In each edition, Modern Aesthetics® asks top physicians what devices are popular in their practice today. Here, MICHAEL T. SOMENEK, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Washington, DC, discusses THERMIAESTHETICS' THERMITIGHT AND THERMISMOOTH.

What does Thermi technology offer to your patients/practice?

“ThermiTight uses radiofrequency energy for a great nonsurgical alternative for skin tightening. It is able to produce consistent results for the lower face and neck and does not carry the downtime of a traditional surgical procedure. In our practice, we are using it a variety of ways. The main application is for the patient who is not quite ready for a surgical procedure, but would like a more contoured and refined neck and jawline. The great thing about this is that it can buy the patient time until they are ultimately ready for a surgical necklift. The other application is for the patient who has already had a facelift, desires a touchup, but isn't ready for another surgery or is not an ideal candidate for one. ThermiSmooth is used to tighten the skin around the periorbital and perioral regions.”

Bottom photos courtesy of Michael T. Somenek, MD

What is the treatment protocol for each indication?

 “ThermiTight is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 45 minutes to perform. It involves placing a probe under the surface of the lower face and neck and heating to a specific temperature that stimulates skin tightening and collagen production. Patients are able to drive themselves home and have little to no pain afterwards. ThermiSmooth is a surface application that takes about 10 minutes per eye or area with no downtime associated with it.”

Is there a learning curve?

“I have performed more than 70 ThermiTight procedures and am very comfortable with the device. Since I started, there are certain techniques that I have refined that I believe produce a better result. I now keep temperatures elevated throughout the face for a longer amount of time as I think the bulk heating potentially translates into more skin tightening. For ThermiTight, I perform all of the procedures myself. As part of the procedure, there is always a nurse present to monitor the skin temperatures in the event that it gets to a level that needs to be cooled. The ThermiSmooth procedure can be delegated to a physical extender for the periorbital and perioral regions with a reasonable safety buffer because the temperatures for the external probe are considerably less that the subdermal probe used for ThermiTight.”

With so many skin tightening devices available, why did you choose ThermiRF?

 “This is a device that is extremely well tolerated among patients while producing fairly consistent results. During the procedure, an infrared camera is used to precisely measure in real time the surface temperature of the skin. This allows energy to get delivered to the tissues with a very specific endpoint. We saw a great return on investment with the ThermiRF device. The consumables are reasonably priced for the amount that is charged for the procedure, making it worth the time that is spent and for the overall investment.”