Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures year in and year out. At Boston Plastic Surgery, Dr. Lin shares information about radiofrequency-assisted liposuction in two procedures — BodyTite™ and FaceTite™. The procedures use radiofrequency energy to liquefy fat and later tighten the skin in the abdomen, thighs, and flanks, and on the lower face, jowls, and neck.
These are great body contouring and skin tightening procedures for our patients from Boston and across the Northeast.
What is FaceTite™?
FaceTite™ uses the combination of liposuction with radiofrequency energy to tighten the skin on your lower face, jowls, and neck. The cannula also removes liquefied fat in the jowls, minimizing the effects of a double chin. Unlike BodyTite™, which mainly focuses on removing fat, FaceTite™ primarily is used to tighten the skin. However, FaceTite™ can effectively remove fat under the chin and in the areas where laugh lines form.
What Areas Can Be Treated with Face Tite™?
As the name implies, FaceTite™ is used on the lower face, the jowls, and the upper neck area.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Face Tite™?
As we age, the skin on the lower portion of our face loosens and begins to sag. This is a universal problem with aging, especially in the jowls. Our harsh New England winters don’t help. FaceTite™ is a good option for anyone with this loose skin who would like to tighten up their profile but doesn’t want to have surgery to do so. That’s pretty much anyone over age 45.
The one exception is if you’ve had any dermal fillers injected recently. If you have, you’ll need to wait at least two months before you can have FaceTite™, Dr. Lin at Boston Plastic Surgery states.
How is a FaceTite™ treatment done?
The procedure can be performed with local anesthesia to numb the areas where small incisions are created for the insertion of the cannula. The cannula itself is thin.
The treatment areas are injected with a tumescent solution common to modern liposuction. The solution consists of saline, epinephrine, and lidocaine. This numbs the area, makes the fat easier to remove, and constricts the blood vessels for less bleeding and subsequent bruising.
A small incision is made and then the FaceTite™ handpiece cannula is placed. On the tip of the cannula is an internal electrode that delivers the radiofrequency energy below the skin to liquefy the fat. Above the skin on the surface rests the other portion of the handpiece, a metal wand that serves as the external electrode. This is important because it gives the RF energy a pathway upward through the skin from the internal electrode to the external electrode. This provides the skin tightening typical to RF treatments.
Is There Recovery After a Face Tite™ Treatment?
FaceTite™ is a minimally invasive procedure. Most patients can usually return to work in a couple days. There can be some slight bruising and swelling that can linger for a couple weeks. Pain is different for patients and can be managed with ibuprofen. These treatments are tolerated by our Boston Plastic Surgery patients.
What are the differences between FaceTite™ and a surgical facelift?
Obviously, the main difference is that FaceTite™ does not involve any incisions, general anesthesia, weeks of downtime, and the other risks and recovery issues involved with a surgical facelift. Since Dr. Lin performs surgical facelifts and necklifts, and he is able to compare FaceTite™ and surgery. His estimate is that FaceTite™ delivers, depending on the individual patient, from 40-60 percent of the tightening that a surgical facelift achieves.
That’s not to claim that FaceTite™ can deliver the same results as a facelift. When Dr. Lin adjusts the underlying support musculature and removes excess skin in surgical facelifts these may be longer lasting results.
Still, for those who don’t want surgery, FaceTite™ can provide something akin to a mini facelift.
What is BodyTite™?
BodyTite™ is a body contouring procedure that also provides significant skin contraction. The BodyTite™ system uses a cannula with an internal electrode that is inserted through a tiny incision. Attached to the cannula, but resting atop the skin, is a metal wand that features an external electrode. The radiofrequency passes from the internal electrode to the external electrode, heating the fat and surrounding tissues without damaging those tissues. The fat is then suctioned away through the cannula. The RF energy that has heated the dermis layer of the skin causes the skin to contract and tighten, firming the area.
What Is Body Tite™ and How Does It Work
BodyTite™ is truly a body contouring procedure, but it improves upon traditional liposuction by providing significant skin contraction along with it. What an interesting idea!
The secret to BodyTite™ is its cannula. In traditional liposuction, the cannula simply suctions away the fat cells. BodyTite™ system uses a cannula with an internal electrode that is inserted as in normal liposuction. Attached to the cannula, but resting atop the skin, is a metal wand that features an external electrode. The radiofrequency energy is emitted from the cannula tip, and it passes to the external electrode, heating the fat and surrounding tissues without damaging those tissues. While this is happening the cannula suctions away the liquefied fat. The RF energy that liquefied the fat has heated the dermis, the skin’s second layer, causing the skin to contract and tighten. This helps the skin firm down to its new contour.
Would I Be a Good Candidate for Body Tite™?
No matter what kind of shape you’re in, many times everyone has some unwanted pockets of fat that are almost impossible to target with diet and exercise. Dr. Lin wants potential patients to know that this is not a weight-loss procedure; it is a body contouring/skin tightening procedure. To qualify for BodyTite™, patients should be at or near their ideal body weight. The best results come with patients who still have good skin elasticity.
What Are the Benefits of Body Tite™?
Combining radiofrequency energy and liposuction in the BodyTite™ system has numerous advantages over traditional liposuction:
- Body contouring option— Because the RF energy liquefies the fat that is then instantly suctioned away, contouring is smoothened.
- Skin contraction — The heating that melts the fat also causes a “wound” response in the dermis layer of the skin. This causes the skin to contract down, and the body produces new amounts of collagen (the skin’s structural support protein) to send to the perceived “wound.”
- Controlled directional energy distribution — Because the RF energy transfers from the cannula through the tissue up to the external handpiece, the direction can be controlled. This maximizes the RF energy utilization, while ensuring there is little risk of thermal damage to surrounding tissues.
- Decreased downtime — Liposuction involves tissue trauma, as the cannula is moved back and forth under the skin to break up fat pockets. By using RF energy to break down and liquefy fat, the cannula with BodyTite™ gently extracts the fat. This creates potentially less bruising, swelling, and downtime.
What Is Recovery Like After a Body Tite™ Treatment?
After your procedure, you’ll wear compression garments on the areas treated with BodyTite™. These usually need to be worn for two-four weeks to help your body adapt to its new contours. With both procedures, most patients can usually return to work in a couple days. There can be some slight bruising and swelling that can linger for a couple weeks. Pain is many times minimal and can be managed with ibuprofen.