A multicenter study of cellulite treatment with a variable emission radio frequency system

Dermatol Ther. 2009 Jan-Feb;22(1):74-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2008.01218.x.


Radio frequency (RF) systems have been reported as producing electrothermally mediated and subcutaneous effects. The present study evaluates a new approach to treat cellulite with a bipolar RF device. The buttocks of 50 patients were treated, 10 from each of five multinational centers with a novel bipolar RF technology set at 6 J/cm(3), which changes its frequency between 0.6 and 2.4 MHz according to impedance of tissue. Twelve weekly sessions were given for 12 minutes on each buttock, with a treatment end point of 42 degrees C external skin temperature. Cellulite changes and tissue condition were assessed before and immediately after the first session, before the final 12th session, and 2 months thereafter. The patient Satisfaction Index was recorded. Objective evaluation involved clinical photography, three-dimensional optical skin surface measurement, and histological findings. Almost all patients noted improvement of cellulite and body silhouette at the final session, which slightly decreased at the 2-month assessment. Improved skin appearance was objectively detected. Histological findings following the first session showed reactive edema and lysis of adipocyte membranes, possibly implicated in the final effects achieved. The RF technology used in the present multicenter study improved the general aspect of skin and cellulite, with high patient Satisfaction Index. Maintenance sessions might lead to even better and longer-lasting results.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / radiation effects
  • Adult
  • Buttocks / radiation effects*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heating*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radiofrequency Therapy*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism
  • Subcutaneous Fat / radiation effects*
  • Young Adult