The Surgeon Minute

No Need for a Facelift (Yet) with ThermiTight

No Need for a Facelift (Yet) with ThermiTight

During the middle years of our journey through life, age begins to show itself in some unpleasant ways. Fat becomes harder to lose, muscle becomes harder to maintain, skin becomes loose and faces seemingly “fall”.  To combat the facial changes, many look to a plastic surgeon for a facelift.

But times are changing and new technologies are arriving almost monthly to bridge the gap between a youthful and aged adult. One such technology is ThermiTight.  It’s designed to provide skin tightening while being minimally invasive, meaning no general anesthesia and no operating room.

Dr. Tom Tzikas, a facial plastic surgeon from Florida, finds the device to fill a much needed role in facial aging; many patients could use some skin tightening, but do not yet need a facelift.  ThermiTight offers a way to tighten the skin and even melt some fat, providing a rejuvenation perfectly tuned to those patients who are not yet ready for surgery.

by Thomas Tzikas, MD
and Adam McMillon

The Power Behind ThermiTight

Areas especially suited for the procedure are the jawline and neck region. “It does a combination of fat melting and skin shrinking,” explains Dr. Tzikas. “It’s a great procedure for younger patients that don’t want a surgical facelift or necklift. It is a minimally invasive procedure, which means there is some local anesthesia injected under the skin.”

The device works by utilizing radiofrequency to heat up the tissue beneath the skin. Physicians carefully monitor the heat levels by way of a thermal camera, allowing for incredible precision and, as Dr. Tzikas notes, “You can actually see tissue tightening even as you’re performing the procedure.”  Minimally invasive is obviously not the same as non-invasive, so what does a patient need to know? For the probe to get under the skin, physicians create a small needle-hole near the ear for the probe to enter. Local anesthesia is used in regions where there might be discomfort.

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Also different from some of the newer non-invasive treatments, ThermiTight is a one-time procedure. Because it is more invasive than some options, it can accomplish more at one time with longer-lasting results.

Are the Results Real?

Dr. Tzikas himself was surprised to find that the results keep getting better over time. Tzikas mentions one patient in particular and the progression of results from one ThermiTight procedure: “After 4 months she had a reasonably nice result. At 11 months, the result was significantly better. Then we took pictures at 18 months and the results were dramatically better than anything before.”

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These findings reinforce the ability of minimally invasive procedures to have powerful, long-lasting effects for patients who are not yet ready for surgical procedures like a face or neck lift. “Results get better and better over time,” says Tzikas. “With one treatment, one procedure – that takes roughly 1 hour – and a 3-4 day recovery period… This is pretty significant for a non-surgical procedure.”

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