Cellfina is a newly FDA-approved treatment that breaks up the connective bands within the fat tissue of the thighs and buttocks to release tension and smooth cellulite. (Photo: Getty Images)
By Nazanin Saedi, MD
Cellulite doesn’t discriminate: Nearly 98% of women in the United States have it, regardless of height or weight. Cellulite is caused by a variety of factors including female hormones (men are less prone to cellulite because their connective tissue makeup is different), poor circulation, a sedentary lifestyle, and thick bands within fat tissue.
For those with cellulite, topical treatments typically containing caffeine and amino acids can improve local circulation and diminish the appearance of dimples, but most superficial treatments have only temporary benefits. Meanwhile, non-invasive in-office body-contouring treatments, including radio frequency devices such as Accent or Velasmooth, can tighten and temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite, but the long-term benefits are unclear. Even invasive treatments, such as liposuction or laser, don’t necessarily offer a lasting solution: Liposuction will remove the herniating fat but does not tackle the root of the problem, while lasers do not always uniformly treat the bands.
Enter Cellfina, a newly FDA-approved treatment that breaks up the connective bands within the fat tissue of the thighs and buttocks to release tension and smooth cellulite. So how does it work? Each dimple is clearly marked with a circle before the area is numbed with an injection of local lidocaine. A small handheld device then grabs the skin using suction and slides a miniature blade below the surface to precisely cut the connective bands, creating a taut and dimple-less silhouette. Depending on the size of the area being treated, the procedure can take under an hour; side effects include soreness, tenderness, and bruising that last roughly three days. Unlike its predecessors, the non-invasive procedure is proven to deliver up to 98 percent improvement in treated patients, with results that last for up to two years.