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RF for Body Contouring

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According to Dr. Gregory Buford, blending RF into the aesthetic surgical practice helps to meet the rising demand for nonsurgical body contouring treatments.

Adding radiofrequency (RF) skin-tightening treatments can help surgical practices enhance surgical results and meet the rising demand for nonsurgical body contouring treatments. That’s according to Gregory A. Buford, M.D., a Denver-based plastic surgeon.

Dr. Buford says that through his training, he was "born and raised" to operate. And traditionally, surgeons were taught that they make the most money — far more than noninvasive procedures typically earn — by operating. But he says that over time, he learned that this approach isn't always best for patients, and that combination therapy often provides superior results through synergy.

"Patients say, 'I've had these noninvasive treatments. I saw them on the Internet. They looked really good. But they don't work for me.'" Still, says Dr. Buford, patients present at his plastic surgery practice and say they want better, natural-looking results through nonsurgical means. "How do you blend all that? They want all these things, and they have unrealistic expectations."

Nonsurgical treatments fit naturally into nonsurgical practices, says Dr. Buford. Incorporating nonsurgical modalities into surgical practices also makes sense, he adds, as part of a revenue-maximizing model.

Physicians who realize they are running both a medical practice and business are light years ahead of what their predecessors were taught in medical school, Dr. Buford says. "By adding nonsurgical products and procedures, you can actually add revenue. You'll be drawing more patients — those that don't necessarily want surgical procedures. We can not only draw these patients in, but also retain more of them."

By adding physician extenders, Dr. Buford says, some procedures can be performed while the surgeon is out of the office, raising overall revenues. "More importantly, we can increase patient satisfaction. If we are not offering these procedures to our patients, someone else will." While plastic surgeons were somewhat late in embracing extenders, he says that he applauds the specialists — especially dermatologists — who embraced extenders early.

The modern surgical practice combines surgery with minimally invasive and noninvasive procedures such as RF treatments and facial injectables, as well as medical skin care, lasers, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma and other adjuvant therapies. "This is more of what we're seeing now as compared to 20, 30 or 40 years ago. The traditional surgical practice is literally going the way of the dinosaurs."

NEXT: Specific RF Applications in the Surgical Practice

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