We are very excited to introduce a new and exciting non-surgical technology for tightening and smoothing the face and neck. The ThermiRF system is really three fantastic technologies in one: 1) a neck tightening and jawline tightening device; 2) a fat reduction treatment that is different than liposuction; and 3) a wrinkle smoothing and nerve ablation tool. ThermiRF truly does it all, using a minimally invasive, catheter-based, radiofrequency technology performed awake in the office. Radiofrequency (RF) energy is delivered through the device at precise locations with real-time feedback. This is used to target subdermal connective tissue and muscle, fat deposits, and wrinkle-causing nerve branches. ThermiRF treatments are both safer and less painful than similar surgical options, with significantly less downtime – and less cost – for the patient.
ThermiTight does exactly what you would expect – it tightens the tissues of the lower face, jowls, and neck without surgery. This procedure is selected for fat reduction under the chin, contouring of the jawline and neck, and tightening of the facial skin. Applying RF energy below the skin surface has the unique advantage reduce volume (for example, under the chin) while simultaneously tightening loose skin.
This is a great tool for patients who may have considered a facelift but are either not ready or need a quicker fix. In some cases, ThermiTight can also be used with other surgical (for example, eyelid lift) or non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures (for example, soft tissue fillers) for a more global, full-face rejuvenation.
The procedure takes about an hour and is performed by Dr. Ransom in the office, awake, using only local anesthesia.
Using the same technology as ThermiTight, ThermiSmooth Face is a completely non-invasive, external application of RF energy to the skin surface in the face and neck. This promotes collagen growth and cross-linking, which improves the overall texture and appearance of the skin around the eyes, mouth, and brow areas. The ThermiSmooth Face handpiece can also be used in the jawline and neck region, alone or as an adjunct to other treatments. For maximum results, a series of treatments (3 to 6, depending on the area and patient) is required. ThermiSmooth Face is quick and virtually painless – like a hot stone massage – with no downtime at all.
Treatments are performed in the office by Dr. Ransom and his staff. For ThermiTight, the areas for which treatment is desired are first injected with a local anesthetic solution. We use a dilute solution placed widely throughout the area in order to make this process nearly painless. The anesthetic lasts long enough to ensure that you are very comfortable during the procedure. A very small incision is then made using a needle, and the RF delivery catheter is then inserted. The incisions are typically placed just below the earlobes and under the chin in the midline. However, the location for cannula insertion can be virtually anywhere and will not leave a visible scar. The catheter device is the source of the RF energy that heats the treated tissues. This heat is used to tighten the overlying skin, reduce fat volume, and damage the wrinkle-causing nerves, depending on the treatment modality. Precise temperature thresholds are determined before the procedure based on the areas to be treated and the patient’s skin and soft tissue characteristics. The skin and subcutaneous tissue temperatures are closely monitored during the entire procedure using a special military-grade heat-sensing camera. Once the desired temperature in all areas, the treatment is concluded and a soft dressing is applied.
Patients can expect the in-office procedure to take about 30 to 60 minutes. The timeframe can vary, depending on the treatment modality, how many areas are treated, and the size of those areas.
For ThermiSmooth Face, the ThermiRF technology is used as a direct skin tightening device, which is not inserted under the skin. Using the device in this manner is non-invasive and requires no downtime. Treatments take about 20 minutes. For ThermiRase, the RF is delivered specifically to targeted nerve branches. This requires mapping the nerve course and typically takes about an hour total.
Following the procedure, most patients go on to enjoy daily activities as they normally would. Exercise and other vigorous activities are not prohibited, but patients may take the day off from work while the treatment site recovers. The results will reveal themselves gradually over a course of 6 to 12 months as collagen production increases and the body flushes out unwanted fat.
There are minimal risks when using the ThermiRF device. Most patients will see mild to moderate swelling that lasts 3 to 7 days. Minor skin burns due to the heat emitted from the device have been reported but are extremely rare. Bruising may also occur, typically around the cannula insertion site, but this is limited. Some users have reported temporary numbness following treatment.
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.
Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.