I'd always wondered: If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we get rid of the craters in my butt? Then American ingenuity triumphantly launched Cellfina, an FDA-cleared clinical treatment for the root cause of cellulite: sagging bands of connective tissue that pull the skin down, causing it to pucker. Cellfina involves a doctor severing the bands with a needle, which leaves the skin free to bounce back into dreamy smoothness. One treatment yields results that can last two years—maybe longer!

On the big day, Francesca Fusco, MD, of New York City’s Wexler Dermatology, prescribed a Valium-Percoset cocktail that left me happily willing to have my tush photographed and my targeted dimples circled with a marker. Then Fusco whipped out the handheld Cellfina device, which has a "vacuum chamber" about the size of a petri dish and one sizable needle. She first applied suction to each dimple (it felt like someone unscrewing the lid of a pickle jar against my behind), then injected the area with numbing lidocaine. It hurt, but just a grimacing pain, not the suck-air-through-your-teeth kind. For the second part of the treatment, she once again suctioned each dimple before inserting the needle to do the actual tissue severing. I was so comfortably numb that I felt just a vibrating sensation; the accompanying mechanical whir reminded me of an electric carving knife. After just 20 minutes, it was over.

I crammed my flesh, along with my remaining dignity, into a compression garment (like a light girdle), which I’d be wearing for two weeks to minimize swelling. But even after the drugs wore off, I felt only mild tenderness. By that evening, I had a few bruises—mean ones, as if I’d been kicked by a farm animal—but did I already detect a certain...firmness? My husband and I contemplated my backside, as silently reverent as Kim and Kanye. Fusco had told me I might see an immediate “improvement” as a result of post-procedure swelling. It’s true: The next morning I once again had my unlovely lady lumps. Had I been cruelly tricked by the universe? No, I’m delighted to report: Now when I crane to inspect myself in the mirror, I see something decidedly smoother smiling back at me. Even if the glory isn’t forever, I’ve relished the chance to admire my rear end for once. I hope I’ll remember that glowing satisfaction long after it sags to my ankles. I consider that one giant leap—for this woman, anyway.

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