Combining Radiofrequency Techniques To Treat The Neck

Jason D. Bloom, MD, and Garrett D. Locketz, MD, talk about combining injectable and microneedle radiofrequency therapies to enhance pores and skin elasticity, ablate fats, and scale back wrinkles within the neck and decrease jawline

The Rejuvenation of ageing skin is a basic remedy of the beauty clinician. With respect to aesthetics of the decrease face and neck, the highest issues for sufferers are sagging pores and skin, wrinkles, and jowling1. For years, the methodology of selection for treating pores and skin laxity within the non-invasive setting has been transcutaneous thermogenesis, whereby vitality is used to create warmth injury to the dermal and subcutaneous skin layers. This thermal damage finally leads to collagen denaturation and contraction, activation of wound therapeutic pathways, collagen remodelling, improve in collagen fibril measurement2, and finally neocollagenesis3 — whereby new collagen fills in floor imperfections leading to younger showing pores and skin.

Since the early 2000s, radiofrequency (RF) gadgets have remained a staple supply system of transcutaneous thermogenesis for the remedy of pores and skin laxity and facial rejuvenation. The purpose of those RF gadgets is to induce electrothermal damage into the dermis and subcutaneous tissues at exact therapeutic warmth ranges that successfully promote collagen remodelling.  Early RF gadgets emitted vitality on the skin floor utilizing electrode arrays which required vitality to go by means of the dermis to warmth the underlying dermis. This resulted within the potential for vital thermal damage to the pores and skin floor to be able to obtain optimum dermal temperatures for collagen remodelling, and thus aggressive pores and skin cooling and brief length therapies have been required. Floor temperature thresholds additionally restricted the depth to which electrothermal vitality may penetrate into the dermis, as growing the RF energy (and thereby depth) would essentially improve the warmth delivered to the pores and skin floor.

To bypass these points, RF applied sciences lately started integrating microneedles or injectable probes that penetrate past the dermis and induce thermal vitality beneath the pores and skin floor. In microneedle (or transcutaneous) RF know-how, a 200–500 micron big selection of 20 micron diameter needles are injected into the dermis, roughly 0.5 to three.5 mm beneath the pores and skin floor, the place warmth vitality is produced for durations between 10 to 1000 ms. The sample of dermal damage created by microneedle RF arrays are minimal on the dermis, and the vitality sample will increase in measurement because it descends to deeper layers of the dermis. This leads to a decrease potential for pores and skin floor damage whereas permitting for greater temperatures to be delivered to dermal collagen. Moreover, RF know-how doesn’t rely upon interplay with chromophores to create warmth, and subsequently delivers a extra even and widespread vitality distribution that’s safely used on all pores and skin varieties with out threat for hyperpigmentation4,5.

Microneedle radiofrequency techniques

The 2 primary styles of microneedle RF techniques are these with insulated needles and people with out needle insulation. In non-insulated microneedle techniques, your complete needle serves because the vitality supply system, and thermogenesis happens alongside your complete needle size. Non-insulated needles ship decrease vitality density with deeper needle insertion, as vitality spreads alongside your complete needle size. The usage of non-insulated microneedles additionally leads to a remedy space freed from bleeding factors, as small venules within the dermis are coagulated by the shaft of the microneedle. Conversely, solely the tip of the microneedle delivers vitality in insulated techniques, leading to smaller and extra exact areas of vitality supply whereas maintaining the overlying dermis free from injury, however requires passes at a number of depths to be able to ship vitality to your complete dermis. Some producers use a set depth microneedle array, whereas others have vitality penetration depths that may be adjusted (often between 0.5 mm to three.5 mm), permitting for extra exact management and customization of remedy in keeping with every particular indication. In some techniques, the RF microneedle penetration depth might be adjusted in actual time, permitting for the power to ship vitality at a number of depths per needle go.

Histologic evaluation after these therapies present induction of coagulated columns within the dermis forming a cocoon-shaped zone of sublative thermal damage and affecting adnexal buildings by coagulating the follicular epithelium and perifollicular buildings. 4 days after remedy, re-epithelialization is famous in addition to neovascularization and granulation tissue formation6. On the whole, RF microneedle therapies are usually brief (30–45 minutes for neck/pan-facial therapies) with 2 to three periods mandatory for optimum medical outcomes. Affected person downtime is often not more than 24 to 48 hours, and most impact peaks round Four to six months after remedy. In a multicenter examine of 499 sufferers utilizing the INFINI system (Lutronic, Burlington, MA, USA) for remedy of facial pores and skin wrinkles13, outcomes from all centres have been total excellent to glorious, starting from delicate enchancment to glorious in even extreme wrinkles. Delicate oedema was reported for 12–48 hours and erythema from 3–5 days, with no persistent erythema skilled by any affected person within the examine.

Advantages and limitations

On the whole, microneedle RF know-how is an efficient instrument for wrinkle remedy, delivering exact heating of the reticular dermis. However, remedy of situations ensuing from pores and skin and delicate tissue ptosis and laxity, subcutaneous fats deposits, jowling alongside the mandibular border, and prominence of platysmal banding requires a stage of heating to the deeper layers of pores and skin and delicate tissue that can’t be achieved by RF microneedle applied sciences alone3,11. The dermis and underlying hypodermis create a posh collagen community involving the papillary and reticular dermal layers, fatty, fibrous septi, and underlying facial layers (Determine 1), all of which act in live performance with the extra superficial dermal pores and skin layers to create the pores and skin’s tone, high quality, and sturdiness. Sadly, transcutaneous microneedle RF applied sciences are unable to ship constant and measurable warmth to the deeper hypodermal layers, and their impact is restricted to dermal collagenous tissue8.

Percutaneous radiofrequency techniques

The newest technology of minimally invasive RF applied sciences to be used in beauty surgical procedure is percutaneous (or injectable) temperature-controlled RF. Percutaneous RF gadgets function below the identical normal principal as microneedle RF gadgets, with the exception that just one bigger probe (1.2 mm in diameter and 10–15 cm in size) is utilized in percutaneous RF vs. an array of many smaller needles in microneedle RF. The percutaneous RF probe is inserted into the pores and skin and is moved by the operator parallel to the pores and skin’s floor, directing and fanning the vitality throughout the focused remedy areas (Determine 2 A–B). This permits the operator exact management over the place the vitality is delivered and supplies vitality to the deeper tissue layers than attainable with microneedle RF, such because the papillary/reticular dermis and the subcutaneous fats and fibrous septae. Importantly, vitality supply at these depths not solely contributes to tightening and wrinkle discount but additionally ablates subcutaneous fats and will increase pores and skin elasticity by remodelling its anchoring mechanism to the deeper fascia and muscle8.

Presently, the one two percutaneous RF gadgets which might be FDA cleared and in the marketplace are ThermiTight (ThermiAesthetics, Southlake, TX, USA) and FaceTite (InMode, Lake Forest, CA, USA)7–9. The FaceTite system makes use of a strong, insulated, 10 cm lengthy and 1.Three mm diameter bipolar RF applicator probe, whereas the ThermiTight system incorporates an both 10 or 15 cm lengthy and 1.Three mm diameter monopolar RF probe. In each techniques, the probe is handed instantly below the pores and skin by means of a small epidermal incision or needle opening into the hypodermal-subcutaneous fats house. RF vitality is emitted from the non-insulated tip of the inner electrode, which causes coagulative necrosis of the sub-dermal fats, together with the decrease reticular dermis and the fibrous septae (Determine Three A–B). A temperature sensor is built-in throughout the handpiece or electrode, which displays subdermal temperatures through the remedy. These deeper temperatures are adjustable by the operator, and vary between 50°C–70°C relying on the remedy space and desired impact. Moreover, an infrared digicam system is included within the ThermiTight system bundle which displays epidermal temperatures throughout remedy, and built-in security mechanisms make sure the remedy electrode doesn’t induce floor temperatures exceeding 47°C — though even decrease temperature thresholds might be set by the operator. On this manner, each the ThermiTight and FaceTite techniques enable for simultaneous temperature regulation of dermal and subdermal tissue, allowing the system to succeed in the maximal therapeutic thresholds mandatory for collagen remodelling, whereas defending the dermis from thermal damage. On the whole, nearly all of the percutaneous RF procedures are performed below tumescent anaesthesia, whereas some sufferers/practitioners choose to carry out chosen nerve blocks utilizing injectable anaesthetic. In a examine of 42 sufferers presenting with neck and face pores and skin laxity, vital tightening of the cheek, jaw line, and neck was achieved in all 42 sufferers after remedy with the FaceTite system, in addition to enhancements in nasolabial folds10. Publish-treatment oedema lasted roughly 3–Four weeks following remedy, and continued enhancements have been noticed for an extra 6 months after remedy. Sufferers reported solely delicate discomfort post-operatively, and social engagement limiting oedema/swelling was current for five–7 days. There have been no burns or main problems, and affected person satisfaction scores averaged 4.6/5.

Combinational radiofrequency

When contemplating surgical procedure for the remedy of facial and neck pores and skin laxity and wrinkles, sufferers most frequently contemplate doctor coaching/experience, length of outcomes, value of procedures, gradual enchancment over sudden look adjustments, and total diploma of invasiveness1. That stated, many sufferers in the present day finally delay surgical procedure for 1–2 years whereas searching for more cost effective and fewer invasive options12. With this altering aesthetic panorama, each microneedle and percutaneous RF applied sciences have the potential to revolutionize the apply of the aesthetic clinician with respect to face and neck rejuvenation. Every of those procedures has its personal deserves, indications, and issues. However, with expertise, the astute practitioner can make the most of every know-how’s strengths, and mix their makes use of in the identical tissue space for a synergistic outcome that’s simpler with much less downtime than utilizing both alone. In chosen sufferers, making use of the percutaneous RF remedy, adopted by a microneedle RF remedy, produces a dense 3-D criss-cross sample of thermal damage, leading to enhanced pores and skin tightening, wrinkle discount, and fats ablation above and past that of every modality alone. This complicated meshwork of RF thermal damage has a strong affect on the dermis, subcutaneous fats, and the fibro-septal tissue community. When this tissue remodels because it heals and neocollagenesis happens, the following end result is a tightening of tissue in a number of completely different instructions, ranges, and planes — a outcome not attainable with both of those therapies alone.

Within the authors’ apply, the perfect affected person for this synergistic, twin remedy know-how is one whom has been deemed non-surgical and has a number of of the next aesthetic situations: reasonable sagging within the neck and/or jawline, skinny pores and skin thickness, delicate platysmal banding, ‘crepey’ neck pores and skin, or poor pores and skin elasticity. This affected person phenotype is totally completely different from the sufferers which might be in any other case chosen to have both percutaneous RF or RF microneedling remedy alone

(Determine Four A–B and Determine 5 A–B). Moreover, the 2 procedures might be mixed in a single workplace go to with a one-time tumescent anaesthesia session, benefiting each practitioner and affected person desire. When performing these procedures within the workplace, the percutaneous RF remedy ought to all the time precede microneedle RF remedy, as tumescent anaesthesia could have already been administered of their decrease face and neck upfront of the RF microneedling remedy.

Lastly, from a apply constructing and monetary standpoint, the mix of those RF therapies might be extraordinarily worthwhile. The overall process time is just nominally longer with the addition of the microneedling RF remedy, and this second process proceeds considerably sooner as a result of the doctor just isn’t ready for the anaesthesia to take impact. The one further value is the value of the disposable tip or pins for the RF microneedling system. By coupling the procedures, the doctor advantages financially from these two excessive margin procedures and the affected person advantages from the improved synergistic outcomes.


The mixed outcomes achieved with these non-surgical gadgets is not like every other remedy in the marketplace. The neck and decrease face tightening produced with these synergistic applied sciences is really spectacular, and at the same time as lately as a couple of years in the past, the outcomes now attainable by means of combinational RF remedy may have solely been achieved by means of surgical procedure. The addition of those procedures to the apply of aesthetic surgical procedure has opened the door to many sufferers who usually are not keen to endure decrease face and neck surgical procedure however are nonetheless trying to obtain vital medical outcomes on this remedy space.

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