Tell me about the Thermage™ procedure
There are some patients who are afraid of surgery, but need to get treated for a drooping forehead or sagging eyelids. It is quite unsightly when your skin loses its elasticity and starts hanging down your neck or around your belly. When getting older, you may also see your upper arms or thighs sagging, and find yourself hiding inside more clothing. Thermage™ is an excellent way of treating such conditions without undergoing surgery. By simply placing the external energy of radiofrequency on your skin, the Thermage™ energy is absorbed in the dermis, as well as the fatty layer underneath your skin. This creates heat, which advances the collagen production, making the layer under your skin tighter. For example, the tightening of the upper eyelids on a patient that doesn't want to have surgery can be treated by tightening the forehead. By applying the Thermage™ treatment to the forehead, the eyebrows are raised along with the upper eyelids. Similarly, getting a better jaw line may involve treatment to both the neck and the cheeks. Interestingly, some patients see the effects immediately after the treatment. But it is also natural not to see the tightening for about four to six months after the treatment.
This is quite a painful procedure, but the pain is minimized by giving the patient a pill to relax. In fact, the magnitude of pain is actually used as a measurement by the doctor to understand that there is enough heat to effect the improvement. This is a safe procedure. In previous years there were some reported cases of depressions of the skin possibly from some atrophy effect. Today however, it is made more comfortable with a vibration on the hand piece that helps distract the nerve endings.
A session can take just 30 minutes to approximately two and a half hours, depending on surface area of the skin treated. For example, treating the whole face, eyelids and neck could take two and a quarter hours or even more. Treating the whole belly could take 45 minutes. Generally, a single treatment will be sufficient for visible results. Thermage™ is not a laser treatment because it does not utilize light, but radiofrequency instead.
*Results may vary
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