SmoothShapes® is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that reduces the appearance of cellulite. This treatment was first developed by Elemé Medical Inc., which was later acquired by Cynosure Inc. SmoothShapes® uses a technology called Photomology® to treat cellulite using specialized lasers, mechanical massage and suction. The purpose of this procedure is to shape the body while smoothing a patient’s previously dimpled skin.
The SmoothShapes® procedure works by targeting the fibrous septae, which are connective bands of tissue that attach the skin to deeper tissues. As the fibrous septae lose flexibility, they begin to press into the fatty layer of tissue located directly beneath the skin. The deeper the fibrous septae dig into the underlying fat, the more dimpled the skin will appear. Through the use of specialized lasers and massaging mechanisms, Photomology® is able to restore these tissues to a more flexible state.
Another function of Photomology® is to reduce the size of engorged fat cells. Fat cells are not destroyed during this procedure. Instead, the Smoothshapes® lasers penetrate the fat cells, melting some of the fat from the cell. This results in a tighter, smoother appearance.
This body shaping procedure is most effective when used on the hips, knees, waist, abdomen, back and buttocks. During a Smoothshapes® treatment, patients should expect to feel some heat in the affected area. Patients also will feel a light suction and mild to moderate massaging. Each treatment session will last 10-30 minutes. The length of each session will depend on the size of the area being treated.
Patients should not experience any pain during or after treatment. At most, a patient might feel uncomfortable because of the heat and the rolling sensation passing over his or her skin. The most common side effects that patients experience are localized redness and tenderness.
One Smoothshapes® treatment is rarely enough to produce a noticeable difference in a patient’s cellulite. For cellulite removal, patients might need eight to 10 treatments over a four- to five-week period. If a patient is not satisfied with his or her results, additional treatments might be necessary for further cellulite reduction. Subsequent treatments are commonly scheduled six months after a patient’s last treatment session. This is because the skin might continue to tighten and improve for as long as six months after treatment.
The effectiveness of the Smoothshapes® procedure will vary per patient. A patient’s results will depend largely on the original severity of his or her cellulite. The number and frequency of treatment sessions will also affect a patient’s end results.
In addition to the effectiveness of the Smoothshapes® procedure, the longevity of its results also vary, but research has shown that most patients retain their results for more than a year after treatment. Over time, a patient’s skin will begin to lose elasticity and take on a less even texture. How long this takes will depend on the person’s age, body composition and natural skin elasticity.