Skin Tightening Options – The Minimally Invasive Way
When it comes to skin tightening options and achieving high definition body contouring results, it is important to gauge the degree of excess fat as well as the severity of skin redundancy. The above two factors will not only determine the surgical design plan but also ultimately affect outcome potential.
With the advent of Vaser Liposuction, comprehensive fat removal can now be accomplished regardless of the degree of excess fat. As a result, it is the degree of skin redundancy that limits the extent of fat removal. If one does not identify and manage skin redundancy, then there is a possibility of compromising the contouring results; the image that comes to mind is that of a sharpie dog. When there is skin redundancy, we can utilize various techniques for skin tightening. At the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2018 meeting, Dr. Diane Duncan summarized the various minimally invasive skin tightening modalities available today.
Skin tightening percentage (approximates)
|Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL) of superficial fat||
|Vaser Liposuction – Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction||
15 to 20%
|Body Tight – Radiofrequency Assisted Liposuction (RFAL)||
23 to 26 %
|Renuvion – Helium plasma-activated Radiofrequency||
In the table above, we present several interesting concepts. The first is that removal of fat alone, i.e. SAL, can achieve 8% of skin tightening secondary to skin retraction. When experts remove fat with the traditional SAL technique, the skin will retract back up to the underlying muscles resulting in the above tightening.
Vaser is an ultrasound energy delivered probe that melts the fat prior to liposuction.
BodyTight utilizes RFAL technology. However, the disadvantage of Body Tight is that it cannot be used when requiring fat transfer as it damages the fat cells. Additionally, it takes a longer time to perform (approximately 45 minutes per area) thus making if less appealing in an intraoperative setting where there are anesthesia time limits.
Finally, Renuvion, helium plasma Radiofrequency technology allows for the most effective minimally invasive skin tightening tool with a 36% tightening observed. Furthermore, the advantages of Renuvion are that they can be performed synchronously with VASER liposuction which does not damage the fat cells and can be used for fat transfer. In addition, experts can perform Renuvion expeditiously (approximately 10 minutes per area) thus making it very appealing in the intraoperative setting. Probably the most important distinction between Renuvion and Body Tight is that one performs Renuvion immediately after VASER liposuction to better gauge skin tightening.
In contrast, BodyTight makes gauging the degree of skin tightening more difficult since one must perform BodyTight prior to removing the fat. Currently, combining Vaser liposuction with Renuvion skin tightening is felt to provide the ultimate in body contouring liposculpture as observed by high definition liposuction transformations.
A 40-year-old female following high definition liposuction and Renuvion of the upper back.