Is QWO® the future of cellulite treatment?
The new injectable for treating cellulite, QWO®, is game-changing: with a series of 3 injectable treatments at our office, each of which takes about 15 minutes, you can see a significant reduction in the appearance of cellulite in the buttocks. This is the first effective, no-downtime treatment for a cosmetic issue that affects about 90% of women—and it has arrived just as “cheeky” swimsuit bottoms that reveal more of the buttocks have established themselves as a mainstream trend.
Still, we have received a lot of questions from women who want to learn more about this injectable for cellulite. As your Denver QWO injectors, we have answers! Continue reading to learn how QWO works, what side effects to expect from QWO treatment, and why we think QWO just might be the future of cellulite treatment. (Spoiler: It might be time to pull the trigger on that new swimsuit you’ve been eyeing!)
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is the term used for dimpled skin that usually occurs in the buttocks, thighs, lower abdomen, and arms. While cellulite occurs in areas where fat cells are present, diet and exercise cannot typically get rid of cellulite, due to the underlying fibrous bands which create the mattress-like surface appearance.
What causes cellulite?
Where you see a cellulite dimple, there are fibrous bands beneath the surface that are tightly binding the skin to the underlying muscle and connective tissue. Cellulite is caused by these bands tightening. As fat accumulates between the fibrous bands, the dimpled areas are more visible in contrast with the plump areas of fat. Further, as we age or experience sun damage, skin loses some of its thickness; this thinning skin, or skin laxity, heightens the dimpling effect.
Why is cellulite more prevalent in women?
Men and women’s subcutaneous fat and septae form very differently. Men’s septae are highly fibrous, and their fat cells are comparatively small. Women’s septae form differently and women’s individual fat cells tend to grow larger, leading to the appearance of cellulite.
What is QWO for cellulite reduction? How does it work?
QWO is an FDA-approved injectable treatment for cellulite in the buttocks of women. Injected directly into the cellulite dimples, the collagen-dissolving enzyme in QWO is thought to work by weakening the fibrous bands that cause cellulite, releasing the cellulite dimples and allowing the fat to settle into a more even pattern, leading the buttocks to appear more smooth. QWO may also encourage new collagen to grow and thus help thicken the skin.
What should I expect from QWO treatment?
Your QWO treatment will occur over the course of 3 sessions, scheduled 21 days apart. Each treatment takes about 15 minutes: we mark the cellulite dimples to treat and then inject each one with three small doses of QWO.
There is no downtime needed after treatment, but bruising is a very common side effect after QWO. In clinical trials, 84% of women who received QWO experienced bruising afterwards.
It is important to go into treatment with realistic expectations about this; bruising is a normal, predictable side effect of QWO and does not mean that treatment is unsafe. To alleviate bruising, apply arnica-based ointments and avoid blood-thinning supplements like aspirin, ibuprofen, and fish oil. Bruises should subside in less than 21 days. For most women, this side effect is reduced after the second and third treatment sessions.
You will be able to see your results about a week after your final treatment. This will likely be a very obvious improvement, but not necessarily a complete removal of all cellulite.
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What is recovery like? Can I immediately go back to normal activities?
There is no downtime required to recover from QWO. While bruising occurs in most patients, this side effect typically does not interfere with everyday activities, so you can resume your normal routine directly after QWO injections.
Who is qualified to perform QWO injections?
At BEAUTY by BUFORD, board certified plastic surgeon Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS and dermatology physician assistant Lauren Mitschrich, PA-C perform QWO injections. While less qualified providers may offer QWO, we strongly recommend getting QWO (and any injectables) only from either a board certified plastic surgeon or a highly-qualified injector working under one. QWO is a new treatment modality, and choosing those with a strong medical and aesthetic background will help to ensure your safety and a beautiful aesthetic result.
After your first 3 treatment sessions, how long do results last?
While we do not yet know exactly how long the effects of QWO will last, the company that manufactures QWO is currently running a long-term study to gather data answering this very question. We do know that QWO received FDA approval based on a 6-month study following over 800 patients, and that the majority of treated patients saw improvement in the appearance of their cellulite during that time.
What is the cost of QWO?
The total cost of QWO will depend on the number of injections you need, which can vary by patient. Regardless, all patients who receive QWO will require 3 injection sessions, spaced 21 days apart. The total price for all three sessions, as well as a complimentary consultation, begins at $2500 for moderate cases of cellulite in the buttocks.
Is QWO really safe?
To be cleared by the FDA, QWO was required to undergo large-scale clinical trials and show evidence of both safety and efficacy. In over 400 patients who received injections with QWO, side effects were limited to the injection area, and most resolved within 21 days.
How does QWO compare with existing cellulite treatments?
Where existing cellulite treatments are either invasive, largely ineffective, and/or only work on mild to moderate cellulite, QWO is game-changing because it’s a no-downtime treatment for moderate to severe cellulite that is also proven to be effective.
QWO is game-changing because it’s a no-downtime treatment that is also proven to be effective.
Existing cellulite treatments include laser and radiofrequency (RF) powered devices, which work on subcutaneous fat and may also address the fibrous septae, as well as devices that physically sever the septae to achieve similar results to QWO. These surgical procedures require downtime for recovery. Non-invasive RF skin tightening devices may also be used on the surface of the skin, with temporary and subtle results.
Is QWO the future of cellulite treatment?
I would say yes: QWO definitely stands out as the most convenient available option for treating cellulite, and it is likely to be some time before another treatment breakthrough is made. It would also be difficult to beat the convenience of an injectable, no-downtime solution. At my Denver plastic surgery office, we enthusiastically recommend QWO.