QWO Cellulite Treatment

What is Qwo®?

Studies indicate that approximately 90 percent of women are affected by cellulite. Some men develop this condition, though it is much less common. Cellulite is the appearance of dimpling that is usually seen on the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Historically, this condition was associated primarily with fat, but there is more to it than that. We now understand that cellulite requires both the presence of fat, and not much of it, and the presence of fibrous bands of connective tissue. The fibrous septae that tether the dermis to underlying muscle tissue can compress fat cells at certain points, resulting in dimples. 

QWO is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks. Its active ingredient, collagenase clostridium histolyticum, causes the breakdown of Types I and III collagen, the very types that form the fibrous septae in the dermis. The drug manufacturer has conducted multiple tests using collagenase clostridium histolyticum and has determined the precise injection technique and frequency to achieve desirable outcomes in adult women of all ages.

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How does QWO work?

Enzymes called collagenases target the structural causes under the skin, where cellulite starts. It’s thought that QWO works by releasing the thickened collagen and fibrous bands that hold cellulite together, then redistributes fat cells, while stimulating the growth of new collagen. The result is tighter, firmer, more youthful looking skin.

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How is QWO administered and performed?

QWO injections are administered in the office without the need for an anesthetic. Because the buttocks area has plenty of fatty tissue, most patients find their QWO injections more comfortable than getting dermal fillers. To treat cellulite dimples, the provider first “maps” the buttocks using an erasable marker. Once dimples have been identified, the patient lies on their stomach on the treatment table and the provider administers injections carefully around each dimple. The entire process can take as little as 10 minutes. 


How do I know if QWO is right for me?

QWO is an excellent solution for women who want to decrease the appearance of cellulite dimpling on the buttocks. In clinical trials, the injectable treatment demonstrated outstanding results on women with very light to very dark skin tone. To determine the appropriateness of this treatment, our staff will observe not only the treatment area but the condition of the skin. QWO is indicated for cellulite, which is caused in part by collagenous fibrous bands that anchor the skin to underlying tissue. However, dimpling is not only caused by fatty tissue protruding against these fibrous bands. Sometimes, what looks like dimpling is really tissue laxity. The skin becomes loose as we age and our collagen and elastin fibers weaken. Laxity is an alteration of the skin’s surface that is not related to fibrous septae. 


Can QWO be used to treat cellulite in other areas besides the buttocks?

FDA approved patient information for QWO states “Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider.” That said, doctors are extremely careful at this point in the use of QWO. Endo, the maker of QWO, included the thighs in one of its studies for FDA approval, but not all of them. For this reason, the drug is currently approved only for the buttocks. Clinical research into the use of this drug on the thighs is ongoing to determine the best dosage and injection techniques. If you’re interested in cellulite reduction in the thighs or other area, check in with us periodically to see where QWO stands!


How many treatments will I need?

Each treatment visit may include up to two treatment areas. QWO injections will be given three weeks apart for a total of three treatment visits.


What is recovery like after QWO treatment?

During clinical trials, approximately 84% of patients experienced significant bruising after their first round of injections. This side effect has been attributed to the possible minor weakening of blood vessel walls in the area of treatment. The extent of bruising did not correlate with significant pain. Patients do not require post-treatment downtime to reduce bruising. They may carry on with their normal daily activities. Slight tenderness or soreness may occur but should fade within 24 to 48 hours. There is also a small chance that the treatment area may develop a few hard lumps as tissue changes occur and collagen breaks down. In clinical studies, side effects from treatment were transient and generally mild, with the exception of bruising after the first treatment. This side effect is much less severe after subsequent treatments. 

Patients may begin to see a noticeable decrease in cellulite within 4 weeks of their first appointment. 


What is cellulite?

Cellulite is a complex multi-factorial condition hallmarked by fat trapped in the dermal layer of your skin leading to dimpling, waviness, or “cottage cheese” appearing skin texture.


Patient Testimonial

“Having never spent a lot of time on myself with the priorities of life – husband, children, career, I believed it was time to give back to me. I was clear in my expectations to look natural, not artificial, and was vocal in that request. Dr. Flaharty more than exceeded my desires which is evident by the responses of people who knew me before and after. Some comments were I’ve never seen you more glowing, more beautiful, and you still look like you. What better comments could anyone want to hear? If this is something you’d like to do for yourself, do it. You won’t be sorry. And be sure to follow up Lisa for great skin care to make you look even more wonderful. This lady knows her business as well.” -Pamela F.


What causes cellulite?

Cellulite forms when fibrous bands called septae, which connect the skin to the underlying muscle fascia, tighten irregularly, pulling down on the skin, and/or begin to break down, allowing the normal layer of fat beneath the skin to push upward. This results in the puckering or the cottage cheese appearance. An estimated 85 to 90% of all adult women have some cellulite.


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Curious about how Dr. Flaharty and the team at Azul Cosmetic Surgery in Fort MyersNaples, and Bonita Springs can help you look your best? Request a consultation using our online form, or call the office directly at {tel}.

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