The Surgeon Minute

Tightening Skin without Surgery

Tightening Skin without Surgery

How many miles can you run?  How many sit ups can you do?  How many Pilates and Yoga classes can you go to?  Any yet there’s still that little area that you can’t fix through your own efforts.  When diet and exercise just don’t seem to work, patients will turn to plastic surgery for a remedy.  Traditionally plastic surgery could only offer patients just that, surgery.  But is what bothers you really that bad?  Does it warrant surgery and all the risk, recovery and costs associated with it?  Now the world of plastic surgery has some new innovations that truly do offer patients viable, nonsurgical alternatives.

by Mark Epstein, MD
and The Plastic Surgery Channel

One of the most exciting technologies is not actually new.  Radio frequency has been around for ages, technology surrounding it has gotten better, safer and offers surgeons noninvasive options to help patients in areas where there was no solution before.

Injecting what?

ThermiRf is just one of those innovations that excites Mark Epstein, MD, of Long Island, New York.  “Thermi is called injectable RF, or radio frequency,” says Dr. Epstein and explains that it is fabulous for people who have a little something that bothers them but don’t want to undergo surgery.  It is an in office procedure where local anesthesia is injected under the skin and fat layer.  With a thin metal cannula local is injected to numb the area, then a thin probe is placed through the same needle hole.  Dr. Epstein says, “The probe will emit radio frequency energy and heat the tissue from within.  The probe has a temperature sensor on it so that the surgeon gets an update four times a second on the internal temperature of the skin.”  The precision of this process allows surgeons to take the temperature of the skin to the exact level where it will truly contract and tighten without the fear of creating a thermal injury.  To help monitor the external temperature of the skin, an infrared camera is used to provide the surgeon with helpful information, again allowing precision and minimal risk.

Epstein says the results after Thermi begin to reveal themselves several weeks after surgery, although patients will see some tissue tightening in the first week or so following the procedure.  “The true magic and beauty of Thermi,” explains Epstein, “is that the results just keep getting better over the first few months and patients can even see improvements for up to a year.”


Proven Results

The first result Dr. Epstein shares is a 50 year old woman who never had children, works out all the time but was unhappy with the loose skin in her abdominal area but did not want the large incision an abdominoplasty would require which makes her a perfect candidate for Thermi.  The post procedure photo shows marked improvement at only 3 months and Dr. Epstein expects the patient to gradually see more changes in this area.  Thermi is also indicated for patients who notice loose skin in the face and neck but are not quite ready to have a facelift. “In the past, we would tell these types of patients to come back in 5 or 10 years, but they want something done now,” says Dr. Epstein.  Thermitight provides surgeons and patients with an interim solution and good results.


“Thermitight is applicable to any area where you want and need tissue tightening,” says Epstein. Even the upper arm area can see improvement with injectable RF.  Patient satisfaction after Thermi treatments is very high.


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