Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
There is a person turning 60 years old every 10 seconds. This means over 100 million people will have loose skin for which they can seek medical or surgical treatments. Also, with the obesity epidemic, more and more patients seek liposuction which is the most commonly performed procedure around the world to remove fat. After a certain age however, liposuction alone will leave the patients with loose skin requiring surgical excision of the skin for example as in “tummy tuck.” In the era of social media in our image-conscious society, it is not surprising that skin tightening procedures are one of the fastest growing market segments.
At Liftique, our plastic surgeons use the cutting-edge technologies in skin tightening to help our patients achieve their goals in facial rejuvenation and body contouring without the need to go under the knife. Using a combination of different methods, we are able to tighten the skin to the point that borderline patients, who would have otherwise needed surgical skin excision, get tighter skin without surgical scars.
Internal radiofrequency energy (Radio-Frequency Assisted Liposuction or RFAL) has been shown to significantly tighten the skin when deployed alone or in conjunction with liposuction procedures. The device contains an internal and external electrode with uncoated tips. The RF energy emitted from the internal electrode causes a coagulative necrosis of subdermal fat and reticular dermis along with contraction of Fibro Septal Network (FSN). This bipolar method of RF application also causes a non-ablative, inflammatory heating of the dermis leading to a secondary remodeling and contraction of dermis overt 6 months. This device moves slowly through the superficial subdermal fat, causing a uniform controlled coagulation necrosis. The speed, internal and external temperatures are adjusted based on patient’s skin thickness, laxity and the amount of subcutaneous fat.
On the more superficial level, production and quality of collagen and elastin decreases with aging. In late 30’s, early 40’s the effect of this decrease in the integrity of collagen structures is more “felt” than seen. People at this stage notice their skin laxity when they pull it away from their face or body, but it is rarely noticeable in photos. At later stages, this leads to wrinkles and “crepiness” of the skin. At Liftique, we use a dermal handpiece and cartridge with electrode fitted micro needles to deliver bipolar RF energy to deep reticular dermis. This method while bypassing the epidermis with insulated needles, induces controlled fractional injury to the dermis creating new elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid. This machine has a direct real-time temperature and impedance feedback system to control energy delivery during deep dermal heating proving a uniform treatment of the skin and dermis. This external method can be used to treat the crepe skin, or to promote collagen synthesis and thus “preventing” the natural progress of facial aging.
Combination of the above-mentioned two technologies provide significant (more than 40%) skin tightening along with improvement of “crepe” appearance of the skin. Different areas including lower face, neck, jowls, abdomen, thighs, knees, arms, back and bra rolls can be treated with this method with or without liposuction. Given the minimal invasiveness of these methods, they can comfortably be done under local anesthesia with little downtime or health risks.