Numerous devices aimed at non-surgical fat removal have entered the cosmetic surgery market over the last decade. The results have been positive, although perhaps oversold. Targeted fat removal devices like CoolSculpting work great – in the right patient, in the right areas, and with the right amount of treatments. When it comes to non-surgical devices that train their sights on tightening the skin, results are real but usually minimal.
BodyTite, a new device by InMode Aesthetics, seeks to combine both skin tightening and lipolysis (fat removal) into one of the most effective non-surgical treatments yet. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Whitfield shares his excitement for BodyTite and how he thinks the skin tightening aspect in particular is a game-changer.
BodyTite – Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis
BodyTite works by creating heat between two surfaces, one of which, a cannula, is inserted underneath the skin. When radio frequency energy is applied, the treatment area is hit with just enough to affect,
“unprecedented three-dimensional contraction of the dermis, subdermal connective tissue matrix and deep fat.” Early results for BodyTite show exceptional skin tightening, an area within non-surgical treatments that has yet to have undergone a real breakthrough. Dr. Whitfield shares that arm lift patients in particular could significantly benefit from BodyTite.
The treatment is performed under local anesthesia in an office setting.
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Think of BodyTite as a magic wand that targets fat and shrinks excess skin. Only, this wand has two probes, working simultaneously. One works beneath the skin, melting fat through temperature controlled radio-frequency technology. After the fat is melted, it is removed through suction through the probe. The second probe applies the same temperature controlled heat technology to the skin on the outside, directly above the inside probe.
The Power of Heat to Shrink
“We’ve known forever in the operating room that when you heat something, you get contraction,” explains Dr. Whitfield. Until recently, however, there has not been a technology capable of reliably harnessing the power of heat to shrink skin.
Other technologies have come along, using similar probes to deliver thermal energy to the skin and the tissues, but the results were difficult to predict. “Before, we just had a probe that went in, delivered thermal energy, and may or may not have worked,” says Whitfield. “If I can’t tell you reliably that I’m going to treat you and get this result, I would never invest in that product.”
The Proof is in the Numbers
BodyTite is a new generation of radio-frequency technology that delivers an astounding 30% contraction of skin along with the removal of fat. “I feel comfortable in this product, in its science, in its rigorous testing, trials and publications,” emphasizes Whitfield. “It’s going to work. It’s going to give you a thirty percent contraction of skin. There has never been a product that does 30% contraction of skin.”
Other devices, such as traditional liposuction, can remove fat very effectively, but they have never offered reliable skin tightening. A young, healthy person with good quality skin may experience great skin contraction after a liposuction procedure. Unfortunately for others, many factors contribute to loose, crepey, dimpled, orange-peel skin after liposuction.
“Traditionally, skin contraction after liposuction is dictated by the quality of your skin,” points out Whitfield. “Your age, your genetics, weight loss, weight gain, previous surgeries, scars. BodyTite really increases your chances of having a really sound contraction of that skin after the finished result.”
A Minimally Invasive Procedure
There has always been a big demand for a device that could tighten skin without surgery. “I have had patients come into my office and tug on every part of their body, asking me to tighten it,” says Whitfield. “They don’t want a big scar on their arm. They don’t want you to cut their abdomens. Now, you don’t have to.”
The incisions required to insert the BodyTite probe are minimal. In fact, just several weeks after the procedure is done, the incisions are hardly visible.
A smaller version of the BodyTite radio-frequency probes, called FaceTite, is used to tighten the skin of the face and neck. Unlike BodyTite, which suctions the fat through the probe beneath the skin, there is no removal of fat done through the smaller FaceTite probe.
“If you’re going to do the neck, and there is excess fat, you’re going to do the FaceTite first, and then you do the liposuction to help reduce the fat,” explains Whitfield. “It can also be done as a stand alone procedure if you’re just trying to tighten crepey skin on the face or neck.”
Filling the Void between Non-Invasive Procedures and Surgery
A device that significantly reduces skin laxity with minimal scars is a very big deal for plastic surgeons and patients alike. “This is the most exciting thing I’ve had come along in the last decade in plastic surgery,” concludes Whitfield. “It opens a door for people who are transitioning from non-invasive treatments but don’t want surgery or don’t need surgery. It gives you a whole new option for patients to do under local anesthesia in your office operating room or procedure room. It’s a tremendous opportunity to take care of patients who otherwise never would have come to your office.”