The Thermage procedure was developed to help the signs of aging skin. It works by tightening tissue. It is currently used for treating periorbital (around the eye) wrinkles. The Thermage procedure is also known as ThermaLift, Thermal Lifting, Therma Plasty, and Thermoplastic contouring. The Thermage technology is being studied for other aesthetic uses on the face.
The radiofrequency (RF) energy uniformly heats the dermis while cooling and protecting the epidermis. It is designed to cause immediate collagen contraction followed by new collagen production which occurs over a period of time. The Thermage procedure is the only non-invasive method to tighten loose skin.
Depending on the size of the area treated, the procedure itself may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. The doctor may require that you arrive an hour before your procedure for administration of an anesthetic cream. The patient below had her forehead skin treated in about 25 minutes. Note the change in the appearance of her eyes (photo on right).
You may return to your normal activities immediately, as there is usually no “downtime”. Minimal redness is seen in some patients but it usually disappears shortly after treatment. Heat-related complications can occur but are uncommon. There is no special care needed after treatment. As a part of good skin care, sunscreen is recommended.
In most patients, results appear gradually over 2-6 months, although some patients see an earlier response.The patient below (photo on right) represents treatment results after 4 weeks.
A single treatment has produced good results in a significant number of patients. However, the doctor will assess the number and frequency of treatments required to achieve optimal results for your skin.
Recently published studies show that improvements continue for at least six months after a single treatment session. Other studies show that thermal collagen changes can last several years, depending on the rate of the aging process.
The Thermage procedure is very safe. Although it is possible that skin damage can occur, this advanced treatment has been studied carefully in hundreds of patients with minimal reports of lasting adverse effects.