New Study evaluates Aesthetic Applications of Radiofrequency: Lymphatic and Perfusion Assessment

A recently published study by Spero J. Theodorou, MD (bodySCULPT plastic surgeon) et al titled “Aesthetic Applications of Radiofrequency: Lymphatic and Perfusion Assessment” supports safety of radiofrequency (RF) treatment in terms of preservation of tissue perfusion and lymphatic drainage. This study was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open 2020 Oct 26;8(10):e3193.

Aesthetic Applications

Since the early 2000s, the use of RF in aesthetics has increased in popularity but to date, there have been limited studies investigating the effect of thermal energy secondary to radiofrequency treatment. This new study objectively evaluated perfusion and lymphatic assessment tools pre and post bipolar and fractional RF treatment.

A total of 63 patients were treated with bipolar and/or fractional radiofrequency for aesthetic concerns between January 2019 and April 2019. Three types of patients were treated: (1) patients who had a prior excisional procedure with recurrent laxity; (2) patients whose skin laxity was not severe enough for an excisional procedure, or (3) patients who preferred to not undergo traditional surgery and were willing to accept a more modest result with RF. All procedures were performed by a single surgeon to control for technique variation.

Patients were with treated with bipolar radiofrequency (Accutite/BodyTite/FaceTite, InMode, Lake Forest, Calif.) or fractional radiofrequency (Morpheus8 InMode, Lake Forest, Calif.), or both depending on the evaluating plastic surgeon’s clinical assessment of soft tissue laxity. Patients with more severe soft tissue laxity were typically treated with both RF modalities.

The study found that both lymphatic function and soft tissue perfusion was not significantly impacted by electromagnetic RF induced heat to 68°C internally and 38°C externally. Evaluations of bipolar and fractional RF independently and in combination demonstrated no demonstrable impairment on lymphatic function.

“The results of this study demonstrate that bipolar and fractional bipolar radiofrequency do not appear to impact subdermal lymphatic flow or perfusion either in isolation or in combination”, the researchers concluded. They also said that more studies are needed on these increasingly popular technologies to ensure safety and efficacy.

About bodySCULPT®

bodySCULPT® ( is an AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery practice with a state-of-the-art surgical center located on 128 Central Park South in Manhattan, New York City. The plastic surgery practice based in NYC, New York, offers a wide range of quality cosmetic surgery solutions for men and women. bodySCULPT® specializes in tummy tuck, Brazilian butt lift, fat transfer, breast augmentation, breast lift, chin lift, and arm lift among other procedures. The facility is led by plastic surgeons Dr. Spero J. Theodorou and Dr. Christopher T. Chia.

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