Have you heard about Cellfina, the newest cellulite removal procedure, and only the second procedure that works under the skin to destroy cellulite’s structure at its core? What is Cellfina? And how does it compare to Cellulaze, which has been out on the market since 20121. This article compares Cellfina with Cellulaze to help patients decide which of these cellulite procedures might be right for them.
What is Cellfina?
The Cellfina System from Ulthera is an FDA-cleared, minimally invasive procedure designed to improve the appearance of cellulite2. The one-time procedure lasts at least two years. It works by treating the connective bands called septae throughout fat in the thighs and the buttocks, where cellulite tends to appear. These fibers pull the skin downward, creating a puckering effect.
Once released from tension, the skin releases and appears smooth. Cellfina is a small handheld device that applies suction, grabbing the skin, and then a small blade is inserted that cuts the septae bands by moving from side to side. Cellfina is an in-office procedure using local anesthesia that takes approximately 45 minutes. There is minimal downtime with this procedure, but patients should anticipate swelling, tenderness and bruising. No compression garment is required post procedure.
What is Cellulaze?
Cellulaze from Cynosure was approved by the FDA in 2012. Similar to Cellfina, Cellulaze is a minimally invasive procedure to reduce and eliminate the appearance of cellulite. It does so by leveling cellulite’s structure. Under local anesthesia a thin cannula with a SideLaze laser fiber threaded through it is inserted under the skin. The laser energy melts the bulging pockets of fat that create the lumps in the cellulite, and then the laser cuts the connective bands or septae to release skin that was being pulled downward creating the dimples.
The skin tissue also absorbs the heat from the laser which stimulates collagen and elastin production to thicken and tighten the skin. This procedure is done in-house using local anesthesia and takes approximately 1 hour per area (bi-lateral). Recovery is minimal; patients should anticipate swelling, tenderness and bruising. Most physicians require that a compression garment be worn for 2 weeks post treatment. Results are long lasting3; there is not enough clinical data to call this procedure permanent.
What’s The Difference?
Cellfina, a newer procedure, became available in 2015 while Cellulaze has been eliminating cellulite since 2012. Cellulaze and Cellfina work similarly in that they treat cellulite under the skin rather than topically like most cellulite therapies4. Both are considered to be effective, offering strong results for patients, but Cellfina is a newer technology with fewer real-world results available.
Cellulaze offers several other benefits that Cellfina doesn’t provide. Because Cellulaze uses thermal (heat) energy rather than simply mechanical interruption to cut the septae, it stimulates collagen production to thicken the dermis and improve elasticity, essentially remodeling the skin after releasing the septae bands.
Over time, cellulite thins the skin from being stretched over the bulges of fat and pulled down by the septae bands, so the laser used with Cellulaze initiates the process to begin skin formation and repair. It also melts fat so that it can be pressed out easily and gently. This reduces the appearance of dimples. Cellulaze has consistently received high satisfaction rates from patients’ years after having their procedure.