What is Cellfina?

Cellfina is a nonsurgical procedure used to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s a minimally invasive procedure. The procedure doesn’t require surgery or general anesthesia. Cellfina uses a microblade technique to target cellulite on the thighs and buttocks.

An estimated 85 percent of women over the age 20 have some cellulite. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Cellfina in 2015. The clinical studies done by Cellfina show a high level of patient satisfaction.

Preparing for Cellfina

Cellfina is a minimally invasive nonsurgical procedure, so you won’t need to prepare much. Good candidates for Cellfina include those who:

  • are between 20 and 60
  • have a stable weight
  • have minimal skin laxity, or looseness

Talk with your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate. They can also help you set realistic expectations about how the treatment can address your needs.

How does Cellfina work?

Cellfina best targets dimple-type cellulite. The procedure has only been cleared by the FDA for treating cellulite in the thighs and buttocks.

Connective tissue called fibrous bands cause cellulite dimples in the skin. These bands connect your skin to tissue underneath. The fibrous bands can pull some skin in, causing the surrounding fat to bulge. This can create small depressions, or cellulite dimples, throughout the area.

Cellfina technology is based on a procedure called subcision. Subcision can also treat scars and wrinkles. The technology uses a device the size of a needle to treat the connective bands just under your skin.

Before the procedure, your doctor will ask you to stand. They’ll use a marker to identify the cellulite dimples. Then, after administering some numbing solution, they’ll use the Cellfina handheld device to insert a microblade below your skin. Your doctor will then use a stabilized-guided subcision technique in a fanning motion to release the fibrous bands under your skin. This causes the cellulite dimples to bounce back.

On average, it takes about one hour for every 25 dimples. Results in the treated areas may be seen in as little as three days and can last up to three years. According to a prospective, multicenter U.S. study of 55 patients, one Cellfina treatment improved the appearance of cellulite in 98 percent of people two years after they had the procedure.

How much does Cellfina cost?

The size of the treated area and the number of cellulite dimples determines the cost of the Cellfina treatment. Prices usually range from $3,500 to $6,500, with an average cost of around $4,250 per treatment.

Factors such as your geographic location and the doctor you use to do the treatment also play into the cost. You should contact a Cellfina provider directly to get the most accurate quote.

Cellfina vs. Cellulaze

Cellfina is a more recent procedure compared with Cellulaze, which was cleared by the FDA in 2012. Cellulaze is a laser device and uses heat energy to cut the connective bands. Cellfina uses a microblade. Cellulaze is also said to support collagen production and improve skin elasticity.

Cellfina has a lower cost, fewer risks and complications, and results appear to last longer. Since Cellfina is still relatively new, doctors have different experience and preferences. The jury is still out on which procedure is better.

Cellfina side effects

During the procedure you may feel some suction. But there shouldn’t be any discomfort during the process.

After the procedure, you may experience side effects in the treated area. These can include:

  • minor pain
  • bruising
  • soreness
  • tenderness

However, these side effects generally go away on their own within a few days. Data from clinical studies found no serious adverse events after the procedure.

Cellfina recall

In December 2016, the FDA opened a Device Recall case for the Cellfina system. It was initiated by its manufacturer, Ulthera Inc. According to the FDA, the reason for the recall was that a nonsterile vacuum tube was included in one kit.

All affected customers received a notification and information on what they needed to do.

What to expect after Cellfina

Cellfina is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure that doesn't require general anesthesia. Because of this, there is limited downtime associated with the procedure. You will most likely be able to drive home and can resume normal activities after 24 hours.

For two weeks post-treatment, you should wear compressive garments as often as possible, such as yoga pants or bike shorts. You should limit your exercise for three to four days after the procedure and avoid swimming and sun exposure for about a week.