Cellulite may be a common problem, but it's not one that any woman loves dealing with. We live in a part of the country where shorts and bathing suits are the norm. Buttocks cellulite can put a damper on the confidence you feel when wearing the clothes you love. Through the years, women have sought all sorts of treatments to resolve the cellulite issue. Many have dieted and exercised to extremes to get smoother curves. Some have tried liposuction. To date, cellulite remains a frustrating and challenging problem to solve, but now we have a new option to consider. In our San Diego practice, we're now treating buttocks cellulite with QWO, a powerful FDA-approved injectable.
What is QWO cellulite treatment?
QWO is the first injectable medication to be approved by the FDA for the correction of cellulite. The medication, comprised of CCH-Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum, eliminates deep cellulite dimples by dissolving the fibrous bands that cause them. Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum is an enzyme that disrupts the structure of Type 1 and Type 3 collagen. QWO injections insert this enzyme directly around individual cellulite dimples to release the skin from the fibrous septae pulling against it. The process is referred to as Enzymatic Subcision and Remodeling (ESR™). Currently, QWO is approved for the treatment of cellulite on the buttocks. Doctors are beginning to use the product off-label to smooth the appearance of qualified cellulite dimples on the thighs.
Who is an ideal candidate for this procedure?
During clinical trials, QWO achieved the best results on patients with moderate to severe cellulite dimples on the buttocks who also had good skin elasticity.
Cellulite can occur on various parts of the body but primarily develops on the thighs and buttocks area. This condition is the appearance of depressions in the skin around pockets of fat. For this reason, cellulite is often perceived as a fat-related issue. According to studies, cellulite is found in 90% of women. It does not discriminate and loves to show up on any ethnicity, size, and shape. Lumps and dimples don't appear only because fatty tissue exists in the area but because fat gets trapped between the skin and the connective tissue beneath by fibrous bands that run perpendicular to the skin. Cellulite is much more common in women than in men because the pattern of their connective tissue is different. There is more space in the pattern of tissue in women, so more opportunity for fatty tissue to protrude against the fibrous bands.
If you have cellulite dimples in the buttocks area and do not have severe skin laxity, you may be an excellent candidate for QWO injections. This medication is not approved for women who are pregnant or nursing and should not be used by women with bleeding disorders. QWO is not approved for use in men.
How long will the results of my QWO treatment last?
QWO is still a relatively new cellulite treatment so we do not have long-term data at this time. That said, current clinical information indicates that the results of QWO can last for one to two years without the need for additional injections.
The QWO cellulite treatment procedure
Getting QWO cellulite treatment is simple. After a brief consultation and evaluation of your cellulite, the doctor can complete the treatment process in less than half an hour. To achieve optimal results, the doctor marks cellulite dimples while you are standing. Then, once all dimples have been marked, the doctor injects QWO around each while you lie on the treatment table. Due to the amount of fatty tissue that pads the buttocks, QWO injections are only mildly uncomfortable. Expect a slight pinching sensation that goes away as quickly as it occurs. The treatment may consist of up to a dozen tiny injections, after which you can go about your day as usual.
Recovery and aftercare for QWO treatment
As an injectable treatment, QWO does not require any downtime for recovery. Side effects associated with this treatment are similar to other injectables and include swelling, pinpoint redness, and bruising. Where QWO is different is in the potential for bruising. The enzyme in this drug dissolves the tough collagen fibers that make up the septae that pull on the skin. The veins in the treatment area may also be affected by the action of the enzyme. While the veins do not sustain damage, a small amount of leakage may occur. In clinical trials, patients reported significant bruising after their first QWO treatment. Fortunately, this side effect seems to be related only to the first round of injections. Bruises resolve in one to two weeks. Subsequent treatments (we schedule a total of three) do not tend to result in much bruising at all. QWO sessions are scheduled 21 days apart.