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Thermage, or Thermacool MRF (short for Monopolar Radio Frequency), is simply the best option for non-surgical skin tightening, as documented in my practice and in numerous peer-reviewed published scientific and clinical research studies. Be aware that there are other radio frequency devices on the market that claim efficacy, but because they are bipolar, they cannot produce a uniform heating of the tissues that is anywhere near comparable to the Thermage monopolar unit.

The RF energy creates electrons that are moved through the skin tissue. As these electrons move, the natural resistance of the tissue creates heat that is related to the amount of current applied (amps) and the length of time. Not only does the depth of penetration play a role, but the kind of tissue does as well, since fat, ligaments, and skin all have different resistances and will heat up differently. So the RF energy source in the handpiece measures the skin and resistances then delivers a precise “pulse” of current that travels through the skin, and then through the patient, and then out of the body via a grounding pad. The mechanism of action is two-fold. First there is an immediately seen collagen contraction and skin tightening due to the tissue resistance and heating the fibrous ligaments (septa). Second, there is a delayed effect seen by the process of some wound healing and tightening that occurs to repair the heated and denatured collagen. Using multiple passes of the current at lower energy levels elicits a significantly more substantial tissue tightening effect than a single pass at a higher energy level.

The non-ablative Thermage technology bypasses the surface skin and requires no incisions or recovery time, making it the ideal “pick-me-up” procedure for restoring a youthful appearance. Treatment takes an hour or less to perform in my office, and you can immediately resume normal activities. The results are lasting, but the natural aging process continues.

You can often see an immediate result otherwise it usually occurs over three to six months.

Thermage is best for:

    • Tightening up the slightly loose facial skin when a facelift is not indicated
    • Tightening up the slightly loose facial skin after a facelift
    • Raising the eyebrows and tightening the forehead
    • Tightening loose and wrinkled eyelid skin
    • Firming up loose skin on top of the hands
    • Tightening up the loose crêpe skin of the arms or above the knees
    • Tightening up loose skin of abdomen, especially around the belly button
    • Contouring the abdomen for a narrower waist by one to two inches, at times

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