Treatment of Cellulite

By: Hazem Barmada, MD

Spring of Youth Medical

The word Cellulite derives from the French word "cellule."  Cellulite is far more common in women than in men by a ratio of 9 to 1. Thus, it appears to be gender-related. There are at least two reasons why cellulite is preponderant in women: one, the architecture of the subcutaneous fat lobules, and the surrounding connective tissue envelop, which are different between men and women; and two, the commoner hormonal changes and surges in women.  Thus, in women the thinner, perpendicular septae and bigger fat lobules predispose to cellulite.

There are several predisposing factors for the formation of cellulite.  Being overweight, hormonal therapy and metabolic fluctuations top the list. Yet, diet and exercise also contribute to the formation of cellulite.  Cellulite is more common in Caucasians.

Treatment of cellulite is generally difficult. Various modalities have been tried over the years: liposuction, injection of carbon-dioxide and other drugs subcutaneously, subcision , lasers, radiofrequency, topical lotions and ultrasound have all been tried, with varying degrees of success. However, several of these modalities are heavily invasive, and tend to be expensive. Generally, removal of fat has little effect on cellulite.

Acoustic wave treatment (AWT) for cellulite has emerged lately as a serious and effective treatment for cellulite. The machine that produces the acoustic waves is the D-Actor, made by Storz of Germany and Switzerland.  AWT machines were first developed over 30 years ago to break-up kidney-stones without surgery.  That machine has evolved into the D-Actor 200, which is a ballistic acoustic wave generator that harnesses the power of compressed air and acoustic wave technology to treat cellulite and a variety of other conditions including erectile dysfunction (ED)and Peyronie's disease. It works by stimulating cells and improving metabolic activity and lymphatic drainage.  The low-frequency mechanical vibrations restore elasticity of the connective tissue septa and improve tone.

Acoustic wave therapy (AWT) has emerged as the first non-invasive treatment method for effective and long-lasting improvement of age-related connective tissue weakness, cosmetically unappealing cellulite, and skin striae after pregnancy and weight loss, Peyroni's disease and erectile dysfunction.