I have a confession to make: I used to get jealous of women with smooth backsides. And I’m not just talking about the buttocks region either. I was envious of any girl with perfectly smooth legs too. It didn’t seem fair to me. Why did they get to look like that but I didn’t? I worked out; I ate healthily, I drank lots of water and yet I still had cellulite. Thankfully, I can finally say that I love my body a lot more now, and I owe a big part of that to a new medical treatment called Cellfina.
Like a lot of women, I’d been looking for a way to “cure” my cellulite for a long time. Granted, it was never super dimply, but I felt self-conscious about it. I would even shed a tear or two when I tried on bathing suits in the Nordstrom dressing rooms. (They need to fix the lighting in there!) And, of course, there was no way I would wear a bathing suit in public without a cover-up either. But, even though getting rid of my cellulite seemed hopeless at times, I still held out hope for the day when I could proudly wear a bikini again.
So, last spring I set out on a mission to change the appearance of my skin. I was tired of waiting for my workouts to “kick in.” Exercise and eating healthy had made a difference, but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I knew there had to be a way to make my skin smoother. And I was convinced that someone out there knew the secret to getting rid of cellulite.
Now I did what I’m sure a lot of you have done: I bought products. I tried supplements, creams, retinoids, essential oils, foam rolls and scrubs. And I even invented organic and herbal concoctions of my own too.
But, I reached my utmost creativity when I tried micro-current stimulation on my legs hypothesizing that it might have a tightening effect. Long-term this tool not only firms your face but also stimulates collagen. And we all know collagen helps fight cellulite. So it makes sense that it might work on the legs and bum, right? I thought so. But, for the two weeks that I tried it, I didn’t see any results. Perhaps a more extended trial would’ve made a difference.
I continued researching until I came across a YouTube video of The Doctors television show. A guest on the show told one of the doctors that she no longer has cellulite. This woman claimed that a doctor in Beverly Hills had performed a procedure on her (which he developed on his own) that involved snipping the elastic bands under her skin. She said that ever since she’s had the cutting procedure, she’s been cellulite free.
Well, I’m sure you can guess what I did next. I found the doctor. Unfortunately, he was in Beverly Hills, and I wasn’t, and he had a hefty price tag to go along with “his” procedure. So I started researching other doctors to see if anyone else did this type of snipping and that’s when I found the new medical treatment for cellulite removal called Cellfina.
What Is Cellfina?
Cellfina is a proprietary technology that helps to correct the appearance of cellulite. The treatment is an FDA-cleared minimally invasive procedure.
You can get Cellfina at a physician’s office under local anesthesia which means you’re awake for the procedure as the doctor will numb the area only.
How Cellfina Works
The primary structural cause of cellulite is the connective bands in the fat of our thighs and butt. Essentially these bands pull down on our skin and create the dimpling effect known as cellulite.
The Cellfina treatment uses a device that snips these fibrous bands. Cutting the bands makes the skin bounce back into place resulting in a smoother appearance.
According to the Cellfina website, results are noticeable in as little as three days and are still apparent three years after the treatment. (From my experience, three days was way too soon to see any changes, but that might be because I was covered in bruises for weeks.)
That said, results do get better with time. For me, I started to see results in two to three months. Keep in mind though that fluctuations in weight after the procedure may affect the results. It’s best to keep the same weight (or lose weight) if possible.
How Long Do The Results Last?
I don’t think the company that created Cellfina even knows how long the results will last yet because this technology is so new. The Cellfina website reports three years, but that’s because they’ve only tested it for this length of time.
For example, when I had the Cellfina treatment done last year, my doctor said that results could last up to two years. And now that it’s a year later, they’ve been able to confirm an additional year. I hope that as the years go on, we’ll see that the results are indeed permanent.
The good news is that at year three, 100 percent of patients still had noticeable improvement, with a 93 percent patient satisfaction ranking. Here’s a before and after photo from the official Cellfina website.
How Much Does Cellfina Cost?
Here’s where things get interesting. I found that the cost of Cellfina depends on two factors: where you live and how much cellulite you have.
Where You Live
I live in Las Vegas, and when I was researching Cellfina, I looked up providers in both Nevada and Southern California. The California doctors prices were quite a bit higher than the Las Vegas clinic that I ultimately chose.
So if you’re in an area that’s close to multiple providers of Cellfina, it might benefit you to do some price shopping. You may save money driving a little further or even flying somewhere. To find the nearest providers, visit the official Cellfina website here.
How Much Cellulite You Have
The less cellulite you have, the cheaper Cellfina is. And, conversely, the more cellulite you have, the more expensive it is. The fact that the degree of cellulite determines the cost makes sense because the procedure may take longer to perform.
For instance, when I had my procedure done the price was $3,000 which apparently is on the lower end of the spectrum. From my research, most treatment costs range anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000. And even though this is a pricey procedure, the bonus is that it’s hopefully a one-time treatment.
What Types of Cellulite Does Cellfina Treat?
Cellfina works best on the dimpled variety of cellulite. Unfortunately, Cellfina doesn’t treat all types of cellulite. For example, it doesn’t work well on generalized waviness. Cellfina is best for “pinky nail size to thumbnail-size” dimples. And the treatment works anywhere on your legs and butt where you have this type of cellulite. Additionally, for best results, you should be within 10 pounds of your normal weight.
For me, a disappointment with the treatment is that Cellfina doesn’t work on banana rolls. There’s just no way they can remove any of the cellulite from this area as it may result in flattening of the butt.
(Not all women have banana rolls, but if you do, then you’ll see a roll of fat directly below your butt. This area of fat looks like it’s in the shape of a banana, thus the name).
What To Expect During The Procedure
Let me start off this section by saying that I never joined a sorority because of the horror stories I heard about hazing. One of the most circulated stories around campus was girls being forced to undress in front of their sorority sisters. The sisters would then take permanent markers and circle parts of their bodies that they considered “bad.” This story alone was why I never rushed.
Fast forward some years, and I would’ve never thought I’d be so happy to partake in the same ritual now. But marking cellulite is precisely how the Cellfina treatment begins, Sharpie and all.
Prepping For Cellfina
My procedure began in a pre-op room where I was asked to undress from the waist down. I was allowed to keep my sweatshirt on and asked that I put on one of those lovely gowns with the back open to cover the rest.
Next, my doctor and her assistant took me into a dimly lit room where I stood facing a wall. They shined a light on my butt and legs so they could identify any dimpling. Then they took out their trusty Sharpie pens and began marking the dimples. My doctor examined the sides of my legs as well and looked at the fronts.
Finally, it was time for the treatment itself. I was led into a surgical suite. (You can get the procedure anywhere though, so don’t let the fact that mine was done in an operating room scare you.)
The Cellfina Procedure
My doctor had me lay down, face down on the operating table. She picked up the device to numb the areas with a local anesthetic. The numbing took about 15 minutes, and if I’m honest, it hurt. Once I was numb, a suction cup was added to the same machine. (This suction cup helps to pull up the dimpled skin so that a needle can be inserted to snip the bands of connective tissue). Then the cutting began.
Now you’re not supposed to feel much of this procedure since they numb you. But that wasn’t the case with me. And I’d like to think that I have a high pain tolerance too.
What It Feels Like During The Procedure
I’m not entirely sure how women are reporting that this is only a three out of ten on the pain scale. I’ve also read women describe the treatment as little bee stings. Perhaps my doctor didn’t numb me enough.
But, to keep it real for you, I found this procedure painful. It’s far from the little bee stings some ladies are reporting. In my opinion, it’s at least a five out of ten on the pain scale, if not more.
The good news is though that it only hurts for a few seconds. The pain is during the time they’re numbing you, or if they haven’t numbed you enough, then you’ll feel the actual snipping during the procedure.
And, unfortunately, because of what I read online regarding the small amount of pain, I went in thinking it wasn’t a big deal. It turned out to hurt a lot more than I thought. So, going in maybe prepare yourself a bit more than I did. At least for me, it helps to know what to expect, and I would have appreciated knowing that it wasn’t about to be a cakewalk.
The procedure itself took about an hour. After which, my doctor and her assistant attached big bandages made out of gauze and tape to my lower regions. They then helped me into a compression garment. It was quite stiff to walk in, but I suppose that’s the point of the clothing.
Immediately After The Procedure
I was sent home with a note detailing reactions to look out for and a phone number to call if I had any problems.
(Also, you’ll have no issues driving yourself home after the procedure. I even stopped off and got a coffee to celebrate. Any excuse for a coffee!)
What To Expect Days After The Procedure
Like any procedure, I feel doctors never really tell you how lousy the recovery is going to be either. They seem to underestimate the length of time and amount of pain. I’ve had a couple of surgeries, and this has proven to be the case each time.
I guess if the doctor has never been through it then how are they supposed to tell you. Or perhaps they do know but don’t want to inform you because if they did, then you wouldn’t want to go through with it. In either case, I experienced a rougher recovery than I was expecting.
What It Feels Like After The Procedure
There will be some oozing. Yes, that means leaking. Junk is going to come out of all those holes where the cutting took place. It’s most likely a combo of blood, lidocaine and other bodily fluids. Now, this oozing is going to happen for at least a day or two so if you see any light red or pink coming through your compression garment, or even through your clothes, that’s the reason.
Also, I would do this procedure on a Friday if you can or any day that you won’t have to work the next day. In my opinion, it’s not fun to ooze everywhere, so it’s best to have at least a day or two or even three days off to recover.
Here’s where my expectations went awry. I thought that the bruising surely wouldn’t last more than two weeks. In fact, I even asked my doctor if I’d be able to wear a dress for an upcoming wedding. She assured me that I wouldn’t have any bruises by then. Yeah, not the case.
Of course, each person is different, and we all bruise differently, but I will tell you it took MONTHS for most of my little injuries to go away.
And, unfortunately, I still have the outline of a three-inch bruise on my bum. (It’s been over a year now.) This was a nasty bruise though – it developed into a hard bump immediately following the procedure. Luckily, it’s not hard as a rock anymore, but it’s also not a pretty sight. What’s more, even with a spray tan you can still see it. In fact, I’m not sure it will ever go away.
I hope it will disappear someday, but this is one of the risks of the procedure. And there’s nothing I can do about it; I was aware of it before I underwent the procedure. But know that this could happen to you too and that it may leave you with some permanent bruising.
To give yourself the best chance of knocking out those bruises, I’d order some Arnica tablets (and start taking them a few days before, if not an entire week) or get Arnica gel to put on the bruises after the treatment. Studies show that Arnica’s proven to minimize bruising.
As I mentioned above, you’ll get a compression garment to wear for a week. The clothing helps you to feel more comfortable and keeps everything nice and tight to speed healing. It has cut-outs so you can go pee. (How sexy.) But if you have to go number two, then you’ll have to remove it which is a real pain.
For me, it was quite taxing to get on and off, so I ended up only wearing the compression garment at night to sleep. You’ll need it then too because it hurts to turn over without it. Honestly, it hurts to turn over with it, but it will be a lot better with the garment than without.
When you sit down or move, it will feel like your skin is missing connections in places. This sensation makes sense considering the treatment involves snipping connective tissue. But it’s a very peculiar feeling, and thankfully it goes away in a week or two.
You shouldn’t have any issues standing or walking around though. However, sitting can take a bit of time. I had to sit down very slowly for a few days to avoid pain. And even then it still hurt a lot.
I also had to wait five days before working out again. And when I finally resumed my exercises, it was only light weights and walking.
My Verdict: Does Cellfina Work?
In my experience, Cellfina does work. Overall, I’m glad I did it, and I’m happy with the results. I’m not sure if I’d do it again though as it was a lot more painful than I was anticipating. And the recovery time was longer too.
A benefit I wasn’t expecting is that my butt got a lot perkier. It’s like those connective tissues were holding my butt back from its full potential. Dang you, little bands! My rear-end looks a lot more firm and round after the procedure now. And that’s a pretty cool perk if you ask me.
I’m a little upset though that I gained a few pounds which added some cellulite in places. But, if you minimize your stress and maintain your weight, you shouldn’t see anything new pop up. I’m to blame for that one.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that you shouldn’t expect to be 100% cellulite free after the procedure. Because that just isn’t happening. But, if your goal is improving the appearance of your cellulite, then I think you’ll appreciate the outcome of this procedure.