Cellfina: when should I do it, what's recovery consist of, will incision marks show? (photos)

I'm 34 years old, 114 lbs, and I'm 5'2. I work out 3 - 5 times a week and when I weigh 110 lbs or less my cellulite is much less visible. I have had cellulite since my 20s. I am going to Mexico in early June. Should I get the procedure before or after based on that timing? Is it better to get the procedure when I have more cellulite or less cellulite? What will the recovery consist of, will I be able to wear regular jeans? Will the incision marks show considering I am very light skinned?

Doctor Answers 16

Cellfina recovery

Thanks for your post. Yes, you have a few areas that could be corrected w/ Cellfina treatment, although it appears fairly mild in the photos (maybe different in real light?). You could do the treatment anytime you choose. You'd need about 1-2 weeks avoiding a pool/hot tub. You will have bruising and swelling for sure. The pain seems to go down by 36-48 hours. You will wear tight compression shorts (like Spanx, or similar) for a couple of weeks. It can really work well. Best wishes.

Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


It is important to consider the recovery phase.  Brushing can remain visible for 6-8 weeks.  That would potentially not allow to bikini ready.  There is drainage from the releases for the first 24-to36 hours.  All done under local anesthesia in the office.

About Cellfina

Cellfina is performed under local anesthesia to release the dimples caused by cellulite. You will drain some fluid for the first day or two afterwards and be somewhat sore. A compression garment will be worn for several weeks afterwards. You will likely experience some bruising along with swelling. You should look good at 4 weeks and even better at 3 months. Obtain a face to face consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who performs this procedure and discuss optimal timing to undergo the procedure.

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#Cellulite treatment is not dependent on weight

#Cellulite occurs in all shapes and sizes of women (and some men).  At a normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9) there is certainly no reason to reduce for the sake of health.  Appearance is of course the point of body sculpting in a healthy young (or even old) person.  #Cellfina is perfect for reducing the dimpling of cellulite.  #CoolSculpting could very well be used in conjunction with Cellfina.  CoolSculpting reduces unwanted bulges, Cellfina gets the dimpling.  What a great combination!
Recovery from Cellfina is pretty easy, soreness and tenderness for a few days, bruising for a few weeks.  There are tiny incisions that should disappear with time but initially may look red or pink in a fair skinned person. No special garments are needed after the second week (during that time Spanx is recommended). Light exercise is advisable for the first 30 days.  It isn't long before all is back to better than normal.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Cellfina: when should I do it, what's recovery consist of, will incision marks show?

Cellfina is the ONLY Effective Cellulite Treatment That Works!
We have been doing Cellfina for almost 1 year now and have learned a great deal in that time. Teachhing multiple training courses has also helped me. The red marks are from the micro-blade punctures and they are 2-3mm wide. They are evident early on but typically fade over 2-4 months. Lighter skinned folks tend to form more favorable scars so you are good there.The early bruising can be modest to impressive, depending on the individual. We have seen that the circular dimples on the buttocks respond most favorably, followed by the thighs. Simple contour irregularities, whether caused by aging, weight fluctuation, or damage, are not corrected by Cellfina. In those cases, we will add V-Shape treatments to smooth out those areas and we have seen great results from combined therapy. Your pant tize will not change with Cellfina, just the appearance of the dimples.
There is only one truly effective and proven lasting cellulite treatment out there, and that is CELLFINA. All of the other lotions, potions, creams, treatments, radio frequency devices, including Cellulaze, are at best, mediocre, and, in many cases, completely worthless. Cellulaze is a laser-based procedure that has a much higher complication rate, as well as a much lower patient satisfaction rate, so that answer is pretty clear. CELLFINA is the only cellulite treatment that has a proven track record of 96% patient satisfaction at 2 years post treatment. Nothing else is even remotely as effective as Cellfina. I have attached a link to my website, explaining how this remarkable system works. There are patient testimonials and schematics reviewing the details of this remarkable breakthrough treatment. Also, Cellfina is a single session procedure that is done under local anesthesia with little to no pain! Thank you for your excellent question.

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Lose weight or treat first for cellulite

I would strong recommend you do your best to lose weight first.  The fact that what you perceive as cellulite improves with weight loss supports that recommendation.  You do not appear to have much true cellulite in the pictures you included, so there may be better ways to address lateral thighs with Cool Sculpting, Vanquish, Thermi250 and Zwave.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

For you, it is about the wait....

Perhaps the best advice would be for you to wait until you have lost the weight.  It sounds like you have seen improvement in the past with weight loss, so that's the simplest solution.

Furthermore, you don't really seem to have much true cellulite.  There are a few dimples but they're fairly limited.  I just recently saw a patient in my office who was certain that she had cellulite.  In fact, we were excited to add Cellfina to the office with her primarily in mind.  As it turns out, when she finally came in for her consultation, she actually had a fat deposit and not cellulite.  She has since had me do her liposuction and is doing great.

Your best bet is to have an in person visit with a board certified plastic surgeon.  He or she will be able to determine the type of treatment that will lead you to the most satisfying and confident result.

Cellulite teatments--now we have one that works Cellfina

I would always say that by loosing weight you could not see the cellulite, then by all means do what you can do to not have even minimally invasive surgery.  But we only get older, and most of us gain weight as we do get older.  Cellfina is owned by Merz like ulthera.  The key to being happy is having realistic expectations, and knowing what can be accomplished by cellulite reduction.  At least half of the women that think they have cellulite, have laxity of the skin which is not going to be helped by cellulite treatments.  One of my patients coined the term "it fixes the hail damage to your bottom."  It really works for the fiberous bands that pull the skin down.  It seems to work better on the bottom. then on the upper thigh, then on the lower thigh, and least on the front of the thigh.  I have seen bruising for up to 5 weeks, so if you are going to Mexico, you should have it very soon, or wait until you are back.  If you get bruising in the sun it can pigment your skin with the iron from the resolving bruise.  Few women with very light skin can have red marks for 2 to 3 months where the needle goes in, but in my experience (and our office has been doing this for a year) it is about one in 10.  Recovery is taking it easy for about a week so that you dont bruise more, then being in tight clothes (jeans would be fine) for the next week or two.  Cellfina is the first thing that I have seen that really works for cellulite.  Find someone that has been doing this for a while, as like all things experience matters.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Thank you for your questions and pictures.  If 5 lbs diminishes the cellulite to the point where you don't see it, it may be worthwhile to just continue dieting and exercising, however if the cellulite is still bothering you Cellfina will be an excellent choice to relieve the dimple cellulite by releasing the bands causing the dimples.  Cellfina is a fairly quick procedure approximately 45 minutes depending on the number of dimples to be released.  After the procedure you will leak fluid for approximately 24-48 hours at which time is best to wear compression shorts.  Some patients may bruise and everyone heals at different rates, but being that you are young i wouldn't expect the bruises to last much more than a week although they can last up to a week.  Cellfina recommends you not to exercise for a month after the procedure however in our experience after a week you can begin exercising as tolerated.  The incision marks should not show ever.  All in all I would recommend it prior to your tip to Mexico at your current weight (to make it easier to visualize the dimples) and you will have plenty of time to recuperate before you leave on your trip.  Regards, Dr. Matt Elias

Matthew Elias, DO, FAAD
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Cellfina treatment

Your cellulite problem is a common one. Fortunately, finally there are effective ways to minimize this problem. Perhaps the least invasive one is  Cellfina™. Cellfina is the only FDA-cleared minimally invasive, one-time procedure clinically proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least two years—the longest FDA-cleared duration for a cellulite treatment. A straightforward solution to cellulite, Cellfina™, combines a proven approach with innovative, proprietary technology, to produce precise, long-lasting results and has a high satisfaction rating on RealSelf. Together with Velashape 3, a non invasive procedure to help "shrink wrap the skin" and further minimize cellulite as a combination treatment is perhaps your best chance for taking care of this tough problem. Cellulaze is also a possible treatment but much more invasive

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.