Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on May 27, 2012

Sources

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon of the Face and Neck Clinical instructor, Division of Head & Neck Surgery, UCLA Medical School.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: What is your opinion of thermage?

Robert Kotler, MD: Well, thermage is indeed an FDA approved procedure that super heats the skin and specifically the collagen, which is one of the main building blocks of skin, and theoretically would form new younger and tighter collagen. Now that process doesn't take place over night. And so the manufacturer has advised physicians and secondarily patients that they will not see an immediate result. The hoped for result may take 4 or 5 or 6 months to achieve.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): That process is probably not achieved the success that we had hoped it might. Again, by observation, because the patients have to accept that when they are employing a new technology. We are all learning about it, so the first kid on the block may be satisfied and may be disappointed. I think to this point, we're a little bit disappointed. Now, that said, there haven't been any complications. I think most patients consider the significant complication to have hit their wallet, because they didn't get much for their money. And it's not inexpensive. It can be several thousand dollars because it means a visit in the operating room, the doctor's time, the technical, the cost of the technology.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): So again, not harmful, but not really delivering the goods. Certainly, not a substitute for a surgical facelift. And many services, technologies, kind of position themselves as less invasive, less traumatic, less expensive, less everything quote facelift, but the answer is, they can't match the proven record of a surgical procedure. It's just not possible by having the skin treated by a beam of light to get rid of a saggy chin and jowls and the product of many years of ages and perhaps even some dissipation.