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Cellulite is the dimpling of skin as a result of normal fat under the skin usually around the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. When skin looses elasticity and becomes thin, the normal layer of fat under the skin becomes more visible. Cellulite treatments aim to smoothen the skin by augmenting skin elasticity and thickness. Cellulite is much more common in women than in men.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 29,243 VelaSmooth and Endermologycellulite treatments performed in 2014.
What is Cellulite?
Skin is made of three layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), the dermis (the connective tissues, and oil and sweat glands), and the subcutaneous tissue (made of fat and connective tissue). The subcutaneous tissue is largely made of fat chambers that help the body regulate temperature and protect the bones and muscles from damage. The bumpy fat chambers are usually not noticeable on the surface of the skin because the thickness of the epidermis and the elasticity of the connective tissues create a smooth surface.
With age, however, the epidermis loses between 20% and 80% of its thickness, and the underlying connective tissues lose elasticity, both causing the bumpy layer of fat to show through the skin (cellulite).
Nutrition and exercise may also have some impacts on the appearance of cellulite. Regular exercise and healthy, balanced diets can help the skin retain elasticity. Cellulite can also be the result of hormone changes, slow metabolism, and dehydration.
While some men develop cellulite, it is much more common in women. Men typically have thicker epidermis layer, and their fat layer is structured in a less granular manner.
Cellulite is a normal part of the aging process, but many women feel self-conscious about the appearance of cellulite on their body and choose to have cosmetic treatments.
There is no way to prevent cellulite, but there are many treatments patients can use to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Topical creams are a popular, non-medical treatment for cellulite. These creams usually use retinol to reduce the appearance of cellulite, However, these treatments are not permanent, and effects will stop without continued use of the cream.
Endermology is a non-surgical treatment that uses mechanic massage therapy to increase the blood flow to targeted areas and to increase collagen production. Collagen is essential to skin elasticity. The machine uses a vacuum to lift the skin while two mechanized rollers provide a deep massage to the connective tissue and fat, loosening fat chambers and increasing blood flow.
This deep tissue massage helps the body flush excess water and fat from beneath the skin to provide a smoother appearance to the skin. The procedure takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and usually requires repeated sessions to acheive the best results. Endermology is not a one-time treatment; it is a treatment regimen that can help manage effects of cellulite. Endermology has no side-effects.
VelaSmooth and VelaShape are also non-surgical treatments that use a combination of radiofrequency waves and infrared light energy along with vacuum and mechanical roller massage to reshape the skin. The bi-polar radiofrequency waves and infrared light energy break down walls of fat cells and provide deep-tissue oxygen diffusion. VelaShape is the second generation of VelaSmooth equipment. According to the manufacturer of both, patients will need at least 4 treatments before effects become noticeable.
VelaSmooth and VelaShape treatments usually take between 30 minutes to 1 hour. After using VelaSmooth or VelaShape patients may experience temporary reddening, swelling, or bruising of the affected area. There are no long-term risks, however. These therapies can be performed by trained aestheticians and cosmetologists.
Cellulaze is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses pulsed lasers inserted into the skin through thin tubes to melt and loosen fat and tp stimulate collagen production.
VASER Shape is a non-surgical treatment that uses high-frequency sound waves to stimulate the lymphatic system, improving blood circulation and removing unnecessary fat from below the skin. Medical professionals will pass a small machine over the top of the skin to help redistribute the fat.
There are many other types of cellulite treatments that patients can pursue. Patients should talk to a medical professional in choosing the most suitable treatment.
Non-invasive cellulite treatments usually do not require any recovery time. The effects of these treatments will not last longer than a few months before additional treatment sessions may be necessary.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a cellulite treatment in 2014 was $165. This fee will vary widely depending on the type of treatment received, and the number of treatment sessions completed.
Risks Associated With Cellulite Treatment
Most cellulite treatments are non-surgical and have few, if any, risks. Non-surgical cellulite treatments may cause some temporary redness, bruising, swelling, and soreness at the targeted site.
Surgical treatments, like Cellulaze, however have an increased risk of complications including:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (fluid buildup under the skin)
- Excessive bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to surrounding anatomy
Doctors and medical professionals must discuss all material risks associated with the procedure before the procedure is performed.
Medical Malpractice in Cellulite Treatments
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries during a cellulite treatment, call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly examine your case for any act of negligence.