Satisfaction with what you see looking back at you in the mirror plays a big part in fostering a sense of personal contentment, and freedom from the signs of aging and unwanted trouble spots is almost certain to nurture a heightened state of wellbeing. This is why Dr. Stephen Bloch offers the latest in non-surgical skin tightening. Thanks to the FaceTite treatment provided by Body by Bloch in Glenview, IL you can tighten loose skin with no need for a long recovery time.
What Is FaceTite?
This is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive treatment that delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy under the skin’s surface to melt fat and stimulate collagen production. This tightens the skin from within the dermis. It can treat areas with deep lines and loose skin anywhere above the shoulders, but it is usually recommended for returning firmness to the chin, jowls, cheeks, neck, eyes, mouth, brow, forehead or jawline.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
One of the main benefits of this treatment is that it penetrates more deeply than other RF and ultrasound energy treatments. Though its tightening effects are FDA-approved to last one year, many doctors and patients report results lasting up to five years.
This does not mean that in five years you will go back to looking the way you looked before. It is more likely you will notice a gradual reduction in overall tightness over time as your skin begins to show the normal signs of aging. Lifestyle choices such as using sunscreen daily, adopting a good skin care regimen, and abstaining from smoking will have the most say in how long your results last.
Though this treatment stimulates collagen production over an extended period, you might notice tightening within the first week and perhaps even immediately. Because it is minimally invasive, downtime is normally limited to three or four days. This is a much shorter interval than occurs with a facelift or with skin-tightening laser treatments. And since it is an outpatient remedy performed in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, you will probably be able to get home by yourself afterward.
By the end of one week, there should be a visible improvement in the skin’s laxity. The tightening and contouring will continue to happen rapidly over the next three to four months, with up to 70% of the results appear within six weeks. The best results are noticeable after six months and will continue to improve for up to a year post-treatment.
Doctors sometimes combine this treatment with liposuction on the neck and jowls to achieve more pronounced contouring results and greater definition in the jawline. They refer to this as radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL). A 2016 study published in the official open-access journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that outcomes resulting from RFAL satisfied the vast majority of patients receiving treatment. FaceTite can also be paired with Fractora RF, a treatment that stimulates collagen production in the top layer of the skin, by puncturing tiny holes in its surface.
How Does It Work?
Treatment involves heating the lower dermis layer of the skin, which is composed primarily of collagen. With time, the natural healing response of the body forms new skin-firming collagen. This is in addition to tightening existing collagen fibers and dissolving fat, which is why patients often see immediate improvement even before the long-term effects.
Previous RF devices did not penetrate as deeply into the skin and results were therefore limited. But FaceTite is considered a next-generation RF treatment with heat and energy being delivered directly where needed. Consequently, it is not unusual for doctors to see the skin begin to contract while the patient is still on the table.
What Happens During Treatment?
Most doctors provide this care inside the office using local anesthesia or sedation and might administer anti-anxiety medicine to promote comfort during the initial numbing. This is known as tumescent anesthesia. This process also entails injecting a generous amount of anesthetic into the subcutaneous fat. This is the same preparation normally done before liposuction. Once completed, the normal reaction is to feel nothing.
The doctor then makes an incision in the treatment area that is so small it does not require stitches or leave a visible scar. The doctor then inserts a thin metal probe, called a cannula, into the incision to heat the tissue below the skin surface. The doctor regulates the amount of heat delivered, bringing the undersurface of the skin to 69° Celsius, or approximately 156° Fahrenheit, and passes an electrode over the surface at the same time to produce an electrical field. This field concentrates all the energy, maximizing skin contraction and fat coagulation. The treatment takes about 60 minutes from start to finish.
This treatment was developed to address delicate areas of skin without causing cellular damage to tissues, so it is generally safe, employing the same kind of radiofrequency technology used in Thermage, MRIs, and other medical treatments that have been performed safely for years.
To minimize any risks, it is important to have a skilled and experienced surgeon delivering treatment. Make sure to visit us for care that is delivered by a board-certified surgeon who has performed the treatment many times. Also, try to keep expectations realistic when going in for an appointment. While treatment can tighten skin significantly, the results will never replicate those of a surgical facelift or mini-lift. However, results usually will not leave visible scars, either.
What to Expect During Recovery
Signs of having had this treatment can last for a week or more, often peaking about three days afterward. Most patients take four to five days off work for their initial recovery. Some patients might still exhibit evidence of treatment for up to two weeks, depending on the extent of the work done and the individual’s personal factors.
Compression garments and ice help with recovery, so doctors often send patients home with a compression garment to wear around the clock for the first three days and then only at night for a few weeks. This is designed to give the skin extra support as it heals to maximize results. For patients with an event coming up or who need to be in front of people, a faster recovery can be encouraged by a tapered course of steroids.
Returning to a Normal Routine
After two days it is okay to shower, and after a week it is fine to resume regular activities, including exercise. Because treatment areas continue to feel numb for several weeks, there should be no pain during recovery, and the numbness should resolve on its own after a few weeks maximum.
With an experienced, alert provider, any concerns post-treatment are minimal. Those that might affect facial movement or create asymmetry usually resolve on their own in time, and arnica can help reduce any symptoms. If greater contour regularity is desired following fat removal, an additional treatment such as a facelift, fat transfer, or injectable fillers can be used to achieve the desired look. However, doctors recommend waiting at least six months before follow-up treatments to allow time for most of the collagen remodeling to occur.
Compared to Other Treatments
This is another facial contouring treatment that uses radiofrequency energy, but it is a first-generation RF device that delivers less impressive results. A dermatologist, nurse, or physician’s assistant can perform Thermage, but FaceTite can only be done by a surgeon. Its temperature control is also more precise than Thermage’s.
Another difference is that Thermage uses an external probe that delivers energy through only one contact point, whereas FaceTite has both an internal and external probe to treat the skin from both sides. This allows thermal contraction of the skin’s full thickness and the connective tissue in the fat layer below the skin. Whereas the results of Thermage last about two years, FaceTite can last years longer, with more significant tightening and contour improvements.
Laser liposuction is a minimally invasive facial contouring procedure that removes small pockets of fat. But it does not tighten the skin, which means patients must have good elasticity or they are likely to experience sagging.
A “liquid facelift” is done with injectable fillers to add volume to sunken areas and help sagging facial skin look tighter and more lifted. But the results are temporary, lasting between six months and a year, depending on the type of filler used.
Ultherapy is yet another treatment, and this one uses ultrasound technology to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles by lifting and tightening the skin. It has a similar timeline as FaceTite, but the latter is newer and is typically more effective, especially when it comes to dissolving and removing excess fat. There is also a significant difference in the longevity of results. FaceTite usually requires only one treatment for results that last up to five years, whereas Ultherapy requires annual sessions to maintain results.
One final option is a mini lift, which is surgery that removes lax skin around the cheeks and jowls. Though less invasive than a full facelift, this procedure is still followed by at least two weeks of downtime, and the cost of the procedure is much greater than a treatment with radiofrequency.
Who Makes a Good Candidate?
Ideal candidates are typically individuals in their 30s to 50s who still have good skin elasticity but are experiencing laxity and a mild-to-moderate sagging of the skin. Patients with significant sagging and poor skin elasticity are less likely to achieve satisfying results. Also, sufficient bone structure is needed to provide support for the tightened skin, though implants or fillers can be recommended if additional support is needed.
Because treatment is performed with a hand-held device designed to be as minimally invasive as possible, non-surgical care is ideal for people who are not ready to get actual surgery for a facelift or other cosmetic procedure.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
Costs depend on the provider’s level of experience, practice location, the number of areas treated, and whether the treatment is paired with a complementary one, such as liposuction or Fractora RF.
Find Out More
To discover more about this procedure, contact Body by Bloch, where we offer state-of-the-art plastic surgery and medical spa procedures. Body by Bloch was founded by Steven Bloch, M.D., an internationally recognized board-certified plastic surgeon with over 25 years’ experience in the Chicago metropolitan area. Let Dr. Bloch help you achieve the look you have in mind. Take the first step now by scheduling a consultation at our Body by Block office in Glenview, IL today. We will be happy to book your appointment so you can get started!