Tissue tightening is a noninvasive procedure that uses radio waves (radiofrequency) or specific light frequencies to tighten lax or sagging skin and diminish wrinkles.
The radio waves create heat in the deep layers of the skin. This heat leads to immediate shrinking of the collagen fibers and stimulates new collagen production over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. The new and tighter collagen leads to a contraction of sagging skin and a more youthful appearance
There are several medical devices that have been FDA approved for tissue tightening, including Thermage®, Titan™ and ReFirme™.
What areas of the body is it used for?
Tissue tightening is used most commonly treat sagging skin on the face and neck, improving the appearance of cheeks, forehead, jowls, and eyes. It is also effective in tightening the skin in the abdomen, arms, legs, and buttocks.
The results of tissue tightening are not as dramatic as surgical procedures and are not considered a substitute for a necklift, eyelift, facelift or “tummy tuck”, but it provides comparably modest results for those who cannot or choose not to have surgery.
What should I expect during the procedure?
Although you may experience some pain or discomfort during the procedure, it usually goes away right afterward. Your doctor can provide pain medication beforehand to prevent such symptoms and put you at ease.
Tissue tightening is a procedure that requires no down time, and the only visible after-effect, slightly reddened skin, can usually be concealed and treated with cosmetics or sunscreen.
When should I expect results from tissue tightening?
It may take up to 6 months to see complete results, as that’s how long it takes for your body to build new collagen.
Are there complications from this procedure?
Minor, occasional complications from tissue tightening include slightly reddened skin and some swelling and tenderness. More rarely, some patients may experience burning or blistering, which may create a scar or depression in the skin. Such side effects are extremely rare.