BOSTON (CBS) - A new procedure to treat cellulite, developed right here in Massachusetts, is promising something pretty unbelievable.
"Cellfina" can eliminate the bumpy, dimpled skin that makes so many women self-conscious.
Cellfina has recently been approved by the FDA.
Paolo Pacella of Dedham is pretty happy with the way she looks in the mirror these days. Several years ago she was part of the clinical trial for Cellfina.
"The skin on my buttocks, and the back of my thighs, is still smooth. It's a permanent solution for people," Pacella said.
Doctor Michael Kaminer, a Chestnut Hill dermatologist, was part of the team that developed Cellfina.
When asked how Cellfina works, Dr. Kaminer explained. "Think of cellulite like a mattress and you have those little buttons that hold down little parts of the mattress. That is what a cellulite dimple is. We needed to eliminate the buttons and it turns out they are caused by little fiber strands underneath the skin, and we simply release those."
Cellfina is just now being offered to patients.
It is a two part process. First, a special syringe disperses lidocaine through multiple pinholes, allowing the anesthetic to numb the tissue over a wider area than a typical needle.
Then the Cellfina tool is inserted under the dimple. It cuts those strands of collagen which had been pulling the skin down and forming the dimple. The skin then becomes smooth naturally. Nothing is extracted from the body.
"We did the first treatment in the world right here about five years ago, and then that led to a clinical trial which ultimately led to FDA clearance and what it found is that 94% of patients one year out were satisfied with the results, and 99% of patients had a measurable improvement," added Dr. Kaminer.
An ideal candidate for Cellfina is somebody who is not too far from their ideal body weight. They should have somewhere between 15-20 dimples, along the buttocks and outer thigh.
Pacella said the impact on her life has been pretty significant. Being able to walk on the beach without a long t-shirt has been liberating.
"Just to be comfortable in my own skin," she said.
Cellfina usually costs $3,000-$4000 and requires one visit. Side effects are minimal, just some soreness which can be taken care of with a regular pain killer.
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