Subcision: Instant Cellulite Removal Surgery

Written by Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on October 3, 2023 23 Comments

cellulite subcision

Originally published January 4, 2017. Updated on October 3, 2023 by Dr. Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce

Cellulite is one of the most common cosmetic issues faced by women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Nearly 80% of women have some form of cellulite: a dimpled or cratered appearance along the skin due to a “puckering effect” caused when fat pushes up against connective tissue. Specifically, cellulite is caused as a result of tension placed on the skin by fibrous bands that course through fat.

Having cellulite does not indicate that you are overweight. In fact, even women with a low BMI can experience cellulite along their thighs and buttocks. Cellulite can be difficult to effectively treat, especially since there are so many treatments that over-promise results.

Patients with moderate to severe cellulite will find that many non-surgical cellulite treatment methods will be completely ineffective. The International Journal of Dermatology reports that patients with level 2 or level 3 cellulite (when there is the appearance of cellulite whether or not the leg muscles are contracted) may only benefit from a subcision procedure.

How Subcison Works

Subcision is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that works by cutting the fibrous bands beneath the skin, releasing the tension that causes cellulite. Using local anesthesia, a skilled dermatologist uses a specially designed needle to release the bands. Next, the subcutaneous fat below the skin’s surface is redistributed evenly to create a smooth surface.

In some cases, patients will also benefit from a fat transfer procedure to use the patient’s own fat and tissue to fill in any pockets created from severing the tethered bands. We may also combine the process with the addition of biostimulatory fillers like Sculptra or hyperdilute Radiesse, or a skin tightening procedure like Ultherapy or Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling.

A subcision procedure requires minimal downtime, with many patients being able to return to normal physical activity on the same day as the procedure. Vigorous exercise can re-start after a week’s time. Bruising and light pain is common for the few days following the procedure and will resolve over time without intervention.


The Aveli cellulite treatment device allows us to perform subcision safely and effectively to cellulite dimples on the buttocks and thighs. When we release those tethers, the skin appears smooth, and the dimple is gone forever. If you are interested in seeing if you are a candidate for this procedure, please schedule a complimentary consultation here. Dr. Geddes-Bruce is one of our fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologists and is located at the Far West office of Westlake Dermatology. She is committed to helping you look and feel your best.



Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD

Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon specializing in the practice of both cosmetic and medical dermatology. Dr. Geddes-Bruce is fellowship-trained in cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She served as Chief Resident at one of the nation’s top dermatology programs – The University of Texas at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

23 Responses to “Subcision: Instant Cellulite Removal Surgery”

  1. Avatar Shanna says:

    I would like some information as to the cost of subcision & cellulaze, & whether or not these procedures would even work for me. I have moderate to severe cellulite on my quads & hamstrings as well as on my buttocks. I’m 42 yrs old & I rarely wear shorts bc I am disgusted by my legs! I have lost 20 lbs & am working on losing at least another 50 lbs to reach my goal weight of 130. Should I want until I’ve reached my goal or can I go ahead with the procedures at any point? Thanks for your time!!

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Shanna, Thanks for reading our post and submitting your question! I have forwarded your inquiry to our team of cosmetic consultants who will contact you via email with their suggestions. However, we would also encourage you to seek an in-person consultation with a qualified provider, as that is the best way to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

      –WD Staff

  2. Avatar Joy says:

    Hi, I’m interested in the subcision procedure. May I ask how much it will cost and can it be done immediately. I have a high school girls trip this Friday at the lake.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Joy, Thanks for reading our post and submitting your questions!

      Typically we will first assess the patient during an initial appointment before administering a subcision treatment. With an in-person consultation our providers can be sure that it is the right procedure for your specific need/goals. The consultation appointment also gives you the chance to ask any questions about the procedure you may have and receive an estimate on total procedure cost.

      In terms of cost, that will depend on the extensiveness of the treatment provided (determined by variables like treatment area location and size).

      Please let us know if you would like to setup a consultation. You can give us a call at 512.328.3376.

      WD Staff

  3. Avatar Joy says:

    Do you know of any doctors in Houston that do the subcision procedure?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Joy, Unfortunately we are not authorized to recommend other providers. However there should be qualified providers in Houston. Make sure to go with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon!

      WD Staff

  4. Avatar Liza says:

    Can this procedure be done on the top of the arms to improve tone/texture and minimize the appearance of cellulite?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Liza,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! Depending on the characteristics of the treatment area, performing subcision on the arms is possible. However, you’ll need to see a provider for an in-person assessment to ensure candidacy, or if its the best treatment for your needs. If you are in the Austin area please give us a call to setup a consultation!

      WD Staff

  5. Avatar Lauren says:

    Hello, I was told by a Physician that subcision cellulite treatments (or any other cellulite treatments for that matter)can only deliver a 30% improvement on the areas that are affected by cellulite and nothing more. I know that each individual results may vary but is this true? I ask because I have cellulite on my buttocks and hamstrings and would love for this procedure to work.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your question! I’m not sure where the 30% improvement statistic came from but it is true that the exact amount of improvement differs from patient to patient due to severity and skin characteristics. We’ve had patients experience dramatic results but it’s hard to put that improvement into a quantifiable number.

      We would recommend seeing a board certified dermatologist who does subcision to get an evaluation (if you’re in the Austin area please give us a call!). Once assessed in person the provider should be able to estimate the amount of improvement that would be possible with treatment.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  6. Avatar Lauren says:

    Thanks for the response:) I’m in Ohio actually and no one here does subcision cellulite removal. Can I send pictures of my cellulite to your email to see if this procedure would be ideal for me?

  7. Avatar Renee says:


    I am interested in this treatment for cellulite, can you me some information on the pricing please.


  8. Avatar Sophie says:


    I came across your website and was interested in having my cellulite treated which is located on the front of my thighs.

    I am happy to send over images.

    Also, could I please be contacted further via email.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.


  9. Avatar Melissa says:

    I am interested in this treatment and pricing of it for cellulite on my thighs.

    Thank you so much,

  10. Avatar Tiffany says:

    Hi, I would like details and pricing information on the 2 types of cellulite treatments you have and which one is better long term.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks so much for reading our post and for your great comment! I spoke with Dr. Geddes-Bruce and the answer is a bit complex. Both treatments are effective, but each have different benefits and are ideal at treating different forms of cellulite. She said the best answer would depend on the specific concerns of each patient.

      The best option would be to have you come in for a consultation. Please feel free to give us a call at 512-328-3376 and we’ll get you setup!

      WD Staff

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