Multimodal Radiofrequency Application for Lower Face and Neck Laxity

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020 Aug 26;8(8):e2862. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000002862. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Nonexcisional facial skin tightening has long been an elusive goal in aesthetic surgery. The "treatment gap" includes cases who are not "severe" enough for excisions surgery but not "mild" enough for most traditional noninvasive aesthetic modalities. In this retrospective review, we present the largest evaluation to date of radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening technology combination including bipolar RF (FaceTite; InMode) and fractional bipolar RF (Fractora modified to Morpheus8; InMode).

Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted between January 2013 and December 2018 using a combination of bipolar RF and fractional bipolar RF for the treatment of facial aging. Data collection included demographic information, Baker Face/Neck Classification, amount of energy used, adverse events, and patient satisfaction. Four cadaver dissections were also conducted to correlate the underlying neuromuscular anatomy with RF treatment of the lower face and neck.

Results: Two hundred forty-seven patients (234 women and 13 men) were included in the study. Average age was 55.1 years (SD, ±8), body mass index was 24.3 (±2.4), and 9% (23/247) of patients were active smokers at the time of treatment. Patients had an average Baker Face/Neck Classification score of 3.1 (SD, ±1.4). The procedure was performed under local anesthesia in 240/247 cases (97.2%). Patients objectively improved their Baker Face/Neck Classification score by 1.4 points (SD, ±1.1). Ninety-three percent of patients indicated that they were pleased with their results and would undergo the procedure again. Complications recorded for our cohort included prolonged swelling >6 weeks (4.8%, 12/247), hardened area >12 weeks (3.2%, 8/247), and marginal mandibular neuropraxia (1.2%, 3/247), which all resolved without further intervention. When considering possible control variables, age seems to be a significant factor. That is, older patients were more likely to benefit from a larger magnitude of the treatment effect (as demonstrated by a decrease in the Baker rating from pre- to posttreatment) when compared with younger patients. However, both groups did demonstrate significant improvements across time.

Conclusion: While this combination RF treatment (FaceTite bipolar RF and fractional bipolar RF) does not aim to replace a facelift/necklift in appropriate candidates, it does broaden the plastic surgeons' armamentarium to potentially fill a treatment gap.