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Dr. Barry Eppley

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Surgeon Dr. Barry Eppley

Posts Tagged ‘laser cellulite treatment’

Plastic Surgery Product Review: Cellulaze Laser Treatment For Cellulite

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

One of the most difficult problems to improve, let alone solve, in cosmetic plastic surgery is that of cellulite. It is particularly frustrating given that there are large numbers of women who are afflicted with cellulite and would love to invest in an effective treatment. While there have been a significant number of  device-based technologies over the past decade, none have lived up to their expectations and most have failed to produce a good return on a patient’s investment.

Cellulite is comprised of numerous anatomic elements that create the classic orange peel appearance which makes it easily recognized and disliked. The first defect is an overall undulation of the fatty tissue. The second known issue is the contraction and hardening of the vertical fibrous septae which causes the skin to be inward creating the overlying dimpling effect. Thirdly, the skin is usually thinner and weaker and this allows the fat to herniated upward. For a cellulite treatment to be truly effective, it has to address all three of these tissue elements.

One of the more promising cellulite technologies is Cynosure’s Cellulaze. This uses a side-firing 1440nm laser delivered through a fiberoptic cable. This wavelength has a great affinity for fat. It has many similarities to the more well known Smartlipo used for fat reduction which uses a forward-firing laser. By firing to the side, the laser can be directed in many directions including downward, sideways and upward by simply twisting the cannula. This is important since cellultite is a problem that is not just isolated to one tissue plane.

The Cellulaze laser treats the three components of cellulite with its 1440nm wavelength. By turning the cannula downward, energy is delivered to smooth the uneven fatty base. Turning the cannula 90 degrees, parallel to the skin’s surface, the laser can be used to  cut and release the vertical fibrous septae. When the cannula is turned upward the underside of the skin is heated, stimulating the growth of new collagen and elastin.

While Cellulaze is currently marketed and sold in Canada, Europe and Australia, it is awaiting FDA approval in the U.S.  In a clinical study conducted in the U.S., a single treatment for thigh cellulite was done. At evaluations at one, three, six and twelve months after treatment, measurements of skin thickness and elasticity showed significant increases at each visit. Patient satisfaction was high with minimal side effects other than expected amounts of swelling.

It is likely that Cellulaze will receive approval sometime in 2012 in the U.S. Many prospective patients will be anxiously awaiting.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Severe Cellulite Treatment with Laser and Fat Injections

Monday, March 9th, 2009

The search for an effective treatment for cellulite is ongoing and is far from reaching a consistent solution. Various methods of treating cellulite have been espoused including liposuction, fat injections, endermologie and other mechanical disruption methods, injection lipolysis, subcutaneous carbon dioxide infusions,  herbal and dietary supplements, and numerous creams and lotions. While some of these do have a mild beneficial effect, none work consistently or have scientific data supporting their long-term efficacy. Some of these treatments, such as liposuction, can even make cellulite appear worse.

Cellulite is caused by bands of fibrous tissue that connect the skin down to the muscle from the skin. Because the bands are tight, the fat between the skin and the muscle bulges out between them creating dimpling around each band. Women are much more predisposed to cellulite due to genetic predisposition, hormonal changes and weight gain although some men can get it too.

A new study published in the November/December 2008 issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal shows that a combination treatment of laser energy and fat injections improves cellulite. The treatment uses a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser passed underneath the skin to help melt fat and tighten the overlying skin. The laser treatment is followed by spot injections of the patient’s own fat into the depressed cellulite dimples. In the study, 52 women between the ages of 18 to 47 with severe cellulite were treated. After the laser tightening and fat injections, the women had weekly massage therapy treatments to help evenly distribute the fat. Patients were followed for at least one year or longer and nearly 85% of the patients rated their results as good or excellent.

While this studied treatment was not non-invasive (it was actually surgery), it does appear to offer some real effectiveness in cases of severe cellulite. I am not surprised that this approach worked as it disrupts the contracting bands from the heat of the laser probe (e.g. smart lipo) and adds select areas of fat to fill in the dimples. The postoperative massage  therapy helps smooth out the injected fat which may help the cellulite from reforming. For milder cases of cellulite, which makes up many cellulite problems, this approach is not appropriate and is too invasive. Milder cases of cellulite must rely on non-invasive external treatment methods of which none have shown significant effectiveness.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

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