The Nervous Nelly’s Guide to Cellulite Reduction with Cellfina
Everything you ever wanted to know about treatment but didn’t know whom to ask.
For anyone who has ever invested in cellulite diets, exercises, massages and creams, the idea of a solution that actually works may seem too good to be true. As the only long-lasting treatment licensed by Health Canada to rapidly and significantly reduce cellulite by treating its primary structural cause, Cellfina has a lot to offer. But, as with any procedure, it’s important to be fully informed before forging ahead. We spoke with Dr. Julie Khanna, Plastic Surgeon and Director of The Institute of Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Oakville regarding questions and concerns about cellulite reduction with Cellfina.
Is there a ’type’ of cellulite that is most responsive to treatment with Cellfina?
Cellulite has lots of definitions and can be a mix of things: fatty pockets or loose skin or stretchmarks or multiple dents that have a puckering effect on the skin. The latter, the kind that commonly appears on the buttocks and thigh areas and is noticeable through white yoga pants, is the type that responds best to Cellfina.
How is the Cellfina procedure performed? Is it complicated?
Although there are pros and cons to any procedure, Cellfina is relatively safe and easy. After freezing the affected area, we employ Cellfina technology that uses tiny blades to release the bands under the skin that create the dimpling effect. As far as procedures go, this one is a small thing. It’s a fun one – patients will often chit chat away or play music on their phones while taking Cellfina selfies. After the freezing is done, it’s a very comfortable procedure.
Who in your office performs the procedure?
The freezing portion of the procedure is performed either by myself or our nursing staff. As a surgeon, I do prefer to do all of the releases, as I do believe there is a trick and an artistry to it. You have to make sure you are not overdoing it since you don’t want to release too many bands in any one section. It’s understanding nuances like these that make for a happier patient in the long-term with the best results.
Is there anyone who is not a good candidate for Cellfina?
A true contra-indication would be someone with the ‘wrong’ type of cellulite, as outlined above or someone who suffers from a bleeding disorder. If you can handle a needle or having a mole removed, you can handle Cellfina.
What about individuals who bruise easily?
If you are an easy bruiser, you will bruise. Cellfina’s suction device allows for a controlled and targeted release of bands, but it will leave you with marks that look like really big hickeys for a week or two. This said, there are lots of little tricks that help minimize and take down the bruising – wearing a compression garment post-surgery and massaging the area with arnica gel, for example. At our office, we are able to use a laser post-surgery to help take down the colour and speed up healing. The average patient however, doesn’t need the laser.
How much time should the patient plan to take off work and are there any special issues or considerations to be aware of?
All patients should expect the treated areas to emit fluid for about 24-48 hours after the procedure. This is a combination of the freezing that is used and the normal fluid associated with swelling and this is a good thing. It means the healing is going well, and the body is repairing itself. We provide our patients with special pads to be worn under their compression garment to absorb the liquid. At home, you can move around but no heavy lifting or exercise for the first few days. You can shower the day after the procedure, and most patients are back at work within 48 hours.
Is there anything else the patient can do to prepare for the procedure and optimize the healing?
Prior to surgery, we recommend talking to your doctor about what vitamins to stop taking and what foods to stop eating. Advil and aspirin can cause bruising after any procedure, as can green tea, garlic, ginger, ginseng, ginkgo and vitamin E.
If the patient is gearing up for something specific like a wedding or a Caribbean vacation, how much time should she allow between the time of the Cellfina procedure and the event itself?
We recommend allowing a minimum of 6 weeks. Having said that, in 85-90% of our patients, the bruising and swelling is gone within two weeks.
What questions should every patient ask before her Cellfina procedure?
The really important questions are: Who is doing this procedure? What is their experience with it? What potential complications or problems should I be aware of? What is the follow-up process going to be like? Who can I call after the procedure if I have questions or concerns? How the clinic treats and communicates with you is an essential part of a good experience, and you should feel confident about these aspects from the start.