout and if so does that help your results?
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Hi Cellulazepatient, I think your results are great. I have a question though: you look much thinner in your last photos than you did on your first photos. Did you lose weight and work out any differently? If so, how much did you lose, and how much do you think that contributed to the overall success of your experience with cellulaze?
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I had no idea this existed. Your pics are great, and now I am going to do some research on this treatment. I might add it to my laundry list of procedures for next year... After 2 bedridden pregnancies my legs resemble your Before pics, and I would love your results!
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Encouraging pics!
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How long until you felt good enough to workout
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Wonderful pictures! you look great, happy to hear your procedure went well! Thank you for sharing with us! :)
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Thanks SO much for changing your mind and posting pictures. It really helps us get an idea of what to expect. You look great and if I had your results I would be thrilled!
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Wow! Thanks so much for posting the before and after photos! I can definitely see an improvement even between the 5.5 months and the 7 months mark - especially in the photo of your posterior. That is great to know that improvement continues even between 5.5 and 7 months! You look fabulous and your post is very informative. Thanks again!
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Honestly- I'm not sure I see a difference in your Before and after's other than the lighting in the photos which make your skin look darker in the afters. Darker skin- whether done by tanning, fake tan, or lighting will always make cellulite appear significantly less than lighter skin. In fact it is the #1 beauty recommendation for people with cellulite for the past 15 years- darken the skin. Obviously all I see are the photos and you get to see your real self so I'm at a disadvantage. However the fact that in your posts you yourself admitted you didn't see a difference until you looked at the photos is a red flag to me. Such a reduction in cellulite SHOULD be very noticeable without photos. I've perused both reviews saying Cellulaze works and reviews saying it doesn't work. So far every single one of the reviews I've seen saying that it "works" has after photos where the person has gotten a TAN since their before pictures (often you can even see their tan line) or the lighting is different which makes their skin appear more golden. That's been the case so far. I'm sure there are people here who have before and afters with the same lighting and no tan where it worked for them, but I've gone through 15 reviews and I haven't found any of those so far.
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Funny, I actually think my skin looks darkest in the before photo (back of legs)! I have never tanned - not in the sun, not in tanning beds and not with sunless tanning lotion or sprays (horrible smell!) I posted new photos from my visit last week. The lighting was the same - as controlled as possible. But, even prior to last week's final appointment and photos, I was seeing the improvement. And feedback from the two individuals who knew I had this done indicated that they saw the most significant improvement in the back of the legs over the last month. These individuals have been very skeptical, so it was good to get their acknowledgement. While I disagree with your assessment that every "positive" reviewer is incapable of determining that this works for her, you are entitled to that opinion. I know this procedure doesn't work for everyone - that is clear in the negative reviews, which I do not dispute (and I certainly do not discount their opinions.) It is unfortunate that a person has to spend the money before she will know if the procedure will work. Ultimately, what really matters is how I feel and I am happy with how my legs look and I feel this process has been worth it.
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I think you got confused between the before and after photos, manderin. Cellulazepatient's skin is clearly lighter in the after photos. It is clear that the hemosiderin staining is gone (the bruises are completely healed) at 7 months and this is why her skin looks much lighter in the after photos.
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