Cellulite is caused by fat underneath the skin that protrudes through the connective tissue. It gives a lumpy appearance that some may describe as “cottage cheese” or “an orange peel.” Cellulite can be caused by cumulative sun damage and body fat, as well as skin laxity and loss of integrity and thickness of the skin. In fact, there are five major contributing factors to cellulite:
- Enlarged fat chambers
- Damaged collagen fibers
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Poor blood flow
- Metabolic waste accumulation
Dr. Jennifer Levine is one of only a few surgeons who are double-board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has provided, for the busy people of New York, not one but three FDA-approved procedures that reduce cellulite by targeting the contributing factors. She and her team will work with you, discuss your goals and properly assess to see which treatment is optimal for you. These treatment options are Aveli, QWO and Emtone.
Aveli is a minimally invasive, FDA-cleared, one-time treatment for cellulite on the buttocks and thighs. During the procedure, Dr. Levine slides a handheld device beneath the skin to mechanically cut the septa, or connective-tissue bands, that pull down on the skin’s surface, contributing to dimples. The Aveli device allows Dr. Levine to precisely identify and cut the corresponding septa that is contributing to the dimples. Once the septa is cut, she can verify this when the dimple becomes smooth. There is no other procedure that allows for this level of precision. This precision ensures accuracy and therefore produces better results and fewer side effects.
Aveli acts only on discrete dimples and not textural issues related to skin laxity, so it’s important for doctors to do a thorough exam and assessment to determine who is a good candidate for the procedure. The treatment is performed under local anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the hour-long procedure. Because it is minimally invasive, you will likely be sore, swollen and bruised afterward. Results are apparent once the bruising and swelling subsides, usually about a month after treatment.
QWO is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting bacterial collagenase into the buttocks in order to reduce cellulite. Collagenases are enzymes that target the structural causes of cellulite under the skin, and release the fibrous bands (septa) thereby reducing the appearance of the cellulite dimples. Not only does QWO cellulite treatment release the fibrous bands causing cellulite below the skin, but its enzymes also redistribute fat cells and stimulate the growth of new collagen. This is important because other factors contributing to cellulite include enlarged fat cells that give the fibrous bands something to dimple and lost skin firmness that comes from age. With redistributed fat, the surface appearance becomes smoother, and with boosted collagen production, skin laxity improves.
The process is a painless experience depending on your pain threshold. We often numb the area with a topical anesthetic to ensure your comfort. QWO requires a total of three sessions spaced 21 days apart for a lasting result of 12 months or more. As with any injection treatment, there is a small risk of infection; however, we take great care to ensure this risk is minimized.
Emtone is the first and only device that simultaneously delivers both thermal and mechanical energy to treat all major contributing factors to cellulite. With these two combined energies, there is a synergistic effect that neither technology can achieve on their own. Emtone reduces the appearance of cellulite by addressing various factors contributing to the dimpling of the skin. These factors include body fat, increased skin laxity and loss of skin integrity. It results in the diminishing of fat chambers, remodeling of collagen fibers, restoring of skin elasticity, an increase in blood flow and metabolic waste removal. It works great for your arms, legs, stomach and buttocks with a 10-28 minute session—and best of all, there is zero downtime.
During the treatment, clients may expect the treatment area to feel very warm. At the warmest point, the emtone will bring the skin surface up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. You will typically see results after your first session, and they continue to improve over 12 weeks. During the first visit, Dr. Levine will help you design your individual treatment plan. Most patients undergo 4 treatments scheduled once or twice a week. A treatment typically takes about 20 minutes depending on the treated area.
So which treatment is best for you?
Let’s review all three cellulite treatments. All three seek to address all the contributing factors to cellulite but there are some differences.
Aveli and QWO are minimally invasive, meaning the skin is penetrated, which will lead to side effects such as bruising and swelling, thus requiring some downtime. Emtone is 100% non-invasive and requires no downtime at all. However, Emtone and QWO will require follow-up treatments, while Aveli does the job in a single session! So, how do you choose? We offer these three options because we take into consideration each patient’s goals, lifestyle and budget. When you come in for a consultation, you will be assessed, the various options will be explained in detail, and Dr. Levine and her team will take your goals into consideration and work with you to determine which treatment is best suited for you.