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 machine 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 Ayham Al-Ayoubi at 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 her!
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 tae up to a year to show, but Dr Al-Ayoubi says I can expect to see an improvement immediately.
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, I’m shocked to realise I’ve been at the clinic over six hours. I’m also told I can’t go home on my own after my sedation, and I need to be supervised for 24 hours. 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.
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 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 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. “
To view more Dr Ayoubi in the media click here.