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Cellulite is characterised by cosmetically unpleasant dimpled skin surfaces – the so called “orange peel” or “mattress – like” appearance. Cellulite is much more common in women than in men, and approximately 85 to 98% of women over the age of 20 years are affected. The reason for this is the gender differences in the histology of the subcutaneous fat tissue (i.e. the most superficial fat layer positioned right under the skin). The subcutaneous fat cells are grouped together and form fat clusters. Fat clusters are located in chambers, which in women are separated by vertical and horizontal Connective Tissue Septae (figure 1). The Septae are anchored rigid fibres that do not stretch with the skin as the volume within the walls of the fat chamber increases. When the fat chamber becomes too distended by enlarged fat cells and by retained intercellular fluids, it protrudes beyond the length of the vertical septae, pushing up the skin’s surface and resulting in a dimpled skin appearance (i.e. orange peel, mattress, cottage cheese-like appearance). Weight gain, and the enlargement of fat cells/chambers causes compression of blood and lymph vessels and affects blood and lymph circulation, thus contributing to the accumulation of intercellular fluids and physiological waste. This also promotes formation of cellulite. Figure 1: Subcutaneous fat tissue Fat Cells (clusters) Dimpled Skin Surface

Connective Tissue or Septae There are 3 classes of cellulite:

  • Class 1 – when no spontaneous dimpling is observed, and the “orange peel” skin appearance is only seen when the skin is pinched.
  • Class 2 – spontaneous dimpling of the skin is present while standing and disappears while lying.
  • Class 3 – spontaneous dimpling of the skin is present while standing and lying.

VelaShape II VelaShape is the most in-demand medical device for treating cellulite and body contouring. It provides easy, non-invasive, comfortable and deep therapeutic treatment. Currently, over 10 000 women in the world are treated with VelaShape every day. The VelaShape instrument is designed to treat the skin and subcutaneous fat tissue (i.e. right under the skin; figure 1). Therefore, it works in a superficial plane – 15mm from skin surface. VelaShape treatment provides clinically proven and highly reproducible results and is FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA) approved for:

  • Temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite
  • Temporary reduction of thigh circumference
  • Temporary improvement in the local blood circulation
  • Relief of minor muscle aches and spasms

VelaShape device is also CE approved for body contouring. As a result of the VelaShape treatment, there is also skin tightening and skin texture improvement, as well as improvement in lymphatic drainage. The VelaShape device employs 4 different technologies:

  • Vacuum (Suction)
  • Rollers (Mechanical massage)
  • Infrared light (IR, heat)
  • Bipolar Radio frequency (bipolar RF, heat)


The vacuum increases the circulation by opening up the compressed blood vessels. The mechanical massage by the rollers of the VelaShape VSmooth applicator will aid in draining the excess intercellular fluids and toxins secreted from the fat cells into the lymphatic system. Both the vacuum and the rollers also aid the demarcated heating effect of the infrared light (IR) and bipolar radiofrequency (RF), by sucking the skin into the applicator and helping the heat to penetrate deeper (figure 2).

IR and RF provide heating of the dermis (deeper skin layer) and subcutaneous fat tissue, respectively. The desired temperature increase is approximately 42-43°C. Higher temperature further improves blood circulation in the treated area and thus increases oxygen supply to fat cells. Under the influence of heat, oxygen dissociates from Oxy-Hb (oxy-haemoglobin). Due to the higher availability of oxygen, the metabolic rate in fat cells is increased and fat breaks down into fatty acids and glycerol. In other words, fat lipolysis (break down of fat) takes place and the fat cells diminish in size.

Both vacuum and rollers also help to reduce the size of the fat cells by draining excess fluids into the lymphatic system. This is accompanied by heat stimulated shrinkage of the connective tissue septa. All of the above physiological processes facilitate the overall shrinkage of the size of the fat chambers, thus leading to a reduction in the appearance of cellulite and a reduction in the circumference of the treated area.

VelaShape treatment also provides a noticeable skin tightening effect due to mechanical and heat stimulation of dermal fibroblasts – skin cells responsible for synthesis of collagen. Stimulation of fibroblasts initiates synthesis of new collagen. Heat produced by IR and RF also shrinks the existing collagen fibres and visibly improves skin texture.

Figure 2: VelaShape – treatment mechanism

IR Heats the tissue up to 2 mm in depth. RF Heats the tissue up to 20 mm in depth.


Treatment protocols are individual; on average we recommend 4 to 6 treatments once a week. Following your main treatment course, it is recommended to get maintenance treatments once a month for a few months and thereafter once every 3 to 6 months. The VelaShape results will last longer in individuals that follow a balanced diet and regular exercise regimen.


For body contouring and skin tightening VelaShape treatment may be performed on the neck (double chin) and lower jowl line (to improve facial contour).

For reduction of cellulite, body contouring and circumferential reduction, and skin tightening VelaShape treatment may be performed on the back (bra line), love handles, arms, stomach, buttocks and upper thighs.


VelaShape is safe for all skin types (Fitzpatrick’s types I- VI). It does not cause any short or long term health effects. Mild superficial bruising may occur in some individuals. Most patients find this treatment quite comfortable.


There is usually a gradual improvement in the appearance of cellulite and circumferential reduction during the course of VelaShape treatment. Results in body contouring can be seen as early as from the first to the second session. Clinical studies report an average of 2.5cm loss in the treated area post treatment. The reduction in the appearance of cellulite is usually noticed after 4 sessions.


VelaShape treatments are not recommended for individuals with BMI (Body Mass index) higher then 30 (BMI>30). It is contraindicated in patients with varicose veins and oedema due to lymphatic drainage problems.


Photos Courtesy of Dr. Adatto

Photos Courtesy of Dr. Tastan

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, M.D., Canada

Photos courtesy of Bulent Tastan, MD, Turkey.

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, M.D., Canada

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, M.D., Canada

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, MD, Canada

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, MD, Canada

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, MD, Canada

Photos courtesy of Gerald Boey, MD, Canada


The circulatory system consists of a driving blood pump – the heart, and a system of blood vessels – arteries and veins. Arteries supply blood to all tissues to provide oxygenation and nourishment at the cellular level. Veins return blood to the heart with a high content of carbon dioxide. Excess liquid (~10%) accumulated in the (intracellular) interstitial space that cannot be reabsorbed by the venous capillaries is known as lymph and forms within a second circuit of circulation; the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system transports fluids, nutrients, and wastes exuded from tissues back to the bloodstream through connections of lymph vessels with major veins. The lymphatic system does not have any source of pumping and transports lymph slowly toward the heart due to the breathing movement and the movement of muscles and the circulatory system. Impaired lymph circulation may cause accumulation of fluid in the intracellular space and that would contribute to cellulite and swelling. Presotherapy is widely used in aesthetic medicine, angiology, physiotherapy and rehabilitation for improved blood flow circulation and lymph drainage.


Presotherapy is performed with an aesthetic medical device especially designed to increase blood circulation and lymph drainage via soft yet effective tissue massage. The use of a pressure therapy massage system provides activation of both the venous and lymphatic circulation, thus stimulating the reabsorption of interstitial fluids that are not absorbed by the venous system, favoring its drainage into the blood vessels.

Presotherapy massage has numerous benefits:

  • Increased blood circulation provides better oxygen supply to tissues and thus increases metabolic rates and assists in slimming.
  • High level of oxygenation also facilitates cell regeneration and improves skin tone.
  • Increased lymph drainage helps to eliminate metabolic waste from the tissues and therefore provides general detoxification of the body.
  • Improved blood and lymph circulation helps to relieve muscle pain and it improves the digestive system by relaxing abdominal and intestinal muscles.

At Aesthetic Essentials we combine presotherapy with VelaShape treatments for an optimal effect on cellulite and body contouring.

Contact Details:

BluBird Medical Center
Cnr Athol Oaklands Road and Fort Street
Birnam 2196
011 440 7776
082 058 9935

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