Doctors Find Skin Tightening with Radio Frequency


Radio frequency (RF) can be effective for skin tightening around the eyes and lips with marginal success on the body, according to a panel discussion of doctors at Vegas Cosmetic Surgery 2015. The doctors, analyzed how effective RF energy is for skin tightening, and disclosed the RF devices or protocols used in treatment..

RF Energy Devices

Jason Emer, M.D. said he uses two devices, Sublative and Venus Viva, both showing significant results. While the two devices have different outcomes, he notices some lifting with fractional RF. With the Viva, users can press some ablation and get deeper penetration, he said.

“I find that it works best around the eye area,” Emer explained. “Sometimes upper lip lines are pretty good, you can get a significant improvement and hooding of the eye.”

Andrew Campbell, M.D., discussed how Vanquish and Exilis Elite are the two RF energy treatments he performs. Vanquish is mostly for reducing fat, he explained. However two Exilis and four Vanquish treatments are combined for results.

“Exilis on the face, we haven’t seen amazing results; Exilis on the body, it’s definitely visible, it’s not amazing,” he explained.

Heating the Tissue

Corey Maas, M.D., said that after a number of RF devices over the years, he is down to Kybella.

“[RF energy is] a way of heating the tissue, and the different devices offer different ways of delivering that heat, so they all have a little nuance or certain characteristics,” Maas said. “What would be great is if we worked a little bit harder on finding out how long we have to maintain the heat, what depth the injury needs or thermal heating, how long it needs to occur and where it needs to be delivered. If you can put those things together, it probably doesn’t matter which device you get honestly.”

In agreement with Maas, Jason Pozner, M.D. gave his insight on heating and external RF devices. Regardless of the device, with external RF on the face or body, the point is to heat the skin without burning it and trying to maintain that heat. According to Pozner, newer devices are probably better for skin tightening.

“The patients who need this the most get the worst results, because their skin is the worst,” Pozner explained. “They’re not going to tighten as effectively as a younger patient who doesn’t need this as much.”

Seeing Results

While Michael Persky, M.D. has not found any devices to be as effective on the face, his patients noticed results with the Venus Freeze/Venus Legacy. He said his quest started when young women wanted to look better post pregnancies and discovered exactly that with the Venus machine.

“The patients were seeing something I didn’t see,” Persky said.

Barry DiBernardo, M.D., stated the importance of the measurement of temperature and receiving better results in addition to treating cell turnover with topical preparation in combination with utilizing devices.

“This is really an equation of time vs. temperature vs. volume of tissue,” DiBernardo explained. “The eyelids do so well because its less tissue to heat and thicker tissue is going to take more.” 

Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times

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