A new study, “Soft Tissue Contraction in Body Contouring With Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction: A Treatment Gap Solution”, published 15 May 2018 in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal highlights the benefits of using RFAL technology for aesthetic body contouring. Authored by plastic surgeons Spero J. Theodorou and Christopher T. Chia of bodySCULPT® in NYC and Daniel Del Vecchio, MD, the research reviews the clinical application of electromagnetic energy via the BodyTite device on soft tissues during suction lipectomy, its effect on soft tissue contraction or skin tightening, and its use in aesthetic body contouring in various clinical scenarios.
Liposuction is the most commonly performed aesthetic plastic surgery operation performed worldwide for body contouring. Factors such as the continuous rise of obesity, trend in social media and selfies are driving for the demand for liposuction procedures. Advancements in anesthesia and improvements in technology and techniques have made the procedure safer and more accessible as well. Patient expectations have increased along with these improvements in body contouring procedures. In addition to attractive outcomes, cosmetic surgery patients desire quick treatment with minimal downtime and short recovery time. This has fuelled the popularity of minimally-invasive and non-invasive procedures to get eliminate unwanted fat and reshape different parts of the body.
A common concern among patients who have had liposuction is the extra, loose skin that remains after procedure. In fact, as the authors of the new study point out, despite the advancements in the field of aesthetic surgery, finding a procedure that can tighten the skin along with fat removal has remained a challenge. The researchers explain how Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction (RFAL) fills the gap.
A relatively new concept in energy-assisted body contouring techniques, Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction (RFAL) using the unique BodyTite device offers superior soft tissue contraction, leading to excellent skin tightening effects. The BodyTite liposuction device has two probes that work simultaneously. One works beneath the skin, heating the entire soft-tissue matrix and melting the fat via the temperature controlled radiofrequency technology. The second probe simultaneously aspirates the liquefied fat and coagulates the adipose, fibrous, and vascular tissue. Once the tightening part of the treatment is over, suction-assisted lipectomy is done for contouring purposes, if needed. The heat generated helps tighten the skin quickly and coagulates the tissues, allowing the plastic surgeon to sculpt the body to the ideal shape.
BodyTite is a versatile technology. According to the study, the applications of RFAL in plastic surgery include contouring of the arms, abdomen, medial thighs, neck and breasts. When it comes to the upper arm contouring, brachioplasty or arm lift surgery has been the mainstay. However, the procedure involves long, visible scars, which is a concern for most patients. BodyTite™ on arms (ArmTite) can provide smooth, shapely arms without the visible scars associated with traditional arm lift surgery. RFAL-assisted liposuction is now also used to perform scarless breast lift surgery. The BodyTite Perky Lift addresses flat, sagging and drooping breasts and results in youthful looking, beautiful breasts.
The study notes that RFAL is ideally suited for local anesthesia for small, discrete areas in properly selected candidates. For smaller areas of the face (FaceTite) and for soft tissue tightening where fat removal is not required, liposuction is not performed. Another advantage of BodyTite liposuction is that is safe. The surgeons point out that the technology ensures both uniform and efficient heating of the soft tissues while reducing the risk of overheating and burns.
Ideal candidates for BodyTite liposuction are those who are healthy and have stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. It is also important that you have realistic expectations about the outcome.
“RFAL can achieve consistent and reproducible results with excellent soft tissue contraction but without the complication rates of aggressive, superficial liposuction,” the authors conclude. They point out that in a patient satisfaction survey following RFAL, 89% of patients who underwent the procedure said they would recommend it.