What Are Cut and Fill Treatments: Are They Worth It?

When dealing with cellulite, the range of treatment options available to women are virtually endless, varied and often confusing. From non-aggressive endermologie® treatments to invasive liposuction, the billion-dollar beauty industry has pretty much every avenue covered – but not all avenues lead to the best results.

For example, while liposuction may be useful in remodeling contours, it does little to improve the appearance of cellulite. Because using general liposuction techniques are useless or harmful as cellulite treatments, some in the medical and beauty communities are now trying to tackle cellulite dimple by dimple – often referred to as “cut and fill” treatments.

CUTTING THE BANDSfigure-33-02-06

The fibrous strands of connective tissue which create compartments for fat cells are partially responsible for the dimpled look of cellulite. One of the surgical methods used to reduce cellulite is to cut the bands that surround the fat cells.

During the procedure, called subcision cellulite surgery, a liposuction cannula inserted through a small incision is used to break the bands and remaining dimpling in the treated area is filled with tissue grafts harvested from the patient’s own body. Once cut, the bands cannot be repaired, so the results – which can be unpredictable – are permanent.

As a surgical procedure, all normal surgical risks apply. When performed improperly, it causes bleeding, bruising, pain and scarring that may result in firmness that lasts for months. Some may need a second surgery to achieve the desired results.


During this procedure, either the patient’s own fat or a synthetic dermal filler is used to fill remaining cellulite indentations. Deeper cellulite dimples will not usually disappear without filler to keep that particular section of skin raised.

As with band cutting, there is no guarantee of a smooth, predictable result. Some injections will survive, while others may not, calling for another procedure. Additionally, there is a chance of lumpiness developing in the case of over-filling or a significant loss of weight. The results of this procedure is temporary and it is commonly recommended that laser treatments be performed as part of the treatment plan.

A series of surgical treatments may leave one area cellulite-free, treating just one area is akin to putting on a plastic bandage – it’s not a cure. On the other hand, taking cellulite treatments into one’s own hands costs far less and can be twice as rewarding.


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