What's the Best Treatment for Painful Cellulite and Dimples on "Saddlebags"? (photo)

I'm 23 and 5'5". I weigh 165. I have tricare and live in San Diego. My doctor is referring me to a plastic surgeon and I would like to know what the best treatment would be for my individual case. It shows through my clothes and is so embarrassing. It is exercise resistant. Cellulite doesn't run in my family. I had severe eczema when I was a child, and was prescribed strong steroid creams.

Doctor Answers 14

Cellfina/Cellulite Treatment/Ultherapy/Thermi RF/Body Contouring/ Hi Definition Procedures

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Thank you for your question.

Cellfina is an FDA approved minimally invasive procedure that reduces the appearance of cellulite for at least two years on the buttocks and back of the thighs of women.

It works by releasing the internal bands that cause the cellulite dimpling and so we have not seen any fat atrophy.     I recommend Cellfina in combination with Sculptra or renuva for optimal results.  You should not see much of a difference with weight gain or loss but this also has not been studied.

Other areas of the body with dimpling, it is important to make sure it is truly cellulite before treatment.

It is common to have swelling bruising and firmness after the procedure. This can last for a few weeks.

It is different than Cellulaze which is a laser. 

If you have had previous poor results with cellulaze, you can still do Cellfina.

Cellfina has shown 100% noticeable improvement and 96% satisfaction in all patients at 2 years. 

Cellfina is designed to be a one time procedure. 

It can be used on women with all skin types but caution should be taken if theres a history of keloiding.

It can also be combined with other treatments such as Thermi or

Ulthera if skin tightening is needed.

We have done Sculpsure and Coolsculpting if fat reduction is wanted, but its best to wait 3 months to see the results before proceeding.

It can also be done at the same time as other procedures such as liposuction and BBL or as a stand alone procedure in the office.

Since Cellfina outcomes can be based on technique and experience, please see a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes body contouring to see if Cellfina or other treatments are available to meet your goals. 

Take care,

Dr. Schwartz 

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



A Minimally Invasive But Effective Cellulite Treatment

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Cellulite affects up to 85% of adult women and can be extremely difficult to #correct. Many treatments are ineffective or take multiple sessions to complete with very temporary results. If you are deemed a candidate, you may benefit from #Cellfina. Cellfina is the newest, most effective FDA approved technology available for treating cellulite. This one-time, minimally invasive procedure takes only 45 minutes to perform, but the results last for a minimum of two years. #Cellfina has the longest lasting results of any current #cellulite treatment. Its approval rate is over 93% here on RealSelf.

Used on #moderate to #severe cellulite of the buttock and thighs, Cellfina works by treating the rubber-band-like connective tissue that causes cellulite. When these “rubber bands” under the skin are cut, the fat trapped underneath in dimples “snaps” back into place, creating a full, smooth appearance.
There is no cutting and no incisions. To perform this controlled, precise, and safe procedure, a vacuum hand piece is placed over the dimpled tissue through which the surgeon will deliver a local anesthetic. Then a small, needle-like #microblade is inserted to release the fibrous bands, the cause of cellulite. Seek more information to learn if you are candidate for #Cellfina by consulting with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon.  

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


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I would suggest you try a safe and an effective treatment called VIORA. It consists of radio frequency and heat to rid the body of cellulite by shrinking the fat cells and flushing them through the lymphatic system. This procedure will also lift the  buttocks and leave you a much more smoother look even after just one treatment. Call for your free consultation today, we'd love to help you.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Cellulaze procedure

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Cellulaze when performed by a physician who is familiar with the technology can produce great results in properly selected patients. Realistic expectation are key in satisfied patients. Make sure you see good before and after photos from the actual physician doing the treatments to get an idea of what is possible and what you can expect. There are experienced Cellulaze physician in your area that should be able to help you. Good luck!

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Treatment for cellulite with VASERSmooth

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After reviewing your photos, it appears that you have grade 3 cellulite in the gluteal area and on the posterior and lateral thighs.  You also have some extra fatty tissue on the lateral thighs (saddle bags) and posterior thighs.  To get the best result I would use the VASERSmooth to treat the cellulite in your areas and then use VASER liposuction to remove the extra fat in your saddle bags and posterior thighs.  I have been obtaining great results with the VASERSmooth to treat cellulite and can accomplish up to an 80% improvement in your cellulite permanently.  The VASERSmooth uses an ultrasound probe to cut the individual cellulite bands to smooth out the skin.  This would give you the best result.

Jeffrey LaGrasso, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Cellulite Treatment

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If you truly have cellulite,  cellulaze may be a good option for you. Cellulaze uses a laser under the skin to attack the anatomic causes of cellulite. It is a minimally invasive procedure that takes 1-2 hours and can be safely done  under local or just IV sedation.  It is an FDA approved treatment for cellulite and requires only one treatment.  Hope this is helpful.

Dr. Sugene Kim

No Great Treatment for Cellulite and Dimples - Options

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What is the Best Treatment for Cellulite and dimples?

For procedures that help to improve your cellulite, there is a laser treatment called Cellulaze that was recently approved by the FDA last year. This procedure is proven to show better results even after only the first session session. The outcome lasts one year or longer, but you may need followup sessions depending on the results. Also, I would not recommend any sort of Liposuction as it may in fact make your cellulite worse.


Best treatment for Cellulite and Saddlebags

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It's always difficult to say with certainty the best treatment for a patient without doing a physical exam and meeting with you in person but you would probably benefit most from a combination of procedures such as Liposuction (+/- SmartLipo) and Cellulaze.  Liposuction would help to remove and smooth some of the stubborn areas of fat and improve the contours.  Cellulaze helps to address and improve the surface dimpling and fibrous tissue that appears as cellulite.  Cellulaze will also help to thicken the skin and improve the skin's integrity for a smoother result.  

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Best Treatment for painful cellulite and dimples

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By your photos I would not recommend Cellulaze as your first line of treatment.  The horizontal dimpling you have is severe, and although Cellulaze will help improve the look of it, it will not completely correct it.  I would recommend Smart Lipo to first treat the deeper fatty layer and to also provide skin tightening to the problem areas.  What cellulite doesn't resolve with the Smart Lipo I would then consider treating with Cellulaze. 

Cellulaze is the first FDA approved minimally invasive, one-time treatment for cellulite.  It utilizes a 1440 nm side-firing laser fiber optic to treat the three main causes of cellulite:  It breaks down the fatty bulges, then cuts the fibrous septae that cause dimpling, then finally stimulates the dermis to shrink and thicken in order to improve the look of you cellulite areas.


Good luck in your endeavors!


Robert Kratschmer, MD

Cellulaze is the new standard of care for Cellulite treatment

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There have been several treatments that have been approved by FDA for cellulite of the thighs. However, all of them except Cellulaze provide only very transient clinical benefit. Cellulaze is unique as it targets the anatomy of the cellulite by lasering underneath the cellulite skin of the thighs. The dimples of the cellulitic areas are treated by Cellulaze by thermally subcising the tethered scar tissues that are responsible for the dimples by pulling the skin downward. Cellulaze treatment protocol also will address fat protruded areas as well as skin laxity. Histology studies have confirmed increased in collagen production and skin dermal thickness a year after Cellulaze. Clinical photos have confirmed the clinical benefits of Cellulaze can last way beyond the official FDA indication of one year.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.