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What is Thermage?

Thermage ®, also known as Thermacool or Thermalift, is a device that uses radio frequency to lift skin and tissues, (2001 FDA approval). Thermage ®, in fact, is the only non-invasive method that allows lifting the skin, renewing the contour of your face and the collagen production without any surgical incisions or sutures.

Who undergoes Thermage treatments?

Although the procedure cannot be compared to a surgical facelift, some people do not want any surgery or do not wish to have a postoperative course in which they are restricted in carrying out their activities.

The best candidates for Thermage ® are:

  • physically healthy patients aged 35 to 55;
  • patients with moderate skin laxity and light wrinkles;
  • patients with significant laxity and deep wrinkles that do not wish to undergo surgery;
  • Patients who wish to improve the appearance of their face, redefining its contour and remodelling its features;
  • patients with abdominal laxity;
  • patients with skin laxity in inner thighs and upper arms;
  • patients with realistic goals and expectations;

 

When using Thermage treatments?

The collagen production and the amount of collagen in the dermis decrease over time and for this reason there may be signs of skin laxity and wrinkles, at first superficial and then increasingly profound.

 

How does Thermage work?

Thermage ® stimulates dermal contraction to lift the skin and collagen rebuilding in order to increase firmness and distension of face and body, giving your contours a more youthful and healthy appearance. During the procedure, epidermis is continuously cooled where heat only reaches the dermis and the subcutaneous tissues, without any danger of burns or damages. In this way, a homogeneous and controlled heating of the dermal and the underlying tissue leads to a face lift and the contraction and compaction of new collagen.

 

What about Thermage results?

Together with its immediate lift effect, Thermage arranges, over time, a collagen rebuilding and a new and increased production of the same providing long-term tightening of the skin. Although, in some patients, results are immediately visible, this does not happen normally since it is necessary to wait from four to six months. Since effects are gradual, the outcome should be analysed with pictures taken before and six months after the procedure. Results vary from patient to patient, and then, while some will be egregious, maybe right away, others could be modest. This is in relation to the type of problem being treated, patient's age and individual and subjective response of skin and dermal layers to the treatment.

 

What are the advantages of Thermage compared with other treatments?

One of the advantages of Thermage ® is the customization of the treatment according to patients’ endurance. Each session entails a severe heating. This heating only lasts a fraction of a second and is preceded and followed by a cooling, which minimizes the hassle. To add comfort, the doctor can associate a mild sedation, allowing patients to relax during the procedure.

 

How long does the treatment take?

Depending on the area to be treated, Thermage ® can last from 1 hour to several hours involving, for instance, the entire face or other parts of the body.

 

What about the recovery period?

Patients can immediately resume their normal activities without any convalescence.

 

Could the treatment be repeated over time?

For the majority of patients, one session is sufficient. However, it is possible to undergo another session at least six months after the first one. For a small percentage of patients (approximately 5%), depending on the type of skin laxity and skin conditions, a further session is required to obtain a good result. The experiences gained up to now have shown that, depending on the type of skin, the problems being treated and the number of treatments carried out, results last even for some years.

 

Are there risks for this type of treatment?

At the end of the treatment, there could be erythema, and in some cases, a slight oedema. The risks with Thermage ® are very uncommon, but potential side effects to the treatment are:

  • erythema
  • -oedema, occurring more frequently in the eyelid region – zygomatic area and neck;
  • accumulation of collagen, which usually subside in about two to three weeks, or small areas of skin depression;
  • alteration of sensitivity (paresthesias – dysaesthesia) reversible in about a month.
  •  

    These very rare side effects normally subside within a few weeks. It is important to know that Thermage cannot treat areas where there are large and wide scars (e.g. outcomes of accidents or trauma) or areas where there is not suitable amounts of dermal and subcutaneous tissue. Thermage ® is contraindicated in patients with pacemakers and fixed electro medical equipment (e.g. insulin infusion pumps, etc.).

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