Aesthetic physicians continue to battle cellulite, although some have seen success in at best temporary reduction of cellulite using radiofrequency (RF)-based devices. As the technology behind energy-based devices grows increasingly sophisticated, a handful of manufacturers have developed products that show promise in some success in the ongoing war.
To help take the pulse of this industry, PSP spoke with Jason Pozner, MD, FACS, whose Sanctuary Plastic Surgery operation is located in Boca Raton, Fla, and who has commented throughout the media on medical devices.
Choose wisely, he says. "You’ve got to pick them up and start using them early. You never know when the device you are using will get superseded," he notes. "Some of the devices I’ve had for 10 years, and I still use them."
A selection of these technologies and products include the following:The Accent, from Alma Lasers Ltd, Buffalo Grove, Ill) and Thermage (Solta Medical Inc, Hayward, Calif) are noninvasive radiofrequency devices for tightening and contouring skin.
One of the oldest techniques available for cellulite reduction is endermologie, which uses a system of rollers and is primarily a mechanical system to reduce cellulite and intercellular swelling.
The Velashape system (Syneron Medical Ltd, Yokneam, Israel) was the first FDA-approved device of its kind. It relies on a vacuum and mechanical system combined with RF energy delivery and an infrared light. The latter two help to deliver energy to the subdermis and to the fat.
"All of the devices out there are radiofrequency, except for one ultrasound device from Sound Surgical," Pozner says. "The VASER Shape."
As with most of these devices, aesthetic physicians usually mix and match therapies. For example, methods of smoothing the skin surface include heat application, which tightens the skin surface and increases tissue health with improved circulation, and/or a complimentary therapy that might involve other energy-based devices, enzyme therapy, etc.