Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
To perform a non-surgical facelift, our plastic surgeon combines radio frequency (RF) technology with liposuction. The patient is given a local anesthetic to alleviate any mild discomfort but is fully awake throughout. Both liposuction and RF generated heat are administered under the skin via small probes. Although the RF waves primarily help in reducing the levels of subdermal fat and thereby contracting and tightening the skin, they also help induce collagen production and stimulate your collagen fibers beneath the skin.
There are various FDA-approved technologies for non-surgical skin tightening on the market. Our staff at NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery in Nashville and Memphis can help you achieve your face rejuvenation goals without the need for invasive surgery. Read on to learn everything there is to know about the pros and cons of minimally-invasive and even non-invasive facelifts.
Benefits of a Minimally-Invasive Facelift vs Facelift Surgery
Radio Frequency Assisted Skin Tightening
Radio frequency generated heat delivered through a thin wand directly under the skin is an excellent method to contract and tighten the skin of your neck and lower face. In patients with moderately sagging skin, this type of non-surgical facelift can achieve excellent results. It can help you eliminate sagging jowls and redefine your jawline without the need for stitches, sutures, and scar healing. It is administered under local anesthesia in an outpatient procedure, and most patients are able to return to work or their regular activities within 1-2 days.
For patients who experience severe skin laxity, drooping jowls, and deep wrinkles, a non-surgical facelift may not be enough. In such cases, only a surgical facelift can guarantee dramatic, permanent results. But it also carries a higher risk due to the stronger sedation needed and the longer recovery.
The best way to determine whether you’re a candidate for a non-surgical facelift is to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your goals.
FaceTite or Renuvion?
FaceTite and Renuvion utilize the same technology: radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL). They are very similar and produce equally good outcomes. The more important factor is the skill of your plastic surgeon and his or her experience with a specific device. Both procedures are minimally-invasive, and both achieve results that continue to improve for up to a year after the procedure.
- FaceTite (equivalent to BodyTite). BodyTite and FaceTite are FDA-approved technologies using the RFAL technology. Studies have shown that it can achieve 35% – 45% skin contraction. While this is short of the results seen in a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck, it is superior to what could previously be achieved with liposuction alone. Results can be seen immediately after the procedure but continue to improve for up to 12 months.
- Renuvion. Renuvion is a very similar FDA-approved RFAL device. Like BodyTite it is used to contract tissues, and like FaceTite it comes with a smaller wand that can be used on the face and neck. The difference to BodyTite is that Renuvion emits bursts of helium plasma, allowing it to heat up and cool down again more rapidly. In studies on patients, Renuvion has achieved up to 60% skin contraction, with results continuing to improve for 6-9 months.
At NuBody Concepts, Nashville plastic surgeon Dr. John Rosdeutscher prefers to use Renuvion to tighten skin on the body and face, whereas Memphis plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Peters uses BodyTite and FaceTite to achieve the same results. Both surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and each have over 25 years of experience in private practice. Dr. Peters was awarded 1st Place in the InMode Expert Clinician Awards Program for his innovative use of BodyTite to reduce cellulite. Dr. Rosdeutscher was voted Best Plastic Surgeon in the Best of Music City awards three years in a row – 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Non-Invasive Facelift Altenatives
A minimally-invasive skin tightening procedure like Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL) is non-surgical but not non-invasive – placing the probe underneath the skin, even though it is through very small incision, makes this technique more invasive than a purely non-invasive technology.
Non-invasive skin tightening can also be used as a facelift alternative, though the results will be less dramatic and can only be achieved in a series of repeat treatments. On the plus side, such treatments have absolutely no downtime. Non-Invasive skin tightening can be further divided into Ultrasound and Radiofrequency (RF) methods:
- Ultrasound Non-Invasive Skin Tightening. For such treatments, ultrasound energy is delivered to the skin by external application only. This can reach tissues up to 5mm deep to help induce collagen production and contract the skin. Ultherapy® is a widely used ultrasound technology that can be used to tighten skin on the brow, chin, neck, and chest. A treatment can take 30 to 90 minutes, with several repeat treatments recommended. It’s a good alternative for patients who’d like to postpone a surgical facelift for several years.
- Radiofrequency Non-Invasive Skin Tightening. Radiofrequency (RF) energy (not to be confused with the RF energy for minimally-invasive skin tightening discussed above) can be used externally to heat the skin and trigger collagen production. It uses the same energy source as BodyTite and Renuvion but is not the same. It may take 2-6 treatments to achieve the results which typically last up to three years. Unlike ultrasound, radiofrequency targets the outer layer of the epidermis. It can be combined with microneedling (radiofrequency microneedling) to treat deeper tissues. Exilis®, Morpheus8®, and Thermage® are different non-invasive skin tightening treatments that achieve similar results. And they are not limited to the face – RF treatments are designed for the entire body and are typically safe for all skin types.
We hope that we’ve given you a better understanding of non-surgical facelift options. If you are ready to get started, use the pink button to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon in Nashville or Memphis.