Doctors and Journals on Facial Fat Atrophy after Radiofrequency

My Timeless MD Spa Experience

This doctor written excerpt captures fat loss very well.  Overall atrophy and denting.  The pictures show how her general features lost fat, not just the skin depressions.

Generalized Fat Loss

This woman experienced fat loss after a fotofacial laser damage with the same elos technology which had the same bipolar RF (and chose fat grafting to help correct her damage.)

Video of Fat Loss from fotofacial treatment with Syneron Elos Technology

A doctor explaining that fat loss can happen with bipolar radiofrequency.

“Well, I have heard of it happening from both, at the begining only unipolar was out there and the reports started for fat loss, the bipolar people then promoted theirs as much safer, but as time went on, there have been reports of fat loss with those also I am afraid. I think for the degree of tightening you see, I cannot recommend either one. JG 2.5.10”

Doctor Explaining Bipolar as Well as Monopolar Fat Loss

A famous eye plastic surgeon who explains that he has seen three cases of orbital fat loss (meaning the eye lost fat!) after skin tightening treatments (radiofrequency) or treatments meant to reduce pigmentation.

Orbital Fat Loss From Radiofrequency 

This doctor written journal article describes fat loss as a complication from Radiofrequency.

Fat Loss from Radiofrequency – A Known Complication

Dr. Biesman explains that in order to obtain the required effects from radiofrequency on the body, the energy used had to be higher than what was safe for the eyelids.  (you have upper and lower eyelids).  They have special settings and treatment tips just for the eyelids (not IPL only radiofrequency is used).  His tip only penetrates 1.2mm where the Radiofrequency from Syneron’s EMAX machine can go to at least 4mm.

Biesman on Radiofrequency Safety for the Eye Area.

This example from Real Self has doctors explaining how they treat fat loss and damage from laser, IPL, and radiofrequency (Thermage) with fat transfers.

Fat Loss from IPL and Radiofrequency  treated with Fat Transfers

A chapter from a book by Burke, Sternberg, and Biesman describes fat atrophy as a complication from radiofrequency.  They also state that special tips are needed for the eye area that only penetrate 1.2 mm.  The radiofrequency in the Elos technology penetrates deeper than 1.2 mm and therefore in my opinion, should not be used around the eyes.  The article is titled “Radiofrequency” and it’s part of a book called Techniques in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Series:  Laser and Non-Surgial Rejuvenation with DVD by Elsevier.

Book Describing Fat Atrophy from RF

The sample chapter of Book.

Doctor Suzanne Yee also mentions fat atrophy with electrical resistance heating (RF) on tissues.  She mentions she prefers to use a different device to avoid that risk. Clinical Bulletin #15 of Cosmetic Laser Ky.

Doctor Suzanne Yee

Another webstie discusses late adverse effects of cutaneous radiofrequency includes migraines and fat atropy.  Instituto Medico Laser, S.L. Madrid

Complications of Radiofrequency

Dr. Coleman states “Problems with radiofrequency include its potential to cause burns, scars and fat atrophy, and it is also not very specific.”  From Advances in fat reduction technologies show promise for body contouring.  Published Jan 12, 2011 by Cheryl Krader originally published in Cosmetic Surgery Times.

Complication with Radiofrequency – Very Recent Publication

This article in Plastic Surgery Practice discusses using fat transfer to correct damage from radiofrequency tissues tightening or laser devices. April 2006, by Benjamin Bassich, MD.  Fat Transfers to Correct Damage from Radiofrequency

Dr. Bassich also describes post radiofrequency complication such a scars, indentations, and loss of facial fat pads.  One interesting fact he noted is that the laser company reported that the machine was working normally but he belive it was simply causing injury deeper and more intense than intended.

Radiofrequency Complications and Report 

Dr. Maerck describes on his webblog that radiofrequency leads to facial fat loss and doesn’t recommend it. He suggests that the collagen production claimed by the tissue tightening devices is actually “irregular scar build up”.  He describes the time lag as the fat loss and abnormal scarring appears late after treatment which causes patients to look for a “different practitioner” to correct the problems.

Does Not Recommend Radiofrequency Due to Abnormal Scarring

He also explains his recommendation here

Journal article explanation of fat atrophy from deep heat delivery of radiofrequency.

An article by B. Atiyeh and S. Dibo entitled Nonsurgical Nonablative Treatment of Aging Skin:  Radiofrequency Technologies Between Aggressive Marketing and Evidence-Based Efficacy describes that when radiofrequency heat is delivered too deeply, it can cause damage to the fat under the dermis. They further explain that fat is headed more easily than the dermis since it has a higher electrical resistance.  “It is estimated that temperature can rise to sevenfold that of the dermis when headted by an RF source.”  They discuss that fat atrophy is a comlication that can then occur and the fat atrophy may progress with time.  B. Atihey, S. Dibo.  (2009). Nonsurgical Nonablative Treatment of Aging Skin:  Radiofrequency Technologies Between Aggressive Marketing and Evidence-Based Efficacy.  Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  33:283-294 DOI 10.1007/s00266-009-9361-9













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3 thoughts on “Doctors and Journals on Facial Fat Atrophy after Radiofrequency

  1. Can you give me an update on how you are doing and post recent pictures? I’m having same problem and just curious what you did and if it helped you? Thank you very much.

  2. Pingback: Radiofrequency | Pearltrees

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