Clash of the Tightens
It’s not hyperbole to say that the medical aesthetics and plastic surgery industries are first and foremost devoted to tightening your skin. Skin tightening is the bedrock of most treatments and surgeries we offer. Practitioners in medical aesthetics offices spend hours every day on treatments that attempt to tighten skin and remove wrinkles. While in plastic surgery offices, we spend a majority of our work hours in operating rooms, surgically removing areas of loose skin. It’s a non-stop war on skin laxity that has been waged for decades.
Smaller and Tighter
On a grand scale, there is a rhyme to the reason. At the root of it, we in these industries make specific areas of your body appear bigger, smaller, or tighter. With the exception of the breasts and buttocks (which the majority of patients wish to enhance), most people want unsightly areas on their bodies to be smaller and/or tighter. Put simply, most people want to tighten sagging skin and rid their bodies of surplus fat.
Pesky, loose skin and annoying areas of fat are the #1 and #2 complaints we hear in our clinics. The causes of loose skin are numerous: aging, weight loss, previous pregnancies, bad genetics, or all of the above. The causes of unwanted fat are also numerous and frustratingly self-explanatory. But it is okay to take a little comfort if you fall within one of these categories, as you are definitely in the majority! Instead of fretting, the next logical step is to determine the best action for you to improve your situation.
What are Your Options?
Some things in life never fail to cause stress and confusion, like IKEA furniture assembly instructions, managing your 401k, security lines at the airport, and my personal favorite, Siri. Even when you devote time to figuring them out, invariably you end up more confused and worse for the wear.
Unfortunately, you could easily add skin tightening treatments to that list. Even though we have a huge arsenal of devices on the market devoted to skin tightening treatments, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on which device to use. After reviewing the data from Ultherapy® to Fraxel® and from Smartlipo® to VASERlipo®, you’ll find that each of these devices have their notable pros and cons. Up to this point, there has been no clear leader in skin tightening, and that has caused a huge amount of confusion in the medical aesthetics and plastic surgery industries.
As someone who uses many of these devices, I go out of my way to educate my patients on the general effectiveness of these treatments and procedures. In general (not specifically!), any technology that is external and non-invasive (like Fraxel®) will result in an estimated 10% improvement in skin tightness, whereas any internal technology that works below the skin (like Smartlipo®) will result in an estimated 10-20% improvement in skin tightness. For comparison, surgery that removes areas of loose skin will result in an 80-90% improvement, which is remarkably higher than these alternative devices.
Once you frame the improvements in skin tightening in the context of effectiveness as compared to surgery, you can see the inherent deficiency. But what about patients who cannot or do not wish to undergo surgery? Are we forced to settle for less effective treatment? Why can’t we have a device that tightens the skin more effectively than what is currently available, but doesn’t require us to go to the operating room?
BodyTite™ is the most promising skin tightening device that I have used in the office setting since I entered practice more than 10 years ago. With this device, we finally have an option for skin tightening that can mimic the results of some of the surgeries that remove loose skin. For the neck, arms, flanks, inner thighs, and other places on your body that are notorious for loose skin, BodyTite™ offers transformative results!
BodyTite™ is a dual-purpose device that has the power to assist in both skin tightening and fat reduction. It is powered by Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL), which also helps remove those pesky areas of fat often associated with areas of loose skin. Almost all BodyTite™ procedures are combined with at least a small amount of liposuction to maximize the “smaller and tighter” effect.
Even though the procedure is invasive and works underneath the skin, BodyTite™ can be performed with you awake using local anesthesia. A majority of the areas treated take about an hour to complete and require only one or two weeks of recovery. Any discomfort after the procedure can be maintained with oral pain medications, and most patients can return to work duties within three to four days after the procedure.
Having an office-based device with the potential to offer greater than 30% improvement in skin tightness is a huge bonus to our industry, and more importantly, to all our patients. The fact that BodyTite™ is now combined with liposuction is just the icing on the cake. In a single one-hour procedure, the #1 and #2 complaints in our clinics can now be treated with one device, and the best part? It doesn’t require an expensive trip to the operating room with general anesthesia.
If you are interested in this technology, click the link below to schedule an appointment. We have also included educational videos that describe the science behind BodyTite™ technology. Enjoy!