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Cellulite Treatment: A Myth or Reality: A Prospective Randomized, Controlled Trial of Two Therapies, Endermologie and Aminophylline Cream

Collis, Nicholas B.Sc., F.R.C.S.(Ed.); Elliot, Lee-Anne M.R.C.P., F.R.C.R.; Sharpe, Caroline; Sharpe, David T. O.B.E., M.A., F.R.C.S.


Cellulite is a common phenomenon that particularly affects the thighs and buttocks of women. Little scientific evidence exists to support any of the many advertised treatments for it. A total of 52 of 69 women, who were divided into three groups, completed a 12-week, randomized, controlled trial in which the effectiveness of two different treatments for cellulite was assessed. The patients acted as their own controls. The treatments investigated were twice-daily application of aminophylline cream and twice-weekly treatment with Endermologie ES1. Group 1 (double blind) received aminophylline to one thigh/buttock and a placebo cream to the other. Group 2 (singly blind) received Endermologie to one thigh/buttock. Group 3 received Endermologie to both sides and used the same cream regimen as group 1. Results were assessed subjectively by the patient and by clinical examination and photographic assessment by the surgeon (before and after the trial). Morphologic assessment included body mass index, thigh girth at two points, and thigh fat depth measurement by ultrasound. No statistical difference existed in measurements between legs for any of the treatment groups (paired t test, p > 0.4). The best subjective assessment, by the patients themselves, revealed that only 3 of 35 aminophylline-treated legs and 10 of 35 Endermologie-treated legs had their cellulite appearance improved. The authors do not believe that either of these two treatments is effective in improving the appearance of cellulite.

Bradford, West Yorkshire, England

4 Reedling Drive; Morley; Leeds; West Yorkshire; LS27 8GQ; U.K.; (Collis)

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Received for publication December 11, 1998; revised February 22, 1999.

Presented at the joint winter meeting of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation of America, Royal College of Surgeons, England, December 1, 1998.

©1999American Society of Plastic Surgeons