Write a review

Just Had It Today ! - New York, NY

TODAY I had the procedure at 9am this morning,...

TODAY I had the procedure at 9am this morning, finished at 11:30am, went to work at 1pm (obligated) ambled home and took a nap at 3pm and am puttering around before I go back to work tomorrow. At 10pm, I'm feeling fine with a good dose of acetaminophen. However, I do recommend taking the day off from work.

From the beginning: I saw an article in Marie Claire about the Cellulaze procedure in February. Because I have a family medical background the process made complete sense. This will work. I immediately emailed my plastic surgeon who said I had been doing my homework and that yes, it had real promise. Last year he told me there was nothing on the market that he could endorse, so I was doubly enthused with this new information as he takes great care not to over-promise.

Me, being ultra-conservative - there are two things I hate - wasting money and looking "done". I have to mention that my confidence in my doctor (he's done my jawline tightening - so worth it - so grateful - and chubby knees) and our communicating on the same level is key here, otherwise I would have not been one of the first "cottage-cheese" tormented gals to push my way onto his calendar.

(Note: I had more dimples on my butt than on my thighs) Summer is coming up and I know from past procedures that these things take time/months to shape up and settle after the procedure so my goal is tennis skirts in May and some bikini time by July (I don't overpromise myself either).

I hear that results can be seen earlier, but make sure your doctor doesn't give you an overly optimistic timeline for the final fabulousness. As with all of my elective procedures, I see this as a long-term improvement. I want good work and a real timeline. Now, with the procedure itself, I had it under local anesthetic. I felt some needles initially and some pinching with the numbing procedure. I made a joke about leprechauns - and not wearing green that day. Joking is allowed during the procedure - it's how I deal. My doctor and the soothing assistant (thank you!) kept me clued in throughout what to expect next and how much time it would take. I'd say there was some nippy feeling here and there with the laser. Fortunately it was my second trip to the rodeo (previous inner-knee laser lipo). In fact I would say that this is a lot like laser lipo, but with less anesthesia needed.

When it was all done, I think it took a little more time than internet info indicates, but I also know I got all the areas tended to that I wanted. (Go big or go home?). Tonight I am in the "leaking the numbing fluids into the gauze pads phaze". If I had a live in boy-friend or husband, I would just keep this delightful vision "on the other side of the curtain". Not terribly glamorous. I see some bruising. Not surprised. My bruises typically go away in about 5 days. I plan to update with some pictures. Bottom line - I am absolutely sure from my research and basic medical understanding that this will be a big improvement on my "moderate" cellulite. If I reduce the dimpling by 90% I will be more than satisfied. Perfect is acceptable too, of course.

Do your research on the doctor - education, preferably fairly recent and ongoing. It's my understanding that Cellulaze, being new and education intensive, is being offered through the most respected, advanced doctors first.


10 Comments

Clarifying...I took the full sequence of antibiotics and stopped 1/3 through my allotment of pain meds. Today or tomorrow I'll stop by and have my tiny stitches taken out...a little later than normal, but I had a full business week, and the Dr. is flexible with me to a reasonable degree. I'm the type that usually takes out my own stitches (only a few here or there) but I can't reach or see the single stitch on each butt cheek. Foiled! What was once extensive bruising has disappeared on my thighs so technically I could wear shorts with no problem. They look smooth. My lower butt cheeks where more extensive work was done, have remaining discoloration. This makes sense because Dr. Levine did more detail work there. Not to speak as well as a doctor could speak, but I think the more action with the laser, the more collegen affect/tightening takes place and that additional work means a little more healing action needs to take place. I am always happy to privately message to answer questions, as I was happy to encourage Miss Chickyxo.
  • Reply

How did the suture removal go? Pretty uneventful I'm hoping?? How are things looking?

Dr Levine's office had me take at least 3 antibiotic pills in the 24 hours prior and I did need the pain medication afterward, although I stopped after day three and only took one in the last 3 days. I still have some darker purple bruising but the colors have been changing and dissipating slowly. I see them going away. On day three of the compression garment, I was SO tired of it and adapted a Christmas Carol in my head late at night...."It squeezes when you're sleeping....you're squoze when you're awake....you'll know if you've been bad or good, so be good for fab-ness sake !!" (Yes, I'm a goof....but thoroughly educated, self adjusting one :)
  • Reply

I have just posted my 13 day picture and had my...

I have just posted my 13 day picture and had my follow-up on day 9. I think this is a good time to share what I know and have learned about aftercare. While I looked fine to go out in shorts (or a swimsuit) after nine days - I know from the tenderness that I am still healing underneath. I don't love the compression garment and during the most major swelling days 2-4 I REALLY didn't love it. Departing from what you normally read about Cellulaze, Dr. Levine asked ME to continue to wear the compression garment for two more weeks (2&3) and to do "no more than light aerobic activity" during that time. I don't know if the extra time has to do with my "maturity" (48 years and "bad-ass" in a good way). What I do know is that while I would love to toss these Spanx into the wind, Dr. Levine is maybe even MORE interested in a perfect outcome than I am. The precise moment I decided that he more than earns every penny (possibly deserves more IF I had it) is when I was lying on the table and was thinking.....really expected to contribute nothing more than staying calm, while he's using this small rod, customizing his approach (laser strokes) to each one of DOZENS of small (sharpie?)marked squares - *one at a time* - each square requiring concentration to cut strands and level fat to MATCH up with the smooth outcome of all of the other dozens of squares. That's up to two hours of very focused concentration - without a break - with that laser. I think I would rather try to paint a rocking chair with a Q-tip. So after all of that finessing, when he asks me to extend protocol of my aftercare so we can be sure to protect the work - I have to agree to the rightness of this.

7 Comments

Thank you for sharing your photos and experience It was very helpful!
  • Reply
WOW - this is SO helpful!!! I'm so bummed - I made my appointment for a consultation with Dr. Christine Petti (California) but she's so inundated with patients she can't even see me for the consult until May 25th!!! BOO-HOO!!! I want this done, and I want it done TODAY!!! :o) Your review is FABULOUS and thank you for the pictures!!!
  • Reply

Thanks for posting the updated photo! The picture of the entry hole was really helpful to see, since I had no real idea what that would look like. Keep updating us - you know we love to hear how you are doing & what you are seeing! :)

  • Reply

I am four weeks out now and if I look...

I am four weeks out now and if I look "extremely" close (more close than anyone I know would look) I have the merest bit of broad-based swelling. Anyone but myself would not notice, but I do. I am quite the scrutinizer. I did my "clench the butt", pelvis forward movement, which always brought out my (too many to count) little craters and I could not make them appear. So I would say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, and from what I know it should be small improvements in the next four months. I have another appt. with Dr. Levine at the 6 week mark, which is one month after my last appointment. Questions I have about exercising are easily answered by emails to his office. The work I decided I had to do for myself was to tone up my muscles, which I created a handy dandy excel spread sheet with 11 low-movement toning exercises for me to do each day. Arms, shoulders (using weights), BUTT abdomen and a little bit of thigh work. I did no running in the last month. I should start that soon. My goal is to have the toning underneath combined with the cellulaze improvement to the overlying layer combine to make this a total WIN.

61 Comments

NYTennis, what is Dr Levine's first name? and Office location?

  • Reply
Ok mama.... slow down here.... I just did it two days ago. It's really not that bad and this was my very first procedure EVER. The Xanax helps a lot. Listen, it's invasive, but it's local not general. The hardest part is being numbed up but if you take the Xanax early enough, you don't even feel that. The biggest thing we have to lose (besides the money) is that it doesn't work. That's really the biggest thing to lose here. But I'm holding faith that it will. Perhaps you're not ready yet? Perhaps you should wait and take your time? Let more women do it before you commit so you feel more comfortable? I just know that I hit a wall. I was willing to try it to have a summer where I didn't have to cover my bum anymore. It was worth the money for me to try it. You'll be fine, the risks are so small. As the old saying goes, you have more risk driving in a car daily..... they have a RN in the room, you have a blood pressure cuff on and oxygen on. They're monitoring your vitals the entire time. I'm only 2 days in, covered in swelling and bruises and sore and can barely sit, but I'm holding faith that when I get to stop wearing this compression garment (which really isn't that bad) that I will see IMPROVEMENT! Positive attitude is half the battle. You don't have to do this now if you are not ready. But hey, had they had this when I was 23, you bet your bottom dollar I'd do it. Girl, these are your GOLDEN years. You should enjoy them and strut your stuff! Good luck. We're all here to support you mama. xx
  • Reply
ALL TRUE !! You totally have this right.

I will have my after pictures soon -- as I just...

I will have my after pictures soon -- as I just had my six week appointment on FRIDAY and had 'after' pix taken. I found out that Dr. Levine is having an informal "Open House Q&A" on laser procedures and Cellulaze this THURSDAY the 17th May.. (upper east side I believe the Q&A is at 6:30pm with socializing before that. It would be a very good opportunity for anyone in the New York area to get questions answered by an actual surgeon without the consult fee. They have them about once a month. To call and make sure I have the right info, it's www.plasticsandderm.com 212-988-1800. Jessie is the person there that told me. It's always at this type of party that I have wine and ask my most absurd questions, but it's great info !! (This is just as a tip because I don't think I have ever paid a consult fee in my life, thanks to my girlfriends.) So far, I have always gotten my information beforehand and knew what I wanted to do. Anyway, I went running for the first time on Saturday and will still probably have the "jigglies" for the first few days of running (as always, when I don't run for a month or two). I felt like putting my spanx on, but it was humid out. Everything looking NORMAL now and I have added a spray tan, so BONUS !!

14 Comments

Hi NYTennis! Like KrissyD, I am curious to know how you look after 2 months. Thank you!
  • Reply
Hi all I need some help! Is it still normal to be swollen at the 3 week mark? My one side leg like saddle bag side of thigh is much more swollen than my other. I'm getting worried. I just want to know if it's normal to still see swelling. I do think my dimples are improving actually today but the slight bruising make the discoloration tough to tell and have a nice even look.

I'm taking bromelin and arnica. Let me know I'm going to dr D Thursday for my 4 weeks so I'm hoping this swelling goes down!

Any advice would be great.

I also think that the antibiotic Keflex really messed with me. My stomach has been crazy for 3 weeks :(
  • Reply
Hi NYTennis! Now that you are over 2 months out since your procedure, can you give us an update? Is the soreness completely gone? How are your results?
  • Reply

This update is actually my reply to Laurel, who...

This update is actually my reply to Laurel, who asked about an update so I copied my answer below and added picture number four: Interestingly, I was just in Las Vegas (with my pretty spray tan) and looking it all over. I'd say I have about 5 pounds to lose and yet was pretty pleased with the look of myself in shorts. I'd definitely not be embarrased a swimsuit anymore. However it's really the BUTT that has improved dramatically. I can't make the craters appear like I used to when I would "tuck under" the butt (pose that is needed) for a more slenderizing posture. So that is GREAT !! The swelling is long gone after 10 weeks. Since I still need to lose a few pounds, my legs don't look *perfectly* muscular like that of a 20-year old swimmer. I have a fine layer of padding, but I can't see cottage cheese. Now I just need to start running again and lose the 5 and look more like a swimmer girl (seeing those Olympians, wow!) Anyway, I am happy enough to say that it is as I expected going in... Tremendously improved to the point of being pleased with my 40+ year old body and confident that at my fighting weight I have no reason to be critical of myself. The BUTT results alone were worth it.

17 Comments

Any updates? I just had the procedure done by Dr. Levine last week and would love to hear how you feel about your results now.
  • Reply
Hi All - I'm really sorry I couldn't update more...last few months I've been in the process of switching positions in a tight knit industry so I've had to "stick to my knitting" so to speak. Results for me were great after several months and still I'm feeling the skin become a little more thick on my butt - more "firm" is how I'd put it. It's six months out now and I guess I'm close to maximum on the collagen building. Definitely smoother. What I need is to exercise more to put the skin smoothing together with the muscle tautening. It's the work thing - I get distracted. Just the same, I jumped to volunteer to be one of Dr. Levine's first patients for the same Cynosure laser to target loose upper arms. That was done three weeks ago and I really have to update on that. It's called SideLaze and I don't think there is a category on RealSelf for it yet. In short - bruising for five days, no pain meds needed afterward - I will be looking for max results in 6 months with collagen rebuilding. Dr. Levine (Elie) also now does the procedure on face and one other area with the tiny laser that is much more targeted than the smart-lipo laser. The face is very interesting because it really does tighten without all the cutting, but I'm just not needing it that much yet after the surgical jawline tightening he did 6 years ago. I don't go out in the sun much at all and the results have stuck. Still, I guess you could say I'm a big fan of laser technology. So back to the butt area - I'm answering this at work and will have to exercise for a week and then I'll feel like looking at my butt. (I don't weigh myself either :) Good that you did the Cellulaze going into the winter months. Plenty of cover-up time for the improvement process to take place.
Hi. Can i ask what the jaw tightenind procedure was that u had done? And also what laser is used on the face that tightens without cutting? Thanks. I cant make up my mind about cellulase yet - such mixed results.
New York Plastic Surgeon

My stars were given very thoughtfully. Wait times and Payment process are standard for doctors. Everything else is Five Stars. Communication and competence are everything in a Plastic Surgeon. Consultations are highly informative and I never feel pressured. My procedures have always included as many follow-ups as I wanted. Emails are always answered quickly. I am able to be myself and feel free to bring up any related questions and topics. I was referred to Dr. Levine by a friend 5 years ago for face-work. The natural, lasting results convinced me and I got exactly what results he described. Good energy. Most importantly, I strongly feel that Dr. Levine is ethically tethered to complete honesty.

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
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 9 others found this helpful