The Efficacy and Safety of Subcutaneous Radiofrequency After Liposuction: A New Application for Face and Neck Skin Tightening

Aesthet Surg J. 2021 Feb 12;41(3):NP94-NP100. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjz364.


Background: Minimally invasive or noninvasive skin-tightening procedures have become trends in facial and neck rejuvenation. Radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL) is a new choice for the treatment of skin relaxation that is more effective than noninvasive surgery without surgical incision.

Objectives: The authors recommend a 2-step method in which radiofrequency is applied after appropriate liposuction is performed. This approach is safer and more effective than traditional RFAL, and the authors detail the safety guidelines, operative techniques, postoperative satisfaction results, and complications.

Methods: A total of 227 patients with lower face and neck skin laxity underwent RFAL between April 2012 and June 2019. The following data were collected: age, body mass index, operative duration, volume of fat aspirated, amount of energy delivered, and number and type of complications. Patient satisfaction was surveyed postoperatively and assessed by third-party surgeons at 3 and 6 months.

Results: At 6 months after operation, 78.8% of patients considered the results moderate to excellent, whereas 21.2% of the patients considered the results to be poor or thought there was no change. The photograph evaluation performed by independent plastic surgeons showed moderate to excellent results in 89.1% of patients. There were no major complications that required further medical or surgical intervention.

Conclusions: This 2-step method is a safe and effective improvement in the application of radiofrequency for face and neck skin tightening. Patients can achieve significant contour correction via minimally invasive surgery with a lower risk of side effects.

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetic Techniques* / adverse effects
  • Face / surgery
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy* / adverse effects
  • Neck / surgery
  • Rejuvenation
  • Skin Aging*
  • Subcutaneous Tissue