Cellulite-Why Liposuction Doesn't Work

celluiteCellulite-a condition that every woman dreads.  But what it is and what to do about is remain as varied as its numerous  synonymes.

What we do know is that it is much more common in post pubertal females and less common in males.  However, males with deficiencies in male hormones and thus a relative increase in female hormones (we all have both) also show a higher propensity for it.  So it appears that female hormones are partly to blame.  However, other hormones including insulin, adrenaline, noradrenaline, thyroid hormone and prolactin are all believed to participate in the development of cellulite.  Other causes include:  obesity, excessive amounts of fat, carbohydrates, salt, too little fiber, smoking, lack of exercise, standing or sitting in the same position for too long,  distribution of subcutaneous fat, predisposition to circulatory insufficiency and underwear design.  Anatomically the most logical explanation is that the connective tissue surrounding fat is less flexible the cellulite areas and thus when the fat cells enlarge the skin has less rigidity and thus expands more than the connective tissue.

So what works to reduce the appearance of cellulite?  There are numerous touted therapies:   iontophoresis, ultrasound, thermotherapy, pressotherapy, lymphatic drainage, electrolipolosis, lasers, liposuction, and medications both topical and oral too numerous to list.  Liposuction seems like it should work, right?  Remove the fat and the lumps and bumps go away.  The problem is that the cannulas that remove the fat also penetrate the connective tissue which results in scarring and thus scar contracture.  Thus there’s less fat but the connective tissue septa have shortened.  So liposuction usually will not make the cellulite worse but it also usually doesn’t help.

There’s are general rules in medicine: 1.   if there are multiple causes for something no one knows the answer 2. if there are multiple therapies none of them work.  So I’d love to say come see me and I’ll take get rid of that cellulite but I can’t.  But feel free to click here or call 703.752.6608 for a complementary consultation.

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