As new technologies demonstrate dramatically improved results, the growth of noninvasive skin tightening procedures has exploded. Patients around the world have demonstrated their excitement and interest in procedures that target and correct sagging skin without the need for a scalpel, potential scarring, and long recovery times.
Two of the procedures showing the greatest promise in this area are RFAL (radio-frequency assisted liposuction) and Ulthera, commonly known as Ultherapy.
What is RFAL by InMode?
RFAL is a non-excisional skin tightening treatment used to improve wrinkles and sagging skin on the face and body without the need for surgery. Patients experience significant improvement with a single quick treatment, with no incision and little downtime.
The RFAL by InMode system uses a thermal energy field created by a cannula (a long thin tube) inserted beneath the skin and an electrode placed on the skin’s surface. This causes an electrical current to flow between the tip of the cannula and the electrode, creating a highly concentrated thermal field within the treatment area. Your doctor controls the temperature to achieve a uniform heating that allows treatment of both the skin’s surface and the deeper subdermal layer, up to a depth of 1″. Skin contraction in clinical trials reached nearly 26 percent within six weeks, and over 36 percent by one year.
What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is an FDA-approved procedure designed to promote collagen production in the face, neck, and chest. This treatment uses ultrasound technology to apply heat to the targeted area or areas, triggering the body’s natural response to send collagen to the treatment area.
Over time, new collagen builds in the area, lifting and tightening the skin. Though patients often witness immediate tightening, improvements continue over a three to four month period. Results last for six to 12 months.
How Do RFAL and Ultherapy Compare?
Though these treatments use different technologies to achieve their mini-facelift results, they have many of the same benefits.
First, both are proven safe and effective. Both have minimal side effects (possibly some slight swelling and redness immediately following treatment) and are fairly quick, taking around an hour to complete.
Both RFAL and Ultherapy continue to show results over time, though RFAL patients show marked improvement within two months of treatment, while Ultherapy patients show optimum results after four months.
Though both treatments display remarkable results for noninvasive procedures, RFAL’s results truly mimic those of a mini-facelift, thanks to the depth of treatment. RFAL also has a broader application, as you may use it to address sagging skin on the face, neck, upper arms, bra line, abdominal area, and thighs. Ultherapy is approved only for the face, neck, and chest.
Recovery time for RFAL is slightly longer. With Ultherapy, patients are back to their normal activities immediately following treatment. RFAL patients may resume light activities immediately, with normal routine possible after three or four days.
How Do You Know Which is Right for You?
If you aren’t sure which treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss your desired outcome. If you aren’t ready for a facelift, prefer to avoid surgery, or wish to prolong the results of a previous treatment, both RFAL and Ulthera offer amazing results.