In recent years, there has been an explosion of non-invasive devices to promote wrinkle, cellulite and fat reduction in patients who do not want invasive surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery in 2015 the annual number of minimal or non-invasive procedures has nearly tripled since 2000. In 2013, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported over 1.6 million liposuction procedures were performed globally. During that time, nearly 95,000 non-surgical fat reduction procedures and 294,000 non-surgical skin tightening procedures were done in the USA alone. Many studies are used to promote the sales of non-invasive devices, yet objective peer review studies are scarce. One of the more popular and growing uses of technology in aesthetic medicine is that of Radiofrequency (RF). The purpose of this study is to review the evolution of more commonly used radio frequency (RF) based devices. It also aims to generate a professional opinion on their use and efficacy.
There are many benefits and challenges associated with the use of RF in aesthetic medicine. Hand piece size alongside treatment area, permeation of RF into the skin and consistency of results are all challenges. It seems evident that challenges associated with RF arching and temperature control have improved significantly in recent generations of technology. It is clear that the use of Radiofrequency in medicine for cosmetic purposes continues to evolve and is likely to stay. Starting with the introduction of mono-polar RF now to multi-polar and even micro needling with RF aesthetic medicine has progressed through a technological evolution. Over the last 15 years there have been five separate generations RF with the most recent developments occurring in 2016. All of these studies show improvement in wrinkle and fat reduction. However, long term data has not been established. Further studies are needed in that area.
Thomas Narsete, Daniel S Narsete (2017) Evaluation of Radiofrequency Devices in Aesthetic Medicine: A Preliminary Report. J Dermatol & Ther 1:102.