ThermiTight™ & ThermiSmooth™
What is ThermiRF™?
No matter how hard you work to preserve your youthful appearance, at some point your skin betrays you and starts heading south. You may be sporting a sagging jawline, floppy “wings” on the backs of your arms, loose skin on your legs or an unwelcome tummy or bra-line roll. Fear not, ThermiAesthetics™ is here!
Dr. Anna Petropoulos, a leader and innovator in radiofrequency treatments, is pleased to offer ThermiRF radiofrequency skin tightening and contouring, at her suburban Boston facial plastic surgery practice. The ThermiRF system is an alternative to laser skin-tightening options. But instead of laser energy, which can cause burning and skin damage, the ThermiRF system uses radiofrequency energy to tighten skin through various methods across the body.
Dr. Petropoulos is considered the authority in achieving aesthetic enhancements with the radiofrequency modality, given her 15 years of experience using a wide array of radiofrequency treatments for skin tightening and contouring. Because of her specialized expertise, Dr. Petropoulos was asked to co-author a chapter on this innovative technology for the medical text New Frontiers in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery.
What types of ThermiRF™ treatments do you offer?
ThermiSmooth employs non-invasive radiofrequency energy to warm up the tissues to a very precise goal temperature. This energy is delivered by a specially designed external hand piece as it is massaged over the area being treated, such as your face, neck or body. The goal temperature and the size of the hand piece are selected based on the body part and the specific condition being treated.
The proprietary thermistor-controlled temperature settings and read outs support the unparalleled safety of this pleasant, gentle treatment. Patients say that this feels like a wonderful hot-stone massage that they wish would never end!
ThermiTight (InjectibleRF) is the next step up, a perfect option for the “in-between” patient – someone whose aging is not enough to warrant a face or neck lift, yet is a little more progressed than that treatable with other non-invasive devices. ThermiTight is the name of a peer-reviewed protocol described as “thermistor-controlled sub-dermal skin tightening.”
After using tumescent solution to numb the area, a tiny SmartTip™ thermistor probe is inserted under the skin to heat sub-dermal tissues to a specific temperature, selected by Dr. Petropoulos. Different temperature settings can be used to tighten the skin, melt fat, and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Again the safety is unparalleled, with the thermistor monitoring and controlling the subcutaneous temperature settings. Additionally, external temperature readings are recorded simultaneously by thermal video photography using the thermal “FLIR” camera, which projects the thermal image onto a screen.
The ThermiTight procedure can be performed alone or combined with liposuction or another adjunctive treatment. Dr. Petropoulos often combines ThermiTight with her trademarked “SkinTrim™” procedure for those who need it. She may recommend a series of KYBELLA® injections, which can get rid of stubborn fat beneath the chin. Dr. Petropoulos will work closely with you and help you decide which treatment or combination is the best for you.
What can I expect after treatment?
ThermiRF treatments have earned an astonishingly high 94% “worth it” rating from real patients on RealSelf.com, a respected cosmetic surgery forum.
Dr. Petropoulos’ patients are typically thrilled with their results, and surprised by how much improvement they achieve without surgery. You can see their results for yourself by visiting our before-and-after gallery of real ThermiRF patients.
How does radiofrequency energy tighten skin?
The skin consists of three layers: the outer epidermis, the dermis, and the fat layer. The middle layer, the dermis, isn’t used to receiving heat. When the dermis is heated it responds in two ways. First, the existing collagen in the area remodels, and this causes an immediate tightening of the surface skin. This process is known as collagenesis.
Second, the heat triggers a wound response reaction. When heat is sensed in the dermis, the body thinks is has been wounded and it triggers mechanisms to heal the perceived “wound.” This involves producing new collagen and elastin to send to the treatment area to “heal” the wound, even though there is no actual wound. Because collagen provides the skin’s underlying structural support, new collagen firms the skin, reversing some of the collagen loss that is a part of aging. Elastin is responsible for keeping the skin pliable and supple.
What is ThermiTight?
There are seven different applications of radiofrequency energy with ThermiRF™. Dr. Petropoulos offers ThermiTight™ and ThermiSmooth™, along with ThermiVa™ (see separate page on this site).
ThermiTight™ uses a tiny probe to deliver the RF energy under the skin surface. There the RF energy converts to heat, triggering the above-described collagenesis and wound response.
“Thermi is the pinnacle in the evolution of Radiofrequency treatments”
– Dr. Anna Petropoulos
Before & After ThermiTight™
what can thermiTight™ help correct?
At The New England Facial & Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Petropoulos uses ThermiSmooth and ThermiTight for skin tightening and contouring to improve conditions including:
- Double chin
- “Turkey neck”
- Sagging upper arms
- Bra rolls
- Fat and cellulite
As a member of ThermiAesthetics’ Clinical Advisory Council, Dr. Petropoulos is uniquely qualified to perform these treatments. She will help you to decide the best approach for achieving your particular goals.
How is ThermiTight performed?
We administer some local anesthetic to the treatment area. Then, Dr. Petropoulos makes a tiny incision in the target area to insert the probe. The tip of the probe provides constant feedback on the skin surface temperature and the temperature in the dermis during the entire treatment. The probe is moved into different areas, heating the dermis, immediately causing the skin to tighten and then triggering renewed collagen production. After your session, a gentle wrap is applied. You can resume all of your normal activities, including exercise, the next day.
Where is ThermiTight used?
ThermiTight’s subdermal heating probe is effective for skin tightening on the neck, breasts, arms, abdomen, thighs, and knees.
What is ThermiSmooth?
ThermiSmooth™ delivers gentle heating through the epidermis down into the dermis through a temperature-controlled handpiece. The results are the same, but ThermiSmooth™ delivers the RF energy down into the skin rather than through the probe under the epidermis as with ThermiTight™.
How is ThermiSmooth performed?
ThermiSmooth™ feels more like a warm massage than a skin-tightening treatment. After gel is applied to the treatment areas, the handpiece is moved back and forth across the skin. The goal is to deliver the RF energy into the skin. It converts to heat and produces sustained heating of around 40 degrees Celsius. This heat triggers the tightening reactions in the skin.
Where is ThermiSmooth used?
Because ThermiSmooth™ is so gentle, Dr. Petropoulos uses it on the forehead, around the eyes, the cheeks, mouth, and the neck. You can’t apply laser energy to most of these areas.
Are there any side effects when using ThermiRF treatments?
ThermiSmooth™ has no recovery time, and side effects are virtually nonexistent.
There are potential side effects with ThermiTight™, however, because it delivers the RF energy beneath the surface of the skin. Some people develop numbness or tingling in the treatment areas. This usually passes in a couple of weeks, but it can endure for up to three months. There is also the chance of nerve injury, bleeding, infection, and burns, but these are rare.
How does ThermiTight and ThermiSmooth compare with surgical options?
These radiofrequency treatments do not deliver the same level of skin tightening as can be seen in a facelift, neck lift, eyelid surgery, and other comparable surgeries. Those surgeries deliver long-term results.
ThermiRF™ procedures deliver skin tightening on a lesser scale, although still very dramatic. These effects last for one to two years. At that point, your collagen has again decreased to the level where your skin is sagging again. ThermiRF™ procedures are great for patients who aren’t interested in undergoing surgery.
How often would I need ThermiTight and ThermiSmooth treatments?
It takes a minimum of 4-6 months after RF treatment to see clinical results, as the new collagen production has to build. ThermiTight™ procedures aren’t performed more than once annually. ThermiSmooth™ can be performed more often. We find that from 3-6 sessions delivers the amount of skin tightening our patients seek. We can discuss frequency with you.
Dr. Petropoulos’s extensive experience
Dr. Petropoulos has over 15 years of experience with radiofrequency energy and skin tightening and contouring. She has used various RF systems and is proud to include the ThermiRF™ system in her practice.