I Had Cellulaze - Twice! - Scottsdale, AZ
Although I've always been very slender (size 0/2)...
When I first heard about the Cellulaze procedure I got so excited! I started researching like crazy and found a reputable local plastic surgeon who offered the procedure. I went to an evening presentation on Cellulite at his office. It was intriguing and I signed up immediately.
I had my first procedure in July 2012, to the backs and sides of my thighs. Then in April 2013 I went back and did my butt-cheeks. Total money spent was $11,000 so it did not come cheap!
For me, both times, the procedure itself was a cinch. The first time, they gave me two Valium and two Percocet. I'm a lightweight, so that knocked me out. The surgeon had me stand up to mark the areas he would treat, and I vaguely recall his nurse trying to help me stay standing because I was so out of it. I don't remember anything about the first procedure. Just waking up, being driven home and sleeping the rest of the day.
The second time, I was given two Valium but just one Percocet and I was awake the entire time,, but kinda "floaty." I remember it all from being marked to being photographed to being on the surgical table. It didn't hurt at all. Just some tugging sensation.
At home I'd prepped my bed in advance so I'd be all set immediately after the procedure, which helped because I just wanted to sleep since i was coming off the meds. i bought some doggy wee-wee pads to use as liner to lay on, to absorb any leakage. The first time, I only had a little leakage. The second time I had much more, tinged with blood, but that's normal so I didn't worry about it. I wasn't in any pain after either procedure - just soreness, kinda like a really brutal workout. Both times I stayed in bed on Day One but by Day Two I was up and about the house. I have three dogs that I walk daily, and it helped to have my husband walk them for me for the first few days. After that I was fine to walk, at a slow pace the first week, building to a brisker pace a week or so later.
They put me in a compression garment that I wore 24/7. The first time, the nurse put me in a size Medium and I could tell right away that it was too big - it just didn't feel snug and I was worried how this could negatively impact my final surgery results. When I called the nurse to let her know, she insisted it was fine and that "they're not supposed to be that tight anyway." I ended up going online and ordering a size Small from Merena, which fit perfectly and felt much better - you want snug compression because it gives relief from soreness. Ordering an extra garment cost almost a hundred bucks that I wasn't thrilled to spend, but it was so helpful to have two garments so you can still be wearing one when you wash the other.
The second time around I had a different - and much nicer - nurse. She put me in a size Small from the get-go and was astonished that the other nurse had put me in a Medium. Made me wonder if I'd been given a Medium the first time because that's what size happened to be in stock. Be sure to quiz your doctor and/or physician's assistant in advance to determine what is the proper garment size for you.
A little more on the compression garment: most doctors claim that you'll only need to wear it 24/7 for a few weeks, then switch to a second stage garment. I ordered a pair of Spanx but still preferred wearing my garment 24/7 for a couple of months. (Yes girls, I'm sorry to say, but months.) In total, I wore it 24/7 for six weeks, then I wore Spanx by day and the garment at night for another six weeks. Yes it's a drag but you get used to it. Trust me, you will WANT to wear your garment because it feels so much better to have it on. Really aches without it; the sensation is hard to describe. It feels like your skin is separated and hanging from your body...which I guess it actually is! By Week 12, you'll be done. Then it takes another six weeks to really see your results.
Don't panic if at first you don't see much of a difference - it takes time and your body will be bruised and has to heal. Then the collagen in your skin will thicken and it will just keep looking better and better.
As far as my own results, Cellulaze has made a huge difference! I do still have a little cellulite but nowhere near what I had before. Of course when you fork over that kind of money, you want zero cellulite, and I'm sure some people get that result. Probably depends on how severe it is to begin with and in my case, it was just gross; I hated it. Now I can wear a bikini without feeling self-conscious and I can view my own backside in a mirror without cringing!
This winter I am scheduled to go in for a third procedure to the backs of my arms, which are just starting to dimple (yuk). I have to wait until the winter months to do my arms because its summer now and it would be extremely difficult to "hide" the compression garments. One thing that seems odd to me is that my surgeon quoted me $6,000 to do my arms, which is more $$ than it was to do my thighs or buttocks even though it's a much smaller area. Maybe doing the arms is trickier? I need to ask why.
Although I had no real "pain" either time, I did experience intense itching during the long healing process. At times the itch was maddening, but I discovered that scratching made it worse so I tried to ignore it by soaking in the tub with bath salts.
I really liked my surgeon (and I liked the second nurse, but not Nurse Ratchet who was almost nasty about the incorrect garment size and who, I'm happy to report, no longer works there), and highly recommend him for the procedure. He knows what he's doing and he was kind and helped me not feel self-conscious or "bad" for having Cellulite. It's genetics, not weight or even fitness.
Cellulaze is expensive with a looong healing process but worth it! Now I just pray the results last. The doctors can't say it's permanent because they haven't been doing it long enough to really know. Fingers crossed!