Facial tightening with an advanced 4-MHz monopolar radiofrequency device

J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Nov;11(11):1288-94.


Background: Over the past 10 years, radiofrequency (RF) technology has been utilized for nonablative treatments for the treatment of rhytides and skin laxity. This manuscript reviews the scientific background of collagen synthesis in vivo and in response to RF energy as well as a clinical study of 17 patients receiving a series of facial treatments with a 4-MHz monopolar RF (Pellevé, Ellman International, Inc, Oceanside, NY). Clinical methods, results, and a review of the literature for RF aesthetic treatments of the face are presented.

Methods: Seventeen patients were treated in one site with 6 total treatments scheduled as follows: 1 session was performed every 15 days for 2 consecutive sessions, 1 session every month for 2 consecutive sessions, and 1 session every 2 months for 2 consecutive sessions. Both the treating physician and the patients via live viewing and comparison with baseline photographs performed assessment of results. Results are reported as averages across the 17 patients.

Results: Two weeks after the first treatment, patients noted an overall average of 25% to 30% improvement. Just before the last or sixth treatment, there was an average of 50% improvement noted by the physician, with patients ranking an average self-improvement of 48%. The treating physician rated average improvement of 46% compared with baseline, whereas the patients ranked average improvement of 30% compared with baseline at 1 year after treatment was initiated (6 months after the final treatment). Patients find this treatment to be very well tolerated, with minimal to no discomfort and no downtime or significant side effects.

Conclusions: The Pellevé 4-MHz monopolar RF device is effective, safe, and very well tolerated for treating laxity, texture, and wrinkles of the skin without complication or discomfort. Evidence in the literature supports the scientific mechanism of action of acute collagen modification and continued neocollagenesis observed with the system. In this cohort, patients maintain approximately 50% improvement on average at 6 months and a 30% to 50% improvement 1 year after beginning the treatments, 6 months after completion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetic Techniques*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects
  • Radiofrequency Therapy*
  • Rejuvenation*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects*
  • Treatment Outcome