At Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we’re known for our expertise and extensive experience in complicated breast reconstructions for breast cancer patients. We’re also known for applying those same surgical skills to myriad cosmetic surgeries, for everything from eyelid surgery to mommy makeovers after life-changing events like pregnancy and weight loss.
Dr. Christine Fisher and the Austin Cosmetic Medspa team continually research non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures and treatments to offer our patients. Two of these involve radiofrequency energy, which can be performed alone or in combination with liposuction. They are BodyTite™ and FaceTite™.
Here’s more information about these radiofrequency-energy skin tightening procedures.
Every year, liposuction is one of the top two or three cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. This is because many people experience stubborn pockets of fat in places such as the lower abdomen, the flanks (commonly referred to as "lovehandles"), and the inner thighs that are impervious to targeted exercise and changes in diet. Liposuction targets these pockets and removes them, slimming the contour of the area.
At Austin Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Austin Cosmetic Medspa, we liked the idea of taking liposuction and making it better by adding radiofrequency energy to the cannula. This is BodyTite™. BodyTite™ can also be performed alone if your primary concern is skin laxity as opposed to stubborn fat.
What is BodyTite™ and How Does it Work?
BodyTite™ is a body contouring procedure that improves upon liposuction by providing significant skin contraction along with it. The secret to BodyTite™ is its cannula. In traditional liposuction, the cannula simply suctions away the fat cells. The BodyTite™ system uses a cannula with an internal electrode that is inserted as in normal liposuction. Attached to the cannula, but resting atop the skin, is a metal wand that features an external electrode. The radiofrequency (RF) energy is emitted from the cannula tip, and it passes to the external electrode, heating the fat and surrounding tissues without damaging those tissues. While this is happening, the cannula suctions away the liquefied fat. The RF energy that liquefied the fat has heated the dermis (the skin’s second layer), causing the skin to contract and tighten. This helps the skin firm down to its new slimmer contour.
Am I a Good Candidate for BodyTite™?
No matter what kind of shape you’re in, pretty much everyone has some unwanted pockets of fat that are almost impossible to target with diet and exercise. BodyTite™ is not a weight-loss procedure; it is a body contouring/skin tightening procedure. To qualify for BodyTite™, patients should be at or near their ideal body weight. The best results are seen with patients who still have good skin elasticity.
What Are the Benefits of BodyTite™?
Combining radiofrequency energy (RF) and liposuction in the BodyTite™ system has numerous advantages over traditional liposuction:
- Superior body contouring — Because the RF energy liquefies the fat that is then instantly suctioned away, contouring is smoother and avoids the lumpy, irregular appearance that can follow liposuction.
- Skin contraction — The heating that melts the fat also causes a “wound” response in the dermis layer of the skin. This causes the skin to contract down, and the body produces new amounts of collagen (the skin’s structural support protein) to send to the perceived “wound.” Traditional liposuction doesn’t cause the skin to contract.
- Controlled directional energy distribution — Because the RF energy transfers from the cannula through the tissue up to the external handpiece, the direction can be precisely controlled. This maximizes the RF energy utilization, while ensuring there is little risk of thermal damage to surrounding tissues. This allows your provider to be more precise targeting and removing fat.
- Decreased downtime — Liposuction involves tissue trauma, as the cannula is moved back and forth under the skin to break up fat pockets. By using RF energy to break down and liquefy fat, the cannula with BodyTite™ gently extracts the fat. This creates far less bruising, swelling, and downtime.
Where BodyTite™ seeks to remove pockets of stubborn fat from the body while also tightening the skin, FaceTite™ does the same for the face and jowls, but its focus isn’t as much on fat removal as it is on simply tightening the skin on the face, jowls, and neck.
What is FaceTite™ and How Does it Work?
Employing the same radiofrequency (RF) energy as the BodyTite™ system, FaceTite™ tightens the skin on your lower face, jowls, and neck. The cannula also removes liquefied fat in the jowls, minimizing the effects of submental fullness, also known as "double chin." Unlike BodyTite™, which helps remove fat in addition to tightening the skin, FaceTite™ is primarily used to tighten the skin. However, FaceTite™ can effectively remove fat under the chin and in the areas where laugh lines form. The cannula and external electrode are the same as used in BodyTite™, but the focus is on the RF energy providing skin tightening.
Who is a Good Candidate for FaceTite™?
FaceTite™ is a good procedure for anyone with loose, sagging skin on the lower portion of their face, especially on the jowls. For anyone who has had dermal fillers injected recently, however, it’s advised you wait at least two months to have a FaceTite™ procedure.
How Does FaceTite™ Compare to a Facelift?
FaceTite™ combines the removal of unwanted pockets of fat, especially around the jowls, with radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening. These are similar results to what is done with a surgical facelift. Of course, it’s completely inaccurate to claim that your results will be the same as those that can be achieved with a surgical facelift. In a facelift, our Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery surgeons remove excess skin and adjust the underlying musculature to return to its former, higher position, eliminating sagging.
You can think of FaceTite™ as delivering a mini version of a facelift. The increase in collagen that firms the skin, however, will eventually be surpassed by the continuing decline in collagen production that is a part of natural aging.
Are These Procedures Painful?
BodyTite™ and FaceTite™ don’t involve any pain during the procedure. We locally numb the treatment areas and then inject a tumescent solution that contains anesthetic. This ensures that you will feel nothing during the procedure. As mentioned above, there is some soreness afterwards, but it is not extreme.
Can I Combine BodyTite™ and FaceTite™ Into a Single Session?
These procedures can be combined during a single session, if you choose.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about BodyTite™ and FaceTite™, or to determine whether you are a candidate for these procedures, please schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Christine Fisher or with Sandy Lanier, PA-C in Austin Cosmetic Medspa. Call (512) 815-0123 or fill out the email contact form below. Our practice serves Austin and the surrounding areas of Texas.