One Year After Cellulite Treatment, Patient Satisfaction Remains High

Doug Brunk

June 11, 2021

One year after a single treatment of cellulite with the Rapid Acoustic Pulse (RAP) device, 42 out of 43 patients said that they felt good about the results, an interim analysis from a multicenter study showed.

"I think this speaks to the duration of improvement" associated with this treatment, lead study author Elizabeth L. Tanzi, MD, said during the annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

The study is an extension of a prospective pivotal clinical trial that Tanzi first presented during late-breaking abstract session at the 2020 virtual annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. For the trial, she and her colleagues at four sites evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the RAP device in 62 women who were treated with a single, rapid acoustic pulse treatment comprised of 1-2 minutes on each identified dimple or large ridge of cellulite. In February 2021, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the device for the short-term improvement in the appearance of cellulite.

"The high peak pressure and fast repetition rate of this device will exploit the viscoelastic tissue compared to other acoustic wave devices that are on the market," said Tanzi, associate clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University, Washington. "Those compressed pulses from electronic filtering and reflector shape eliminate cavitation, heat, and pain. So, what we see physically is fiber septa disruption, as well as other nonthermal physical effects."

She and her colleagues used a specific photography and fixed lighting setup to record the treated areas at baseline, 12 weeks, and 52 weeks, and administered a patient satisfaction questionnaire at 12 and 52 weeks. Prior to treatment, the investigators marked the dimples and ridges intended for treatment. After placing a hydrogel dressing, it took 45-60 minutes to treat both buttocks and thighs with the RAP device. "It was completely noninvasive," said Tanzi, who practices in Chevy Chase, Md. "There was no anesthesia used: no incisions and no needles."

Among 57 patients who were evaluated at 12 weeks, the pain score on a scale of 0-10 was 2.4, while 61.5% strongly agreed and 35.9% agreed that their cellulite appeared improved. In addition, three blinded assessors were able to correctly identify the treated thigh 96% of the time and physician-graded Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale assessments showed 90% improvement of cellulite.

Follow-up Analysis

For the current subject satisfaction analysis, the investigators evaluated results from 43 patients in the trial who were followed for at least 52 weeks (a mean of 60 weeks). Of the 43 patients, 30 (69.8%) strongly agreed and 13 (30.2%) agreed that their cellulite "appears improved." In addition, 29 (67.4%) strongly agreed, 13 (30.2%) agreed, and 1 (2.3%) disagreed with the statement "I feel there is good improvement" of their cellulite.

"Currently, we are evaluating the blinded assessors' view of these patients and not just going with [findings from] the patient satisfaction survey, but I think these are encouraging results," Tanzi said. "We found that 42 out of 43 patients said, 'yes; I feel that there was good improvement of the area at 52 weeks.' "

Tanzi disclosed that she is a member of the speakers bureau for Eucerin. She is a member of the advisory board for Allergan, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Pulse Biosciences, Sciton, and Soliton. Soliton markets the RAP device.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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