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(press release from Park Ridge Center for Plastic Surgery)
November 10, 2005 -- Most women to some degree are bothered by cellulite.
Cellulite is a condition that gives the skin a dimpled appearance. Cellulite is
usually most prevalent in the thigh, hip and buttock areas. Patients consulting
with board-certified plastic surgeons for body contouring frequently ask what
can be done to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Currently, there is no ideal
"Cellulite is caused by bands of fibrous tissue that connect the muscle to the
skin," says Dr. Sam Speron, body contouring expert and consumer advocate. "If
these bands are tight and the fat between the muscle and the skin is compressed,
there will be dimpling. Almost all women and even some men have cellulite.
Cellulite stems from genetic predisposition, hormonal changes and weight gain.
Patients need to understand that cellulite can be improved, but not removed!"
Various treatments have emerged over time claiming to "treat" cellulite. We
offer this information summarizing the current available cellulite treatment
• Liposuction: Lipoplasty (commonly known as liposuction) does not reduce
cellulite by itself. Some surgeons, however, have reported performing a
technique of cellulite lysing (breaking up) using a liposuction cannula (hollow
tube powered by gas or electricity) that features a smooth, round-tipped
tunneling rod inserted in a hollow casing with a sharp, V-pronged cutting edge.
The tunneling rod assures passage under the skin to the area to be broken up,
while the curette fork (loop shaped surgical instrument) extends at the tip to
sever only the dimple-causing connective tissue system. The area that is
released can then be injected with fat to fill the space. This technique does
improve the appearance of cellulite.
• Fat Injections: Autologous fat harvested from donor sites in the abdomen and
flank areas may fill in depressions. Again, this is more successful if a release
is performed at the same time. However, the results of fat injections may not be
• Lower Body Lift: This procedure evolved from one called "Cellulite Lift." The
technique was designed to replace the thigh/buttock lift, a procedure that works
well for some patients but may produce scars that are visible when wearing a
bathing suit. The lower body lift requires an incision around the entire
circumference of the abdominal and buttock area, so that excess skin can be
removed and the entire flank, thigh and buttocks areas can be lifted. The
incision can usually be placed discreetly within standard or high-cut bikini
lines. The result of the procedure is tightening of the back, flank and
abdominal tissues, and reduction in the appearance of cellulite in the lifted
areas. The lower body lift is a major surgical procedure that requires a lengthy
recovery and leaves an extensive, though well-positioned, scar. For this reason,
it requires especially careful patient selection and, as with all cosmetic
surgery, the patient's full informed consent.
• Endermologie: This mechanical roller massage therapy has been proposed as a
treatment for cellulite and as an adjunct to liposuction. Treatments may produce
temporary improvement in the appearance of cellulite, but long-term results of
this noninvasive therapy have not been established, either clinically or
scientifically. According to a 2001 study published in Aesthetic Surgery
Journal, ASAPS' peer-reviewed publication, Endermologie in and of itself has not
been found to be beneficial for producing long-term and lasting clinical
• Mesotherapy: Small amounts of homeopathic medicine are injected immediately
beneath the surface of the skin to break down the cellulite and to improve
circulation and lymphatic and venous drainage. Currently, there are no
peer-reviewed articles or scientific studies to back up claims that mesotherapy
improves the appearance of cellulite. Mesotherapy is not FDA approved
• Herbal and dietary supplements: Some makers of herbal and dietary supplements
claim to cure what they say are the internal causes of cellulite, such as poor
circulation, slow metabolism, and bloating. Since supplements are not regulated
by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unless they are marketed as a cure
for a disease or a medical condition, some companies market supplements with
claims that are unsubstantiated by scientific studies. Until reliable data is
provided concerning any herbal or dietary supplement, consumers should be
skeptical of claims and should also be aware that many such supplements carry
• Creams and lotions: "Miracle" creams and lotions are frequently marketed with
claims of diminishing the unsightly dimpling of cellulite. These topical "cures"
contain a variety of active ingredients including, but not limited, to:
caffeine, green tea, plant extracts, retinol, aminophylline (an asthma drug),
and the antioxidant DMAE. Most creams may mask cellulite temporarily by
hydrating and swelling the skin and for most, there is no science to back up
their long-term efficacy. One of the most exciting new creams for cellulite
correction is neaclear’s firming body lotion. The combination of liquid oxygen,
vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 makes a lot of sense!
Conclusion: Although some treatments may provide temporary improvement in the
dimpled appearance of cellulite, to date there is no proven, permanent "cure
For more information, please visit
Sam Speron is widely recognized as a leading expert on plastic surgery. Dr.
Speron’s educational efforts have received critical acclaim from the media from
around the country including radio ("The Paul Harvey show" on WGN radio), local
TV (multiple CBS Channel 2 10PM special reports, multiple appearances on "This
week with Dr. Breen"), national television (Discovery Health Channel), local
radio ("The Joe Gentile Show" on WJJG on AM-1530, KFIZ Milwaukee with Joe
Scheibinger), newspapers (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Crain’s Chicago
Business, Daily Herald), magazines (The Complete Woman, Satisfaction, Chicago
Magazine, Living Life, Medical Economics, The Lutheran) and online news (LocateaDoc.com,
Knowledge is Power.
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