surgical treatment for cellulite




Permanent Benefits of Liposuction are Better for Body Contouring than Cellulite Treatments, New Plastic Surgery Research Shows

ASPS logoFor Immediate Release:
October 21, 1999

Media Relations

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL - Body contouring techniques that combine ultrasound-assisted liposuction with suction-assisted liposuction offer results that are permanent while cellulite treatments with endermologie or cellulite cream provide little or no improvement. This is the conclusion of two clinical studies recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the most widely read plastic surgery journal in the world.

"All new technologies are not necessarily effective," said Rod Rohrich, MD, professor and chairman, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "There are a number ofnew treatments for cellulite that may be safe, but many are not effective.

We need to conduct more studies on these new technologies to obtain accurate scientific data. This will enable us to better inform the public and our patients about these so-called new treatments for cellulite.

A study published in the September 1999 issue of PRS (Vol. 104, No.4) comprised 52 patients in a randomized, controlled trial of two cellulite therapies. One group used a cream containing aminophylline, while a second group received treatments with an endermologie machine, a device approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A third group received both the cream and endermologie treatments. Assessments made by both patients and investigators found little if any improvement in any of the patients. The study concluded that neither aminophylline cream or endermologie is effective in the treatment of cellulite.

"Studies have shown that by using ultrasound-assisted liposuction and suction-assisted liposuction together, we can achieve improved contour results," said Dr. Rohrich. "But combining the two techniques requires specific training and experience in body contouring."

A study published in the April, 1998 issue of PRS (Vol. 101, No. 4) reviewed the records of 114 consecutive patients treated with ultrasound-assisted liposuction over a 12-month period and showed that combining the two liposuction technologies enhances results, reduces treatment times and minimizes complications.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction removes fat through an emulsification process in which fat is "melted" and suctioned out. It is especially effective in dense, fibrous areas such as the buttocks, back and male breast. While there have been advances in the use of suction-assisted liposuction, it has limitations in achieving consistent results in some regions.

Liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure. Good candidates for body contouring through liposuction should be healthy and within 30 percent of their ideal body weight. Patients need to have realistic expectations and be motivated to make changes in diet and exercise to enhance and optimize their results.
When considering liposuction, patients should consult a board-certified plastic surgeon.

ASPS represents physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. By choosing an ASPS member plastic surgeon, patients are assured that the physician has graduated from an accredited medical school and completed at least five years of additional residency, usually three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery. To be certified by ABPS, a physician must also practice plastic surgery for two years and pass comprehensive written and oral examinations. Consumers can call the Plastic Surgery Information Service at 1-800-635-0635 or access the ASPS web site at to find a plastic surgeon in their area.

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