What Is Thermage?

Thermage, thermacool, or thermalift is the most innovative, non-surgical, non-invasive, no “down time” procedure for treatment of loose or lax skin of the face and body areas which need firming and contouring.

Nurse Rada at Dr. Robert DeStefano’s office in Calabasas, CA. has been using Thermage to treat skin laxity of the face, neck and body since May of 2003. In fact the official website for Thermage posted some of Rada’s client “Before & After” photos.  Mention “SkinCareByLouisa.com to receive a 10% discount on any Thermage treatment performed at Dr. De Stefano’s office in Calabasas, CA.- Apr. 10 2012 to Aug. 30 2012.

Thermage is FDA approved.

Thermage can be used for treatment on any area of the face, neck, body, and even the eyelids using the most current Thermage upgraded system, Comfort Pulse Technology (CPT).

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CPT provides an improved, more uniform heating action that causes the structures in the skin and underlying tissue to immediately tighten while stimulating collagen growth and offers a more comfortable treatment of the face and neck. The thin skin of the eyelids is treated with a specialized tip with a shallow heating profile.

Thermage has also been found to provide a modest improvement to acne scars.

Body shaping Thermage treatments are beneficial for firming the skin, treating cellulite and for deep contouring and circumferential reduction. The body treatment hand piece with large 16 cm deep heating treatment tips allows for a faster, more comfortable and more effective treatment.  Body shaping treatments are used for contouring and smoothing of the abdomen, “love handles,” thighs,

Thermage

Thermage Treatment

buttocks and upper arms and for treating cellulite.

How Does Thermage Work?

Thermage skin tightening procedures:

Much of the advanced technology is in the disposable tip, which must be programmed for the impedance (electrical resistance) of each individual. Four corner sensors measure the temperature of the cooled skin surface. The passage of radio frequency energy is automatically blocked if the protective temperature is not correct. This system guards against surface damage and allows the ability to treat with no “down time.”

Each pulse of radio frequency causes a uniform heating of the deep layers (dermis) of the skin. The collagen structure responds to heating with a measurable contraction, then a gradual remodeling of the collagen. The full response, allowing time for new collagen formation, may be seen in as little as two months and may take as long as six months.

Thermage CPT System Offers Improved Patient Comfort

Unlike the painful Thermage treatments of the past, the improved Thermage CPT (Comfort Pulse Technology) System offers a significant improvement in patient comfort.  The unique vibrating hand piece interweaves pulsed radio frequency delivery with cooling bursts mimicking “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation” (TENS) therapy to disrupt the brain’s neural response and improve comfort during treatment.

The redesigned treatment tips deliver enhanced heat distribution and uniformity, which lead to improved volumetric heating.  A greater volume of tissue is heated to target temperatures and the heating is more evenly distributed across the treatment area.

This vibrating CPT hand piece is used for easily tolerated treatment to the face and neck.  This area is now treated without the use of pain medication.  We are also, under certain circumstances, able to use this hand piece on the upper arms for contouring and firming with a 3.0 cm deep heating treatment tip.

Thermage Body Shaping Treatment is designed for the same smoothing and thermage skin tightening which the standard tip provides but, since the heat penetrates approximately 80% deeper, to the subcutaneous fat layer, a body contouring effect is seen. This procedure also provides benefit to patients with mild to moderate cellulite.

By applying deep heat, along with specific superficial cooling, the collagenous connective tissues are restored and local circulation is improved.  This results in smoothing of dimples and improved skin texture.  The Body Shaping Treatment results in circumferential reduction decrease in surface irregularities, improvement of skin texture, firming, lifting and tightening of lax skin and reduction of cellulite.  Positive results have been reported in 2-3 months, with full effect seen in 6 months.

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Thermage for Treating the Eyes

Thermage treatment to the eyelids and surrounding area results in tighter, smoother skin.  Following treatment, the eyes appear more open, wrinkle lines, “crow’s feet and under eye bags are reduced. Smoother eyelid skin makes application of makeup easier.  The eyelid area can be treated alone, or in conjunction with the face and neck.  To protect the eye from absorbing heat, plastic eye shields will be inserted.

Tetracaine ophthalmic drops will be instilled to numb the eye prior to insertion of the eye shield.  A small 0.25 cm treatment tip with a shallow heating profile will be used on the eyelid skin.  The regular 3.0 cm tip will be used on the area above the eyelid, below the eye and on the outer eye corners.  The treatment is associated with very little discomfort and minimal swelling.  If eyes are dry or irritated following treatment, artificial tears can be used.

Thermage has provided consensus guidelines, which assure safer treatment with more consistent results.  Dr. De Stephano’s office has incorporated all of the latest treatment advances for the Thermage procedure.  Current consensus guidelines, which reviewed 5700 Thermage cases, reveal a 93% patient satisfaction rate.  Results have been shown to last 2-4 years.  As with any procedure, individual results may vary.

Advantages:

  1. Non-surgical, non-invasive procedure.
  2. No general anesthesia required.
  3. No “down time” allows return to usual activities without delay.
  4. Gradual improvement in appearance rather than sudden change.
  5. Conservative improvement, which appears natural and not “overstretched”.
  6. Option for additional treatment for further improvement if desired, but generally only one treatment can last for up to two years.
  7. Relatively short treatment time of one to three hours.
  8. Costs are much less than comparative surgical procedures for similar benefit.

Disadvantages:

  1. Best results are seen with mild to moderate wrinkling and laxity.
  2. Response in more severe wrinkling or laxity is unpredictable and may range from minimal to more than satisfactory.
  3. Discomfort of treatment ranges from mild to severe and may require mild sedative and/or pain medication.

The use of Valium or Vicodin requires a responsible driver.

  • Some individuals will require a second treatment for best results and some will not respond at all.
  • Long term ill effects have not been seen and are not expected, but are unknown.

Possible Side Effects May Include:

  1. Redness may be expected and may last a few hours.
  2. Blistering has been reported but is a rare exception.  Blistering can lead to infection, which can be health or life threatening, and may result in scarring. Choose a professional that has much experience administering Thermage treatments, such as Nurse Rada at Dr. De Stefano’s office in Calabasas, CA. (818) 222-7495       
  3. Swelling is typically minimal and may last 3-4 weeks, with swollen areas feeling tender.  In rare cases, swelling may be moderate, but decreases within a week. Nodular swelling may also occur and resolves within a month.
  4. Transient and focal altered sensation with tingling or numbness have been reported. Resolution is typically within a few weeks.  Nerve damage may occur at the treatment site.  This side effect is unlikely but can occur.
  5. Skin textural changes, “surface irregularities,” such as “small dents,” “rippling,” “ridging,” or “waffle pattern” have been reported.  These may be delayed and become evident one or more months following treatment but usually resolve or can be treated with tissue fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane.
  6. Adverse events have been reported at a rate of .04%.

Contraindications:

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Pacemaker or internal defibrillator
  • Cochlear implants
  • Implantable ocular lenses (if treating eyelids)

Cautions:

  • Dental braces
  • Dental prostheses (dentures), unless removable
  • Metal parts in the area to be treated (bone screws, plates, wires)
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Permanent makeup- we will not treat over permanent makeup, as it often contains iron oxide, which can absorb excessive heat.  If permanent makeup is present in the treatment area, we will treat around it
  • Post Lasik-treatment to eyelids must be delayed several months to allow for proper healing

Thermage Prices:

Full Face and Neck                                                                             $2,200.00

Full Face and Eyelids                                                                          $2,800.00

Face, Neck and Eyelids                                                                       $3,200.00

Forehead and Eyelids                                                                         $2,000.00

How Much Does Thermage Cost for the Body (includes both Body Contouring and Cellulite Treatments):

Small Body Area                                                                 $2,300.00

Average Body Area                                                            $2,800.00

Large Body Area                                                                $3,300.00 – $4000.00

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