What to expect with Cellfina treatment for cellulite reduction

You may already know that Cellfina is the state of the art treatment for cellulite reduction.  And that results tend to improve over time.  But what can you expect during and after a Cellfina treatment?
Prior to the treatment, you will come in for a consultation with Dr. McNeill to make sure you are a good candidate for the treatment.  Anyone with cellulite can benefit, but there are some people who benefit the most.  These tend to actually be the patients with the worst cellulite, the deep, longstanding, well-defined dimples.  They can be anywhere, buttocks, posterior thighs, or anterior thighs, but I do think the buttocks respond the best.  Also, younger patients tend to respond very well.  Patients with “rippling” or very superficial lumpy bumpy texture tend to not respond as well (but we do have other things for those patients).
The day of the procedure, we generally administer some Valium, so that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.  We take before photos to document the dimples, then mark the areas we are going to treat darkly with a Sharpie.  You will look like this just before the treatment.

Then we begin the treatment.  You are lying down on your stomach, listening to music or napping.   During the first part of the procedure, we are numbing the area with local anesthetic (tumescent anesthesia).  You feel some suction to your skin and small needle pokes during this part, but most patients find it very, very tolerable.  Once the area is numb, we start the part where we cut the fibrous septae with Cellfina’s reciprocating micro-blade.  You will hear the Cellfina blade, but will feel nothing.  Once all the marked areas are treated, the procedure is done.  The time from when you arrive until the procedure is completed can be 90 minutes – 3 hours, depending on how many dimples are treated and other factors.
After the procedure, we will sit you up.  You have fluid under your skin from the local anesthetic  that will drain/ooze for 1-2 days after the procedure.  Because of this, we pack you in absorbent pads into a compression garment (Spanx works great) for the first 2 days.  After this, we recommend that you still wear the compression garment, without the absorbent pads, for 2 weeks.  We also recommend limiting strenuous exercise for 2 weeks.  We require that you have a ride home from the procedure (you might be loopy from the Valium) and stay home/rest the remainder of the day.
The next day you should feel fine, but you will have bruises in all of the treated areas.  This is an example of a couple of days after the procedure.  Because of the bruises, it can be tender when you sit the next day, but this generally resolves quickly.

The bruising generally resolves in about 2 weeks, but I have had cases in which it persisted for 4 weeks.  So winter is really the best time for Cellfina.  We always advise no aspirin, ibuprofen, motrin, naproxen, or alcohol for a few days prior to the procedure to minimize bruising.
This is a good example of a patient 2 months out from Cellfina before and after.  The patient reports that prior to the procedure, she could always feel big dimples on her buttocks when she was wearing her yoga pants, and that they were also visible through her yoga pants.  Now she can’t feel them and they are not visible through her pants.  Also, she will continue to improve over the next 2-3 years.

Results may vary.

96% of patients in the open-label trial for Cellfina said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their results at 3 years post procedure.
by Anne Marie McNeill, M.D. PhD

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