An esteemed panel of plastic surgery experts, including Dr. Mark Epstein of Long Island, New York, Dr. Shaun Parson of Scottsdale, Arizona and Dr. Ned Snyder of Austin, Texas, convene to answer one of the most asked questions in plastic surgery. How do I get rid of this fatty bulge and the cellulite? Is Liposuction the answer? This can be very confusing to patients because they often see this one area as one problem and expect one surgical solution to handle it.
by Terrye Tebbets
The Plastic Surgery Channel
The Difference Between Fat and Cellulite
Dr. Epstein breaks down the problem for us, “I think there are really two questions being asked here. One is about a little bit of fat and the other is about cellulite.” Fat and cellulite are distinctly different problems in the minds and eyes of a surgeon. “There are two different layers of fat in the body. The bumps and the saddle bags that reside in a deep layer of fat can be addressed with liposuction. Then there is cellulite that occurs due to irregularities in the superficial layer and removing fat is not the answer. The bands that are pulling the skin in and causing the dimpling need to be addressed,” says Epstein.
A Promising Option
“We have a new technology, Celfina, that is just becoming available. It is a minimally invasive, using small incisions and done in an office setting,” says Dr. Snyder. Celfina’s technology allows surgeons a method to disrupt the bands that are pulling on the skin and causing the dimpling. Cellulite, in the past, has been one of the most difficult problems to address for patients in a predictable manner. Years ago, one of the first tools introduced to the plastic surgery world to address the cellulite problem was a liposuction cannula with a very odd name. They called it a pickling fork! Doesn’t sound like a lovely procedure to sign up for, does it? The end of the cannula was just like it sounds, a forked tip, that surgeons would move through the superficial layer of fat hoping to break up the bands that were causing the dimpling. Celfina offers a much more precise and predictable way to produce the smooth skin patients are looking for.
Dr. Parson reminds us that surgeons must be honest with patients and paint a reasonable expectation of the result that can be achieved. “If you’re painting a picture of the perfect result when sometimes you can’t deliver a perfect result, I think you’re doing the patient a disservice.” Dr. Epstein warns, ” You have to have experience to individualize the tool to the patient and the patient’s issues.” Seeing a board certified plastic surgeon will go a long way in helping you find an expert who truly understands the difference between deep fat and superficial problems and who understands all the options available.
Our experts agree we are just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg in terms of technology and how it can be used to address problems like cellulite.