Most people would prefer not to undergo surgery. But most people would also prefer not to have rolls of skin on their abdomen, flabby arms, or a jowly neck. This can be quite a conundrum.
Traditionally – unless you are that rare species that successfully marshals the forces of diet and exercise – you were destined for a tummy tuck, an arm lift, or a facelift to get rid of such unsightly skin folds.
With incredible advances in medical technology over recent years, you now have a third choice: Undergoing a radio frequency-powered treatment to tighten your skin – without surgery.
How Does Radio Frequency Powered Skin Tightening Work?
Officially, and FDA-approved, the term is “tissue coagulation.” Using a thin wand that is moved back and forth under the skin, the plastic surgeon is able to apply controlled and very targeted heat to the treatment areas. This quite literally shrinks the tissues and thereby contracts the skin. It’s not a surgical procedure because no scalpel or sutures are required. Except for a few miniscule incisions to insert the application wand, the surface of the skin remains unblemished. Such procedures are classified as minimally-invasive and are administered under local anesthesia, followed by an easy and swift recovery of 1-2 days.
We’ve previously told you about BodyTite, which we have used along with FaceTite to achieve excellent skin tightening results for our patients. We have now added Renuvion by Apyx Medical to expand our catalog of skin tightening treatments.
Renuvion, like BodyTite, uses radio frequency energy to shrink tissues. Through the tip of a thin wand the surgeon inserts under the skin, it applies controlled heat of 85 degrees Celsius to each area the wand is passed over. By emitting bursts of helium plasma through the wand, the tissues can be heated and cooled back down in under a second. This prevents burning and enables an entire area to be treated in just 5-15 minutes.
What to Expect From a Renuvion Procedure
The first step is to set up a consultation with your plastic surgeon. He/she will assess your body type and skin condition to develop the best treatment plan. One decision to make is whether to combine your treatment with liposuction. We recommend liposuction in almost all cases, as it makes sense to suction off fat while you’ve already applied local anesthesia to the area.
On the day of your procedure, the first step is to apply local anesthesia by “tumescing” the treatment area. The anesthetic is applied with a wand through 2-3 tiny incisions that are strategically placed to allow for full coverage. Your surgeon may draw lines onto your skin to ensure the even application of energy to the entire area. You also want to make sure that each side receives equal amounts of energy. The better your surgeon maps out the area, the more symmetrical your results will look.
If you receive both liposuction and skin tightening, the treatments are applied one after the other. Renuvion typically only adds very little time to a regular liposuction treatment. If you are thinking of having liposuction, it makes a lot of sense to combine it with skin tightening, whether it’s BodyTite or Renuvion. Removing fat from your belly or upper arms with liposuction is great, but do you really want to be left with baggy skin? Young and healthy skin does have the capacity to shrink back, as you well know if you’ve ever given birth. However, as we age and skin laxity declines, the skin loses its ability to spring back into place.
In almost all cases, you can drastically improve liposuction results when adding skin tightening to your treatment.
How Good Are the Results?
Ok, let’s talk about results. Non-surgical skin tightening has been tested extensively and shown to achieve contraction results anywhere from 35% to 60%. Renuvion, by bolstering the radio frequency energy with helium plasma, is especially well positioned to reach a high degree of contraction. The contraction effect is noticeable immediately after the procedure and will continue to improve over the course of 6-9 months.
Granted, a non-surgical procedure cannot be compared one-to-one with surgery. If you have lost a large amount of weight and want to get rid of the extra rolls of abdominal skin, you may not get around having a tummy tuck. There is no better way to remove extra skin than to, well, remove it.
However, your case may not be as stark as that. You may have a fairly flat stomach already, but with crepe-type skin. You may have a few rolls of fat on your flanks and back. Your lower face and neck might sag. Your upper arms could be flabby. You might have wrinkly knees. All these are excellent applications for Renuvion (as well as BodyTite, or FaceTite). None of these problems necessarily warrant surgery, especially in locations where you want to avoid a scar.
Give us a call or simply pick a date from our calendar in Nashville or Memphis to meet a plastic surgeon and discuss your problem areas. You might be surprised how easy it is to rejuvenate your look and give your confidence a big boost!