ThermiTight and ThermiSmooth
The Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. JoAnne Lopes, is excited to provide the non surgical ThermiRF skin tightening technology. ThermiRF has been around since 2012 and was FDA approved for Botox like effects for the glabella and “eleven of the forehead”. Since that time physicians have been using the Thermi radio frequency to non surgically tighten skin of the neck, arms, back rolls, knees, abdomen, and anterior and inner thighs.
Q. So how does ThermiTight work?
A. ThermiRF Tight is different from current non surgical skin tightening procedures that use old ultrasound, light or laser. Instead ThermiTight uses a tiny smart tip Thermistor probe which is placed just below the skin to heat all through structural compartments of the skin, ie dermis, fat, and fascia using radio frequency. This radio frequency heat causes collagen remodeling and ultimately skin tightening and smoothing.
Q. Why would a patient want ThermiTight over other traditional procedures such as surgery?
A. At Dr. JoAnne Lopes’ office, the patient may have concerns about neck or arm skin laxity but does not feel like they are ready for a surgical procedure such as a neck or arm lift. They don’t want the surgical scars particularly associated with an arm lift. ThermiRF is for “the inbetween patient”. If during your consultation it is determined that you are a candidate for the skin tightening that the ThermiRF can give you, this may be ideal for you. It is important to remember that not all patients are candidates and realistic expectations must be determined.
Q. So who are candidates for ThermiRF?
A. Patients who have early signs of facial aging. These patients have some skin laxity of the neck with small jowls and minimum submental fat. Patients who also demonstrate axillary hyperhidrosis and minor thigh cellulite also benefit from ThermiRF. Finally patients with minor skin fat and laxity of the upper arms and inner thighs as well as those with back rolls and abdominal skin looseness may also benefit from ThermiRF. If you have excess skin or skin laxity and fat, you will probably be a better candidate for a surgical procedure.
Q. How is the procedure performed?
A. Dr. JoAnne Lopes will usually prescribe a pre medication such as Valium or Ativan to help you relax before the procedure. You will need someone to drive you to and from the procedure if you want the pre medication. Once in the room where the procedure will be performed, the area is cleansed and draped with sterile drapes. Next Dr. Lopes will mark the area and inject with warm tumescent local anesthesia. A very small incision with a needle is made and the ThermiRF catheter is inserted just under the skin. Heat from the catheter is applied to the subcutaneous tissue and directly underneath the skin dermis to tighten the skin. The catheter is moved with a gentle backward and forward action. Skin safety is monitored with a Thermal Image Guidance™, so as not to burn or blister the skin as well as to heat the tissues to its desired temperature to promote collagenesis. The procedure usually takes about an hour from start to finish.
Q. What can I expect afterwards?
A. Most patients will experience swelling and some minor bruising. Cool compresses are applied for the first 24 to 72 hours and a neck strap is worn for one week but may be removed for showering and going out in public. Most patients tolerate the procedure very well and take Tylenol or NSAIDS for discomfort. If needed, a mild narcotic can be prescribed afterwards. Patients can usually return to normal activity after 24 hours and work after a few days.
Q. How long does it take before you see results?
A. Once the swelling has subsided, you will start to see the results. These results will improve over time. Most people reach their optimum results anywhere between six to twelve months.
Q. What is ThermiSmooth?
A. ThermiSmooth is a non invasive external application of the radio frequency energy on the skin surface. A small hand piece delivers heat and treats small zones of the face promoting collagen growth to help improve the fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, under the eyes, forehead and also on the neck. In Dr. JoAnne Lopes’ office this procedure is performed by her master aesthetician. This is different from ThermiTight in that there is no need for any local anesthetic or pre medication. The heating probe gently sweeps along the skin surface as heating of the tissues occurs. These treatments are performed at one to two week intervals with typically four to six treatments but typically with no down time. Patients may resume their usual activities immediately following the treatment and make-up can be immediately applied. This procedure usually takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes with each application.
Q. Can ThermiTight be used with any other non invasive procedures?
A. Yes, we actually use ThermiTight with our cool sculpting. We call it our Icy Hot procedure. Whereas ThermiTight helps to tighten the skin, cool sculpting, also a non invasive fat removal modality will help freeze the fat in that particular area and allow for both tightening as well as loss of subcutaneous fat. Both procedures will have to be performed at different times but can be performed within one week of one another. See our cool sculpting section for more information on cool sculpting.
If you are interested in any of these procedures and would like more information, please contact Dr. JoAnne Lopes at the Cosmetic Surgery Center (757) 497-5400.
*Price range: ThermiTight RF $2500-$3500 ThermiSmooth $1200-$2400 ThermiVA $2000-$3500