We’d all love to banish our bumpy blubber forever- particularly if there’s no dieting or exercise involved. Celeb’s on Sunday’s Gabriella was at the front of the queue for the world’s first-ever laser to cure orange peel skin – but did it live up to the hype?
A one-time treatment to shift cellulite? Forever? It sounds like my cosmetic answer to a knight in shining armour. Dimpled thighs and a lumpy bum are my top two body hang ups, so come summer I always reach for the sarong. And it’s not as if I haven’t tried to shift my cellulite.
In the past, I’ve slapped on countless lotions and potions, and trialled many massaging machines to no avail. So when I hear about cellulaze, the first ‘lunchtime’ laser treatment for the dreaded orange peel, I immediately volunteer. Perhaps this time I’ll get the Gisele-esque legs of my dreams?
To find out more, I arrange a consultation with Dr Al-Ayoubi from the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic and show him my legs. ‘You’re an excellent candidate’ he says, peering at my thighs. ‘We grade cellulite from one to three in severity – mild, moderate and severe – and you are definitely a grade two’. Grade two? How very dare he!
However, I cheer up when he tells me Cellulaze can, if not ‘cure’ my cellulite completely, improve it significantly. He’s confident my legs can be upgraded to a grade one at least, which puts him back in my good books.
The procedure works by targeting the lower layers of the skin with light energy. A 30cm-long laser ‘pen’ is inserted under the skin via small incisions – a fingernail width – in the back of both legs. The laser heats the tissue, stimulating new collagen growth for a plumped-up and tightened look, while also releasing fibrous ‘bands’ that create cellulite’s characteristic dimpled effect. As an extra bonus, the laser also zaps the lumpy pockets of fat themselves, so there’s less left to poke through.
The full results take up to a year to show, but Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi says I can expect to see an improvement immediately.
Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi explains "Unlike the non-invasive treatment approaches that aim to temporarily treat the appearance of cellulite, Cellulaze Laser uses a three-dimensional approach to directly target the subdermal structure that forms the foundation of cellulite."
Cellulaze Laser has received FDA approval in the USA (Food and Drug Administration) and CE Mark certification in Europe. Also researches demonstrate long-Term improvements in skin elasticity and skin thickness.
I arrive at the clinic to be greeted by an anaesthetist and told Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi will be performing Cellulaze under intravenous sedation rather than local anaesthetic. (This possibility was mentioned on my pre-op advice sheet but I wasn’t expecting it. I still want to go ahead – that’s how much I hate my cellulite). I’m injected in the wrist and remember nothing else. When I awake from Planet Cuckoo I’m trussed u in tight, long, unattractive compression shorts. A nurse orders me to wear them night and day for 10 days, removing only for toilet trips and showering.
There’s zero chance of going back to work afterwards. The procedure takes 90 minutes, and by the time I’ve totted up waiting and recovery time. Cue a cringe-making call to my boyfriend (so much for keeping my embarrassing treatment a secret from him).
The first night is uncomfortable, fluid leakage from the wounds and what feels like beaten-up legs. Come morning, I’m desperate to glimpse my lasered thighs. Easier said than done. A strop-inducing 15 minutes later and I’m finally out of the bondage shorts and checking out the effects.
A job well done: the incisions are neat and legs are far smoother. ‘Your bum looks more rounded, in a good way.’ Says the boyfriend. Ah, romantic. Alas, the smoothness of my thighs make my bottom look more dimpled in comparison. Cellulaze can only treat thighs and the crease of the bum, not the fleshy part above. So Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi prescribes a course of Velashape: a machine that combines radio frequency, vacuum and massage to smooth cellulite. Cellulaze has left my skin feeling very sensitive, and it feels like a boxer pummelling me.
Four months later…
My cellulite has significantly improved, and Velashape has smoothed my bum. I won’t pretend my dimples have gone completely but I’m more confident about wearing a bikini. For Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi himself, there’s no doubt of his success. As he takes my ‘after’ photos, he declares my cellulite has improved ‘by 60-70%’ transporting my thighs into the heady realms of grade one orange peel.
Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi says:
“To achieve the best result from Cellulaze you need to apply adequate laser heat energy to stimulate collagen. This can become extremely painful under local anaesthetic. Pain increases blood pressure and bruising post-treatment. Therefore sedation is safer and more comfortable.
Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi said: Some celebrities don't wary about their cellulite appearance, as like the Nation sweet heart “Cheryl Cole couldn't care less that she has a few lumps and bumps on her famous legs. In fact, she's proud to be a realistic role model to young girls. 'I don't care if there's a picture of me with cellulite,' she says.
'I'm a young woman and, yes, I have cellulite. And if that makes someone at home go: "Well, if Cheryl's got cellulite it's OK," then happy days!'
The Cellulaze laser treatments have demonstrated a benefit from the use of subcutaneous laser energy in terms of tissue tightening through tissue coagulation as well as the regeneration of collagen and connective tissue.
As with Smartlipo MPX and Smartlipo Triplex Laser workstations, Cellulaze Laser incorporates the proprietary SmartSense and ThermaGuide intelligent laser energy delivery systems.