Cellulite is very common. It appears in teenagers and may bother a lot of women throughout their life time. Due to the complexity of the problem, there is no permanent cure for cellulite as the lumpy and dimpling skin over the thighs, hips and buttocks still challenge the best of the cosmetic dermatologists, plastic surgeons and aesthetic physicians.

A new study posted in Longevity and Age Management, Aging, Skin-Hair, Women’s Health, Aesthetic Medicine on Wed May 13, 2009 shows that combination laser treatment and fat transplantation may help combat cellulite.

Robert Gotkin, M.D., F.A.C.S., from the Cosmetique Dermatology, Laser & Plastic Surgery, LLP, in New York, N.Y., co-authored a study to determine the effects of laser energy used in combination with an autologous fat transplant to improve the signs of cellulite.

The study included 52 women with grades 3 and 4 cellulite. Participants were treated with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser, after which they underwent an autologous fat transplantation in fat-depleted target areas. The laser was used to break down fat stored in fat cells, then to superficially break up the fibrous bands that connect the muscle to the skin and cause the skin to dimple and have an orange peel-like effect. Autologous fat was then transplanted to the areas with the most severe concave contour deformities. The goal was to fill out those areas in order to provide a smoother, more even contour to the target skin’s surface.

At the conclusion of the study, the participants completed a patient self-assessment questionnaire. Almost 85 percent rated their improvements as either “good” or “excellent.”

Although Dr. Gotkin believes that the results of this combination treatment are lasting, he notes that the effects will lessen over time as the women age. “As a woman gets older and continues to develop skin laxity, cellulite will likely return,” Dr. Gotkin says. “However, in the 12- to 30-month follow-up that we had in our study patients, we could significantly improve the cellulite long-term. Most of the approaches currently used in aesthetic surgery are noninvasive and therefore also achieve minimal results. Our goal was to give some permanent improvement in the appearance of cellulite and we were able to achieve that using this surgical technique.”