San Francisco facial plastic surgeon Dr. Evan Ransom is extremely excited to offer GENIUS™ for the face and neck. He is one of a very small number of providers in Northern California with this groundbreaking device. The GENIUS™ technology pairs two of the latest non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatments – radiofrequency energy (RF) and microneedling – to stimulate collagen growth and tighten the skin. GENIUS™ is performed in the office and does not require general anesthesia, making it a great alternative for those who are not able undergo or are uninterested in cosmetic surgery.

GENIUS™ is the only RF technology that is designed to deliver energy inside the dermis using tiny, insulated microneedles. The depth of penetration is precisely calibrated to the skin being treated and your individual needs. This targeted treatment means that the skin surface is spared and deeper structures, like nerves, are kept safe. In addition, greater focus of the energy in the area where collagen is produced means greater effect per treatment – and overall less work for the patient. GENIUS™ is safe and effective for ALL SKIN TYPES while minimizing risk of pigment change. This includes thicker skin and patients with acne scarring.

Acne scar reduction

Genius treatment is very effective in treating the surface and texture irregularities that result from acne scarring. This technology provides a combination of mechanical (needle penetration) and thermal (radiofrequency energy delivery, which dissipates as heat in the skin) stimulation of your body’s wound healing response. The overall effect is an increase in the production of collagen and elastin fibers in your skin, and an increase in the rate of cell turnover. The depth of the microneedle penetration is determined by your individual skin thickness and varies throughout the face and neck (e.g., the cheek region skin is thicker than the forehead skin). Energy levels and the time of each radiorequency pulse are also varied with the depth of the needles. More energy is delivered on the deepest pass, with less energy on subsequent intermediate and superficial passes. Most treatments involve three passes over the treated area, though in some cases two or four passes may be used. Patients typically require four or five treatment sessions, depending on acne scar severity. These are generally spaced about six weeks apart to allow for skin recovery but to avoid losing treatment momentum.

Face and neck tightening

Genius RF can also be used effectively alone or in combination with ThermiTight for skin tightening, texture improvement, and even fat reduction or contouring in the submentum and neck. In the cheeks and around the mouth, reduction in fine lines and improvements in the skin surface are achieved with relatively superficial application. Using deeper microneedle penetration, the Genius can shrink the subcutaneous fat in the jowl and “double chin” areas. Dr. Ransom has used the Genius concurrently with ThermiRF for a significant contour improvement of the jawline and upper neck in patients who are not ready or not able to undergo surgical enhancements such as mini-facelift, facelift, or neck lift.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone who is seeking improvements in the tone and texture of the facial skin, or non-surgical approaches to address moderate facial and neck aging may be a candidate. GENIUS™ is used to lift and tighten the cheeks, brow, eyelids, and neck. In addition, GENIUS™ is a fantastic solution for acne scarring in patients with all skin types and colors. This device can be used in patients who are not candidates for laser treatment due to inflammatory hyperpigmentation concerns. Patients with significant excess skin or fatty deposits may be better served with different techniques (e.g., browlift, face or neck lift, or neck liposuction). Dr. Ransom can help you decide if GENIUS™ is right for you during your comprehensive consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.

Many areas can be treated with GENIUS™ using different settings for the energy and depth of penetration, including the forehead, brow, eyelids, cheeks, jowls, upper lip, chin, neck, and décolletage.

Each session takes about one hour. This involves application of the topical numbing cream, preparing the skin surface, and delivering the treatment. The specific time required for the GENIUS™ energy delivery depends on the number of areas being treated, but typically is about 20 minutes.

The total number of treatment sessions depends on your unique skin characteristics and the desired endpoint. Most patients will undergo three to five treatments, typically one to two months apart.

Dr. Ransom uses a topical numbing cream that dramatically reduces the sensation of the skin during the treatment. Most patients are fine with just this application. For some areas, a small nerve block can be performed using an injectable local anesthetic. Finally, for patients with anxiety, we offer oral sedation in the office. Please note that you cannot drive home if you have had sedation; you will need a driver to accompany you.

There is minimal downtime from GENIUS™ treatments. The treated area will be swollen and inflamed or irritated in appearance for about 48 hours. No specific post-treatment medication, measures, or restrictions are required. The application of moisturizer and sunscreen is recommended. Tylenol is sufficient for discomfort in almost all cases. Many patients will go back to work the day after their treatment session, though this varies according to personal preference.

Most patients will see some improvement even after their first session of GENIUS™. The full results of the treatment, however, are typically seen between 4 and 6 months. This is because the body takes time to create new collagen in the skin and to contract and remodel the connective tissue fibers. Benefits of the GENIUS™ technology are permanent and can be enhanced by a comprehensive skin care program.

A topical anesthetic significantly reduces any discomfort that patients may feel during the treatment. For particularly sensitive areas, a local nerve block can be done with an injectable anesthetic. Patients who are anxious can opt for oral sedation. Patients who have oral sedation need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive them home after the treatment, as sedation leaves many people groggy.