Subcision for Cellulite

Subcision Treatments; At A Glance

  • Best Results1-3 sessions
  • Treatment Recovery3-10 days
  • Procedure Time20 to 60 min
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim
  • Duration of ResultsA long time
  • AnaestheticLocal, gas, sedation
  • Back to Work0-7 days
  • Cost$$-$$$$

Subcision for Cellulite

Surgical subcision is best reserved for divots & dimpling caused by fibrous bands. Limited release can markedly improve cellulite. Subcision can be performed manually, via lasers, radiofrequency, or vacuum assisted. Collagen stimulation via dermal fillers & energy devices are helpful in strengthening the dermis, further improving cellulite.

FactsFacts on subcision for Cellulite

  • This is a surgical procedure that releases fibrous septae that cause dimpling & divots
  • Subcision is best for isolated bands seen on the buttock & outer upper thighs
  • Manual subcision allows for greater control over vacuum subcision
  • Wavy generalised cellulite is best treated with radiofrequency & collagen stimulation
  • Cellurase is a form of laser assisted subcision
  • Cellfina is a form of guided vacuum subcision
  • Lymphatic massage as adjunctive therapy can speed up recovery following subcision

What is subcision for cellulite?

Subcision is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to free up depressions, divots & deep dimples. 

This surgical procedure is performed under local anaesthetic in an operation theatre. I use various instruments to break down the fibrous tissue that cause cellulite divots. The procedure is painless & typically takes 10 to 20 minutes to perform, depending on the number of bands.

How many sessions will I require?

1-3, depending on the extent of cellulite. For extensive areas of cellulite, I generally split the treatments 6- 10 weeks apart. This is due to safety. Extensive subcision exponentially increases side effects such as bleeding, haematomas, iron staining & fibrosis (lumps).

Subcision must also be controlled, as extensive undermining can also lead to increased laxity– this is why I combine this procedure with skin tightening devices such as radiofrequency.

How soon are the results seen, and how long do they last?

Results can be seen as early as day 2. Note: swelling contributes to this result. The final results take 8-16 weeks. Remember, subcision is only one of the three modalities used to treat cellulite.

Dermal collagen remodelling through the use of dermal fillers & RF devices take several months to maximise, hence the best results are seen around 6 months. Studies have shown that results following subcision have exceeded the 5 year mark. 

Is the procedure painful?

No. I use several methods to eliminate the pain of this procedure including-

  • Local anaesthetic
  • Muscle relaxants & pain medications
  • Sedation
  • Gas

The ideal combination depends on the extent of cellulite & the planned procedures.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Subcision for Cellulite

Subcision can be performed via a novel vacuum device, namely Cellfina, via side firing lasers, as well as RF assistance. I do believe that manual methods using surgical instruments are the best as this procedure offers far greater control over the larger bore instrumentation. I subcise at least 3-4 acne scar patients on a daily basis with this method. Energy devices, though useful, give too much unnecessary collateral damage.

Deep depressions & dimpling do best with surgical subcision. I limit my subcision to 12-16 areas, as extensive surgical instrumentation can lead to worsening of laxity as too many fibrous septae are disrupted. In many cases I combine subcision with collagen stimulating dermal fillers, radiofrequency & electromagnetic devices. Combination treatments work best. 

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