While radiofrequency technology continues to improve, surgical intervention still reigns supreme for eye, and neck rejuvenation.
This is part 2 of a 2-part series.
RF has improved but it’s still not surgery, according to Beaty.
“Radiofrequency strategies are directed at skin tightening,” Beaty says. “You really can’t compare this with a surgical procedure like a facelift, for example, where you are taking the contours of the supportive tissue of the face and repositioning them, bringing them back to where they came from. Yes, you are tightening the skin, but you are working at a whole different structural level than what is possible to do with the [RF] devices.”
RF devices can achieve some skin tightening in both the neck and lower lids. The nonsurgical approach is ideal for patients who have mild to moderate changes in the skin quality and skin laxity in those areas. But, RF technology will not achieve what a blepharoplasty or neck lift will. Surgery recontours the supportive tissue of the eyelid or neck and repositions the tissue, according to Beaty.
Physicians and health care providers need to understand what RF can and cannot achieve, according to Chilukuri.
“For example, we are finding that when people are super lean and very fit, in their mid-40s to 60s, we still have to provide some type of structural support underneath the neck skin even when we use these skin tightening devices,” Chilukuri says.
Best results will likely be achieved with a combination of treatments, both physicians agree.
Nonsurgical protocols in Beaty’s practice often include RF combined with micro-focused ultrasound or RF and laser technologies.
“Combinations tend to have more than an additive effect,” Beaty says. “You get some synergy when using the combination of devices. RF technologies have come along to where they definitely have a role in both treatment and in maintenance of particularly skin laxity problems on the face, neck and eyelids. But just like everything that we do, RF needs to be used for the right problems. The key is making the diagnosis. When RF technology fits with what your patient needs, it can be very powerful.”
Beaty has no conflicts of interest. Chilukuri does consulting for BTL Industries, and InMode Aesthetics.