Does Thermage Work for Cellulite?

Does Thermage work for cellulite?  I know the older skin tightening Thermage device didn't exactly get rave reviews, so I don't want to get ripped off but I'm thinking about trying Thermage for cellulite.  What do you think about it?

Doctor Answers 13

Buyer beware!

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In my opinion, there is no good treatment for cellulite. Many people speak of Thermage, Titan, or Fraction lasers for the treatment of this condition, but it doesn't appear that they are effective. To date there is no peer reviewed, blinded, controlled (that's the gold standard for research) report in the entire English literature that demonstrates a measurable difference.

Endermologie improves the appearnce, but needs to be done on an ongoing basis.

Ask your provider for a reasonable guarantee - or at least the ability to use your fees toward something else in the office if it doesn't work!

Thermage is now indicated for cellulite treatment

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Many patients ask me for treatment of cellulite. Thermage is now indicated with the new universal tip for Cellulite reduction.  Solta's new clinical studies will be published soon.  Zeltiq works for eliminating fat bulges and Thermage works to tighten the skin around the neck and lower face, knees, saddle bags, buttocks, and abdomen.  Up until recently there was no treatment for this condition.  With Thermage the appearance of cellulite will improve for as long as two years and Solta recommends repeating the procedure annually for best results.  Please find someone experienced with this procedure for the best outcome.

Not a good treatment for cellulite

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Thermage does not work for cellulite. It is supposed to tighten lax skin but the Titan laser truly excels in this area. The best treatment for cellulite, even though not permanent, is endermologie.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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Brazilian Cellulite Treatment in Los Angeles

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Thermage is not the correct modality for cellulite. I developed the Brazilian Cellulite Treatment to correct cellulite in the buttocks and thighs. The procedure works well on cellulite.

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Cellulaze Best for Cellulite Reduction

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Thank you for your question. I would suggest Cellulaze to reduce your cellulite. Cellulaze is the only minimally invasive laser procedure designed to attack the structure of cellulite beneath your skin. Cellulaze is backed by many years of clinical research. Studies have shown it increases the thickness of your skin by 25% and the elasticity of your skin by 29%—significant claims that haven't been made by any other treatments. Thicker and more elastic skin can help flatten and smooth the skin surface to improve the appearance of cellulite. In addition, 93% of patients surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their results at one year post their procedure, and all would recommend the Cellulaze cellulite laser treatment to a friend.

No, Thermage doesn't work for cellulite

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We tried using Thermage for cellulite, but the results were not inspiring. New technology is being looked into, but for now I would not recommend it to my patients for cellulite.

Michael S. Kaminer, MD
Chestnut Hill Dermatologic Surgeon

Thermage does IMPROVE appearance of cellulite

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No treatment today, whether surgical or non-surgical, can claim to get rid of cellulite permanently.

Cellulite is graded into 4 categories:

Grade 1 - Mild and visible dimpling only when pinched.

Grade 2 - Cellulite is visible when standing but disappears when lying down. There is more swelling of the fat and spider veins may be present.

Grade 3 - Protruding lobules of fat visible when standing as well as when lying down.

Grade 4 - Cellulite is nodular (lumpy) and can be hard and painful.

Thermage can help improve the appearance of early (Grade 1 & 2) cellulite but the results will likely be temporary and may be subtle.

If you are expecting miracles you will be disappointed. However if you would be happy with some improvement and like the idea of a non-invasive and recovery-free, then Thermage may be right for you.

For more information see

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

Buyer beware!

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Make sure you see multiple photos from your doctor of their own patients (not those provided by the company) and ask to speak to some patients beofre jumping into this.  You don't want to waste your $$.

Thermage for Cellulite

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I have not seen dramatic results with improvement in cellulite with Thermage. It can help temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, but results can vary from one person to another. Thermage also may only work for mild-moderate cellulite. It is not effective for severe cellulite. There is a specific tip that is used to target cellulite, so make sure that tip is used instead of the general skin tightening tip.

Thermage is also dependent upon technique, so find someone who has adequate experience so they may properly assess your concerns and perform the treatment correctly. It is an expensive treatment for a temporary result.

Thermage for Cellulite

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Much of cellulite is due to skin laxity.  The new Thermage CPT system is the best non-surgical method for improving this.  At my office we use Thermage together with 3 other skin tightening modalities to improve results.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.