Background: Cellulite is a condition usually limited to women. The most common location for this surface irregularity is the thigh. Evaluation of treatment efficacy is difficult because of the reliance on patient satisfaction surveys and flash photography, which can “flatten” surface texture. Reproducibility of photographs is also difficult, as subtle changes in body position can affect appearance.
Methods: Twenty women with mild to moderate cellulite of their lateral thighs were enrolled. Pretreatment and posttreatment assessment included patient weight, body mass index, percentage body fat, standard digital photographs, VECTRA three-dimensional images, and patient questionnaire. Patients received two treatments per week for 4 weeks. Treatment time was 15 minutes per thigh using the SmoothShapes device. Patients were evaluated 1, 3, and 6 months after their last treatment. To be considered improved after treatment, both thighs needed clear improvement in contour as determined by the “untextured” images obtained with the VECTRA camera system. This device depicts skin contour independent of incident lighting.
Results: There were no complications. Seventeen patients had complete data for analysis. Ninety-four percent of the patients felt their cellulite was improved. VECTRA analysis showed 82 percent improvement at 1 month, 76 percent improvement at 3 months, and 76 percent improvement at 6 months. Initial cellulite irregularities and improvement were more difficult to discern using standard digital photographs. There was an average increase in patient weight, body mass index, and percentage body fat at 6 months.
Conclusion: The SmoothShapes device provided improvement in surface contour (cellulite) 6 months after the last treatment in the majority of the patients based on patient survey and VECTRA analysis.