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Cellulaze June 1 - Discouraged - Maryland

Found this forum while trying to find some...

Found this forum while trying to find some encouragement and answers after having the Cellulaze procedure on 6/1 - seems like the right place. After The Today Show highlighted this procedure, I made a beeline to the nearest qualified Dr. and he agreed I was an ideal candidate - 39 years old, healthy weight, good eating and exercise habits and he was sure he could eliminate the cellulite that has kept me out of a swimsuit in public for decades. My cellulite is along the back and outside of my thighs. I had been to a couple other consults before Cellulaze was approved and those Drs. recommended expensive, painful procedures that required a minimum of 8 weeks recovery and would not change the appearance of the skin. This seemed like the perfect solution.

For whatever reason, I told nobody except my husband about this.

During my consult, I explained to the Dr. that I have a triathlon coming up and needed minimal downtime in order to train - or would have to wait until the Fall. He felt I would need to take a week off from training – maybe two.

The procedure itself was as expected and took about 3 hours with minimal pain/discomfort. It was done on a Friday morning and I expected to go back to work Monday, but didn’t go back until Tuesday.

Two and a half weeks later, the pain and numbness are agonizing (I have been taking tylenol/advil and my pain threshold is high), there are sharp twinges of pain, I am still in the compression garment, and haven't been able to work out (although I tried a short slow run). It hurts to sit or get out of bed and it feels like I have 25 lb sand bags tied to my thighs. My weight is up and my mood is down. My follow up appointment isn't until 6/25 - but I have called the office about the pain and numbness and was told that "everyone heals differently". I have large areas that feel hard and they said it could be scar tissue forming and recommended that I massage the hard areas using cocoa butter. The idea of having my legs full of scar tissue is the scariest thing to me. There is still some bruising, but the swelling has subsided. Now that the swelling has subsided, it seems there is no improvement at all in my cellulite.

So, I am discouraged. I know there are others who had longer than expected recoveries and results that were less significant than expected. My hope is to find others that felt similarly early on and have since realized good results and can reassure me to just be patient – patience is not one of my strengths.

Hopefully, my follow up appointment will be reassuring too. The Dr. took before pictures and maybe I need to see them alongside current pictures to realize a difference. Sadly, there is still no way these thighs can be exposed to the general public!

My husband shrugs and says "you tried it and it didn't work, no big deal"...this is his way of being supportive, but I feel like I wasted money and time, plus dealing with the pain and lack of results is disheartening.

Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks LaurelC for your response. As I mentioned,...

Thanks LaurelC for your response. As I mentioned, patience is not one of my strengths. I really bought into the idea that recovery would be fairly quick and that I would be back to my workouts (without extreme pain) in a couple of weeks. It’s been more than 4 weeks now. Otherwise, I would have waited until December to have this procedure. Plus, I have zero improvement, which makes it all the more frustrating because if I am going to be in this much pain, I should have something to show for it!

Here is my update:

I went back to the Dr. last Monday and expressed my concerns. Mainly that it doesn’t seem like there is any improvement in my cellulite, I am still have pain and numbness, the large hard areas, and that there still seems to be extensive swelling and bruising.

In response to the fact that my “dimples” – particularly the two deep ones in each leg – are still there, he indicated that it could take up to three months to see an improvement. It seems I would see SOME improvement – especially based on others’ reviews and the basic idea behind this procedure that they cut the bands that trap the fat and, once released, the appearance of cellulite diminishes. So, I still don’t think that Cellulaze worked for me or was done correctly, but am trying to remain hopeful. He wants to see me again next week and will continue to monitor me and will take pictures again at three months. He is already talking about a “touch-up” procedure, which I am not sure I should do if it wasn’t effective or done right the first time. It would cost additional money and would mean another round of recovery. He did say I could stop wearing the compression garment finally, but I feel more comfortable in Under Armour compression pants. I wonder if that is much different from Spanx?

As for the pain, he gave me an additional medication and said it wouldn’t make me “loopy” – well, it does make me “loopy”, so I can’t take it during the day, but have been taking it at night. Over the counter medications don’t seem to relieve the pain – it hurts all the time and especially when I sit or walk/run/cycle/swim/etc. I have no choice but to get back to my work outs to prepare for an upcoming event – yes, I could skip the event but I also need the physical and mental benefits - and it is very painful. I also have sharp pains like electric currents. It’s still like I have 25 lb. bags full of sand attached to my thighs. He said the hard areas were from the melted fat – I thought the fat would drain or be absorbed by my body – but they do seem to be dissipating. And the swelling and bruising seem to be getting better, albeit very slowly. I have been using the Arnica Montana cream and soaking in Epsom salts.

So, I am keeping my rating at “Not Sure” for now. If I am still in pain and/or not seeing results at the three month mark, I will rate Cellulaze as “Not Worth It”! Of course, it’s hard to know if it is a fluke because of my body or something the Doctor did or did not do…but I am still discouraged and disappointed. I may be on the verge of depression because of the constant pain and disappointment.

I am now 8 weeks post procedure and still very...

I am now 8 weeks post procedure and still very discouraged. The doctor is waiting until 3 months to take after pics - but my husband took before pictures and I may have to have him take some to compare - because I do not think there is a bit of improvement. The bruising has faded, but there is still a small amount of swelling.

Also, I am very concerned because I still have tremendous pain and numbness throughout the back of my legs. I think 8 weeks is way too long to still have pain and numbness and am fearing that there is nerve damage or something more serious. I have another follow up appointment next week.

I know this is a new procedure and the doctor has a good reputation, but based on the majority of posters here, it seems something did not go right.

The doctor has already started talking about "touch ups"...can't see myself going through anything like this again because it has not been at all what I "signed up for"...

I am currently at the 4 month mark and have...

I am currently at the 4 month mark and have decided that this was NOT worth it (for me). I have followed up a few times and seen the before pictures - I feel like I have been patient and waited to see the "full results". I now have cellulite AND large bands of fat - two bands on each leg. The MD stated that the bands of fat was where the fat accumulated during the procedure. He has offered to touch up the cellulite - particularly the large dimples that I was most concerned about - and lipo the fat accumulation. He has offered to do this for free - probably because I have shared my disappointment. I also think the offer to retouch for free is an admission that it could have gone better.

My gut reaction is "no way" am I doing this again. The healing time was much longer than I expected - I still have numbness and pain in areas - and I continue to train for various events and need to be able to run/bike/swim/etc. It will be tough to plan down time around these events and I need to work out for my own sanity.

Buuuuut - I am still longing to have cellulite free legs...planning a cruise and really want to wear a swimsuit!

Any and all advice would be appreciated. I follow up with the doctor again in two weeks.
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Gezzzz where in Maryland. I'm going for some touch up Lipo from years ago and cellulaze next week. Not happy about the down gym time either. Ugh.
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Post pics
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Thanks, FL Gal. I am so glad it worked for you! I don't know if it was the technique, doctor, or my own healing that caused me to not get the results. I think he "went too deep" since no results are showing on the skin surface and so many people are reporting great results. I followed all pre and post op directions and did not exercise at all until the Dr. cleared me to do so. He knew that I had goals for running events and triathlons before the procedure and we scheduled it carefully to accommodate that. When I resumed my training, I described the symptoms (the sand bags attached to my thighs!) and pain and he advised that "I push through it". I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. He advised some additional massage during my follow up last week and said that it is likely nerve damage. Time will tell if it is permanent - it has been almost 5 months. If I catch the back of my legs the wrong way on a chair, it sends a sharp pain - similar to what you describe as an electrical shock. Most discouraging is that the cellulite is the same - and the back of my legs actually look worse with the added bands of fat - still no swim suit in public. He has offered to touch up and add liposuction (for free), but I am not sure I should have him redo it. My gut says "no way"! Would you? A second opinion is a must before I do anything. I wish I had the opportunity to see Dr. Katz - even for a consultation - that segment on the Today Show is actually what prompted me to do this.
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Sorry to read that the procedure did not work for you. I don't know if it is the technique of the doctor during the treatment or your ability to heal or a combination of both. I am 61 years old and hated my cellulite. I first saw the procedure on the Today show and made an appointment with Dr. Bruce Katz, the doctor featured on the show who pioneered the treatment. I figured he would be the most experienced. He was very professional and I was impressed with him and his staff during the procedure which was practically pain free. I had my entire thighs done at the same time -- outer, inner, front and back on August 2nd. It is now approximately nine weeks since the procedure and I have seen a vast improvement in my thighs -- so much so that I bought several bathing suits -- an article of clothing I hadn't worn in years!. One thing I noted in your blog is that you continued to do heavy exercising. My doctor said you could start exercising after 8 days but if it hurts don't do it. Even now I cannot run or even walk quickly without a stinging sensation --- so I don't do it. I found that I can exercise on the eliptical machine without any problem and work out about 45 min to 1 hour several times a week on the eliptical machine in addition to using light weights. If you were running, etc. while having pain -- STOP doing it! I can't say if that contributed to your healing but not doing a particular exercise if it hurt was one of the post-procedure instructions emphasized by my doctor. I also had a problem with scar tissue which was of grave concern to me as it got worse and worse over a very short period of time. Since I am in Florida and my doctor is in NY, I went to my local dermatologist who showed me the proper way to massage the areas. He explained that if massaged incorrectly you can create more scar tissue by damaging the tissue surrounding the scar tissue. You must also massage the area for an extended period of time, a few seconds on an area is not going to do the trick. The first few times I massaged my thighs the pain was so intense I thought I would vomit. However, by massaging for about 30 minutes to an hour twice a day the scar tissue has been broken down and is no longer visible. I am also concerned for you because you have written about all the pain you are in. I was on pain medication the day of and the day after the procedure. After that I took tylenol at night a few times a week for the first week or two. That's it. I have experienced the electrical shocks in my thighs. The skin on my thighs at first felt like it was streched like saran wrap and later on, like I had tight rubber bands wrapped around my lower thighs - just above the knees. For the first month it was hard to sit on the toilet and sitting on chairs with a hard edge can still cause some pain. At present my skin is still sensitive although it is no longer numb. I can honestly say the post-procedure wasn't like a walk in the park and at times I really hurt. Yet, I never had the need for anything stronger than tylenol and I chose not to even use it after the second week. Maybe I just have a higher tolerance to pain. However, it seems like you should not be in this much discomfort at 4 months. My suggestion would be to get a second opinion to determine what can be done. If it were me, I would see if I could get an appointment with Dr. Bruce Katz, the doctor featured on the Today show who did my procedure. The cost of a consultation is well worth knowing if anything more can be done to help you.
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I am from Florida and flew to NY for the Cellulaze procedure approximately six weeks ago on the front, back, outer and inner thighs at a cost of over $13,000. I am in excellent health, work out, eat healthily and am not overweight -- most people think I am in my 40s (I am 61). My doctor was very professional and the procedure went without a hitch. However, one thing I found to be deficient was that no one told me about the after effects -- most particularly that I would have excessive scar tissue ---lumps and bumps have replaced the cellulite within the first two weeks after the procedure. I called the doctor's office and was told to massage the areas several times a day. This has helped break down some of the larger lumps (most were the size of grapes but I also had a few the size of silver dollars) but when they break down in one area they seem to emerge somewhere else on my thighs. Has anyone else had this problem? Do you use any special creme when massaging or is there anything that has worked well? Will the scar tissue eventually go away in several months time or can I expect this to replace the cellulite?
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I'm sorry to hear you are still having discomfort. :( Hopefully that fades fast for you, and that as you continue to heal good results will come through as well.

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Thanks LaurelC - I am still discouraged :(...I posted an update today.
Undecided28 - my doctor took before pictures and is waiting until 3 months to take after pictures - I did have my husband take before pictures so I will get him to take some (and then figure out how to post them!). Maybe they will show some improvement...
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Megan P can help you post pictures- when I put my pics side by side, I literally started crying.   So you might have more improvement than you realize.    Try it. 
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Hey....I hope all is well n u received maximum results... Please update us....n if possible can u post before n after pictures....thanx
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hi there- wanted to let you know that I am fully back to all my activities- both tennis and spinning.   My skin still feels a bit weird, but I can do all my normal workouts and feel fine.   I wrote you almost 4 weeks ago and I have improved so much in that time.   So patience is the key.   We all heal at different speeds.    I am 10 weeks today.   So 2 1/2 months.   And my cellulite looks so much better- not perfect- but tons of improvement.  My super big dimples are either gone or significantly less pronounced.    So keep your chin up mama.  
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Thanks for posting an update. I'm sorry that you are still feeling down about the procedure. Try to keep in mind it has only been a little over a month - hopefully good changes are to come. I appreciate you letting us all know that you are still having discomfort when you try to workout a month post-procedure. It certainly would have been great if you had that info headed into the procedure, but I appreciate you sharing your experience so others can be informed.

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Hey there- I just found your review and relate to your frustrations.   I too am a workout lover and it was so frustrating to not be able to return to my activities.  I will say that I have improved tremendously - I still can't run or play tennis - although I did go spinning today for the first time since the procedure.  It hurt when I spun fast- my skin felt painful when being jiggled like that.   But my overall pain and discomfort is getting better by the week- I'm almost at 8 weeks now.     And my skin still feels weird to touch ... but again, much better with each passing week.  I am a bit nervous about tennis- I need to return to my team and my practices - and I am not sure I can run and stop suddenly and do all the hussling I do in tennis.   My skin hurts when I run.   I am definitely modifying my workouts- any sort of jumping or bouncing or running my skin just plain ole hurts!   But again, better with each passing week.   Regarding cellulite- I have probably 50-75% improvement.   Some areas are very good - others much improved.  It's not perfect, but so much better.   I'm hoping with time it will continue to improve.  I am also struggling with some extra pounds - I'm about 5-8lbs over my ideal weight - I have no clue what is going on with that b/c I workout daily and eat well and it's frustrating.   I also got a significant amount of spider veins I believe resulted from the procedure- they were NOT there before.    But I will deal with those in the winter - and I'd prefer those to cellulite dimples anyday.   Keep your chin up- it's hard, I get it.  But what's done is done.  We have done the procedure and now just need to wait for time to pass to get better and improvement.     Patience.   xx Laurel 
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Thanks BC!

I read your review and can relate to the weight gain - I keep hoping it's water/fluid too. My expectation was some immediate results, with continued improvement for 6 months to a year...trying to keep the faith (and be patient)!

Today seems like less numbness and more pain - so maybe things are healing? Maybe I am in a better place mentally because I let some of my pent-up frustration out by posting and feel like someone "gets it"...

Thanks for the tip on bentonite clay. I am going to try it!
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I really think that in time....maybe 6 months to a year, you will see some good results. I share some of the post-op symptoms as you (my procedure was done on 6/7)
I've been massaging, dry brushing, and applying bentonite clay daily. I think that all of these have accelerated the healing of bruises, and I will continue my home treatments to get smooth out the hard lumps.
I hate to see anyone discouraged as Cellulaze has brought hope to so many of us....keep the faith
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Thanks Megan! It is so frustrating to not be able to work out and that is definitely adding to my emotional upheaval.

I did read LaurelC's review - think I read them all before I got the nerve to post here. My hope is that I need to be patient, but so many saw results right away. Of course, many are not seeing results right away, so I am hopeful that, as time passes, we will all triumph over the cellulite. For me, the expectations were set that Cellulaze is an easy procedure with minimal down time and immediate permanent results, which adds to the frustration.

I purposely left out specific information about the Dr. and the office staff. There are reviews of my Dr. (for other procedures) on Real Self with extremely positive feedback, but I do not feel that the "customer service" has been great. I don’t want my disappointment in the results to cloud my opinion about the staff. Yeah, maybe they don’t call back, but maybe I wouldn’t be as upset if I felt this was going well. Really like the Dr. and had faith in him, but don't think he gave me realistic expectations at this point (maybe I heard what I wanted to hear?!). Plus, not having a follow up appt for 3 1/2 weeks is making me crazy.

I think my other mistake (besides believing the hype – which is easy to do when you are desperate to be rid of cellulite!) was not finding someone to confide in, other than my husband (who has never lived with cellulite) and can’t understand why I am so upset. I can make more money, but I can’t get the time back and am struggling with the pain and disappointment. That is why I posted here – to find others who are willing to “listen” and can relate and understand – and hopefully I can help them in some way too. Thanks for replying.

I will update after my appt on 6/25
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I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling discouraged. I'm a workout person too, so I know the emotions that go along with not working out, then add the emotions from having a procedure done and it can add up to be a bit much.

Have you read LaurelC's review? She talks about a similar experience to what you are going through, so if you haven't already check it out.

It seems that ladies are starting to say they are seeing improvement after the procedure, but it is taking the 3-6 months, and unfortunately most the ladies on here aren't to that point yet. We are all waiting to see what goes on when those time frames hit & we can hear about the real final results.

Keep in mind the 3-6 months, and don't stare at your legs everyday hoping for change, it will only frustrate you.

Sending you a hug & looking forward to reading your updates!

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