A. Radiofrequency skin tightening with the Exilis device is a popular option for patients in their 30's, 40's and 50's who want a non-surgical option for improving early jowls and jawline sagging. It is truly a preventative to postpone or negate the need for a facelift. It is not for severe laxity. It works this way: The triple helix molecule of collagen is heated by the radiofrequency energy of Exilis in a very safe and controlled delivery. The heat disrupts the bonds and denatures the collagen, stimulating a wound healing response for renewed collagen deposition and remodeling. The full effect is seen 3 months from the 4th and final session in most patients. Many patients also see an immediate tightening effect that lasts several days from the contraction of each treatment.
Q. I am hearing a lot about radiofrequency devices for tightening the skin and body contouring. Please explain what this is and who is a candidate.
A. I am most familiar with the Exilis device which has been used in my office since the fall of 2010. The radiofrequency energy is used to deliver a precise volume of heat deep beneath the skin to heat tissue. The RF energy excites the molecules so rapidly, the movement of these molecules create deep heat. Since the RF energy is "color-blind" it is safe on all skin types, even tanned skin. RF energy can deliver more heat to large areas and can do that quickly. Depending on the handpiece used, the energy is delivered to tighten under the skin or go deeper into the fat to melt it and tighten the tissue above the fat. Anyone who needs subtle skin tightening or 1-3 inches of fat removal would be a candidate. It is not a substitute for a face lift in severe cases of laxity, not a substitute for a tummy tuck for someone with a large amount of skin and fat to be removed.
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