Cellfina Cellulite Treatments; At A Glance
- Best Results2-4 sessions
- Treatment Recovery1-3 weeks
- Procedure Time60 to 90 min
- Skin SpecialistDavin Lim
- Duration of ResultsVariable
- AnaestheticLocal, gas, sedation
- Back to Work2-7 days
Cellfina Cellulite Treatments
Cellfina is a subcision device that treats dimples & divots in patients with cellulite. This treatment addresses one of the many causes of cellulite- namely fibrous banding. This treatment is best combined with dermal fillers & radiofrequency devices.
FactsFacts on Cellfina Cellulite Treatments
- Cellfina is a brand name for surgical subcision of cellulite bands
- Cellulite bands are responsible for some patterns of cellulite
- These bands typically cause discrete divots
- Cellfina subcises these bands surgically
- Wavy cellulite & cellulite of the inner thighs do not respond to Cellfina
- Cellfina should always be combined with collagen stimulation methods including dermal fillers & radiofrequency-electromagnetic devices
- Patient selection is critical for good results
How does Cellfina work?
Cellfina is a surgical treatment for cellulite. It works best for discrete dimples & divots on the buttocks & outer thighs. A vacuum lifts the skin & connective tissue upwards, whilst a blade transects the fibrous bands that cause cellulite. Each divot or depression is manually treated & released.
This procedure is conducted under local anaesthetic & typically takes 40 to 90 minutes to perform. Compression stockings must be worn for 10-14 days post treatment.
Are you a candidate for Cellfina / subcision?
Take this survey to see if Cellfina / surgical subcision is the correct treatment for you.
- Large, deep dimples are best treated with a combination of subcision followed by injection of collagen stimulating material.
- Multiple deep cellulite dimples are the best candidates for Cellfina or subcision. Many patients have both deep and subtle cellulite and require a combination of subcision, filler, & RF/electromagnetic devices. These can be done during the same treatment session.
- Patients who have more subtle, wavy-type cellulite are better candidates for collagen stimulating dermal fillers & RF devices.
Does it work on all forms of cellulite?
No. Cellfina & subcision procedures work best on discrete divots or depressions. This subtype of cellulite is very different compared to ‘global’ cellulite characterised by waves & undulations.
Discrete ‘divots’ have fibrous bands that connect the dermal layer of skin to the underlying fat & muscle layer. The Cellfina knife (subcision) cuts these bands.
How many treatments are required?
It really depends on the number of divots/depressions. Cellfina & surgical subcision addresses each and every depression manually. Some patients have half a dozen whilst others may have over 50. The number of sessions typically ranges from 1 to 3.
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How long is the recovery period following Cellfina?
A really long time. Take the information on the Cellfina website with a grain (or bag) of salt. Any surgical procedure (includes Cellfina & subcision) will have bruising that typically lasts a week or two. In many cases even longer- up to 6 weeks.
If applicable you should wear a compression garment for at least two weeks. You must refrain from heavy exercise (squats, gym, running) for about two weeks.
Things that can speed up recovery include ice application for 12 hours following Cellfina, vascular lasers to treat bruising, arnica, & lymphatic massage.
How soon will you see Cellfina results, and how long do they last?
Results can be seen as early as 48 hours after Cellfina / subcision. Note: swelling contributes to this result. The final results take 8-16 weeks, as bruising will subside in this time.
I rarely use Cellfina-subcision as a sole modality to treat cellulite, as dermal fillers & devices (radiofrequency) contribute to the overall outcomes.
Studies have shown that results following subcision have exceeded the 5 year mark.
What cellulite patterns are suitable for Cellfina & subcision?
Patient selection is important. Different patterns of cellulite will require different treatments for best outcomes.
Good candidates for Cellfina / Subcision
- Isolated divots or depressions
- Ideally buttocks or back of legs/thighs
- Minimal wavy or generalized cellulite
Unsuitable candidates for Cellfina/subcision
- Inner thighs (cellulite in this area due to poor support of dermis)
- Wavy or generalized cellulite
- Banana rolls of the buttocks
What are the disadvantages of subcision / Cellfina?
Cellfina only treats divots & deep depressions due to taut fibres. Apart from clostridium collagenase injections, surgical intervention with subcision-Cellfina-Cellulase are the only effective methods to release banding.
- Cellfina does not address skin laxity (fillers & RF devices do)
- Cellfina does not treat herniated subdermal fat (fillers & RF devices required)
- The inner thighs can not be treated with subcision as cellulite of inner thigh is due to skin laxity
- It takes several months to see the results of Cellfina
- Healing times can be prolonged (bruising may last several weeks)
Why are combination treatments the ONLY way to treat cellulite?
Cellulite has three components: cellulite dimples that form when fat is pushed through taut bands of connective tissue fibers (septae), fat bulges beneath the skin, & skin laxity. All three components can cause cellulite dimples and puckering on the surface of the skin, to different degrees.
Cellfina & subcision only address the taut bands of connective tissue. It does not address fat bulges, or skin laxity. This is why combination therapy with dermal fillers & energy devices such as Venus Legacy RF are needed. These two methods address laxity & increase dermal collagen.
What are the potential side effects of Cellfina?
It is important to differentiate the expected recovery from Cellfina compared to side effects. Remember, Cellfina & subcision are all surgical procedures & they carry associated risks.
- Swelling & bruising for 4 weeks
- Lumps & bumps for 2-4 weeks
- Swelling & bruising for longer than 4 weeks
- Persistent swelling & bumps for longer than 8 weeks
- Iron or hemosiderin staining longer than 8 months
Can cellulite be addressed without surgical intervention / Cellfina?
Some forms of cellulite do not respond to subcision / Cellfina. These patterns include generalised or wavy cellulite as well as cellulite of the medial – inner thigh. This is when RF & electromagnetic devices can be very useful. Energy devices can stimulate collagen production, strengthening the dermis, as well as modulate blood & lymphatic flow. In suitable cases I combine RF with collagen stimulating dermal fillers.
As a guide most patients require 5-8 sessions spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
How much does it cost?
As a guide, subcision costs (includes 2 sides, includes 5 sessions of RF Venus Legacy)
Small area- $1900 to $2990
Medium area – $ 2900 – $4990
Large areas – $4990 to $7990
Cellulite treatment includes planning, photography, marking and post procedure care. Dermal fillers
Davin’s Viewpoint: Cellfina for Cellulite
I was involved in the European launch of Cellfina in 2016. This device is essentially surgical subcision for those who don’t know how to subcise. Cellfina is a good tool for beginners as the vacuum elevates the underlying skin & subcutaneous tissue, whilst the two-level entry ports allow for controlled subcutaneous incisions with blades.
The majority of plastic & dermatologic surgeons are adapted to free hand sharp blade or cannula dissection & subcision. Generally, we are more accurate, & can customise the depths based upon feel. My preferred subcision method is with free hand instruments. This applies to more difficult subcutaneous subcision of facial & neck acne scarring.
It is important to remember that Cellfina, Celluerase, Cellulase & subcision methods only address the taut vertical – oblique bands of cellulite. Two other aetiologies need to be addressed, namely fat herniation & the thin dermal – hypodermis. Collagen stimulating dermal fillers & energy devices (Radiofrequency) are required to strengthen the dermis & reduce out-pocketing of adipose tissue.
Patient selection is critical to the success of Cellfina & subcision. In this article I have discussed the ideal patient profile, including the presence of discrete bands located on the buttocks & lateral thigh area. Generalized cellulite does not respond well to surgical intervention, hence the use of radiofrequency & electromagnetic devices as adjunctive therapy.
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