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Int J Surg. 2015 Dec;24(Pt B):210-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2015.07.644. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for the treatment of cellulite--A current metaanalysis.

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SportPraxis Prof. Dr. Karsten Knobloch, Hannover, Germany. Electronic address:
Plastic, Hand and Burn Surgery, University of Schlewig Holstein, Lubeck, Germany. Electronic address:



The aim of this metaanalysis was to investigate the effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in cellulite.


Electronic databases (such as Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus and Ovid) as well as reference lists of the available studies were evaluated in June 2015 by two expert examiners. Assessment of each study's methodological quality was performed with the help of the published quality index tool by Downs and Black.


This metanalysis included a total of eleven clinical trials on the effects of ESWT on cellulite with a total of 297 included females. Among the eleven clinical trials five randomized controlled trials on ESWT in cellulite with a total number of 123 females have been published so far. Both, focused as well as radial ESWT devices have been found effective in treating cellulite so far. Typically, one or two sessions per week and six to eight sessions overall were studied in the published clinical trials. Overall, outcome parameters mainly focused on digital standardized photographs, circumference measurements and specific ultrasound examinations. Reporting quality showed substantial heterogenity from 22 to 82 points with a mean of 57 points.


This metanalysis identified eleven published clinical studies on ESWT in cellulite with five randomized-controlled trials among them. There is growing evidence that both, radial as well as focused ESWT and the combination of both are able to improve the degree of cellulite. Typically, six to eight treatments once or twice a week have been studied. Long-term follow-up data beyond one year are lacking as well as details on potential combination therapies in cellulite such as with low level laser therapy (LLLT), cryolipolysis and others.


Aesthetic; Body contouring; Cellulite; ESWT; Extracorporeal shock wave; Metaanalysis; Therapy

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