New fat fighter promises an end to cellulite

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DENVER -- Ask pretty much any woman and she'll tell you trying to banish cellulite is a never-ending struggle.

Eight-five percent of women over the age of 20 have it.

But now there's a new treatment--just approved by the Food and Drug Administration--which doctors say is a permanent solution.

You may know it as cottage cheese, orange-peel skin or hail damage.

Whatever you call cellulite, a Denver woman wants to banish the bumps.

“I hate it! Cellulite is just not a pretty, glamorous thing,” says the 54-year-old.

And because it’s so embarrassing, she doesn`t want us to identify her.

“It’s a vanity thing for sure. Nobody wants to see those god-awful dimples on your legs,” she says.

So she’s visiting with a plastic surgeon at Vitahl in Cherry Creek--one of the first in the country, to treat cellulite with a device called Cellulaze.

“Now we have a treatment that is truly revolutionary. It draws on technology that’s never been used for this kind of problem,” says Dr. Jason Martin.

Doctors tout it as a permanent solution because it attacks the structure of cellulite--with just one visit.

Video from the company that makes the laser, Cynosure, shows it at work heating the skin and melting the fat.

 Then, the laser breaks the connective tissue that pulls down on the skin to create the dimples.

The laser then stimulates collagen to increase skin’s thickness and elasticity.

“Our understanding of cellulite has only come about in the past 10-20 years. The technology just caught up with the understanding of what we need to do,” says Dr. Martin.

Doctors say historical treatments for cellulite have been pretty poor, especially cellulite creams, which are a billion-dollar-a-year industry. The problem with creams and other treatments is they treat only the outer part of the skin and not the structural problem of cellulite--which is under the skin.

“That’s one of the big problems with aging is the skin gets very thin. This device attacks that looseness underneath the skin,” says Dr. Martin to his unidentified patient.

The 54-year-old has battled cellulite since her early 30’s.

“I work out 4-5 days a week. It doesn’t matter what you do it, doesn’t work well to solve the problem,” she says.

But now, she has an apparent answer to smooth vibrant skin--and to feel confident--wearing just about anything.

“You can wear those short shorts you see in the fashion magazines,” she says.

Cellulaze costs between $5,000 and $7,000 per treatment area. Both of your back legs are considered one area, for example. The price is reduced if you do more than one area.

Consultations at Vitahl are free. The medical spa is located at 251 Steele St. In Denver.

It requires a local anesthetic where doctors make a few tiny incisions to insert the laser.

The whole procedure takes about an hour-and-a-half.

Doctors say their initial patients treated three years ago have maintained their results.

But the FDA says it based its decision only on three months of data, so it can only call the results short-term improvement.

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