Subcision: Instant Cellulite Removal Surgery
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.