- BodyTite is a cutting-edge treatment to tighten skin and reduce fat in targeted areas of the body
- It is a good option for people interested in dramatic results without invasive surgery
- BodyTite is relatively expensive due to the duration of the treatment and the cost of the technology
What is BodyTite?
BodyTite is a state-of-the-art treatment that uses radio frequency energy to tighten skin, stimulate collagen production, and improve the contours of the body. It can be an effective way to treat skin laxity resulting from weight loss, childbirth or aging.
BodyTite is often performed in conjunction with liposuction. However, unlike liposuction and other procedures, BodyTite is minimally invasive. Scars are virtually undetectable, and no stitches are required.
Proponents say that when compared to other minimally invasive body enhancement procedures, BodyTite produces dramatic, outstanding results.
Who is best suited for treatment?
Your surgeon will first determine if you are a good candidate before clearing you to undergo the BodyTite procedure. The best candidates are in general good health, have moderate skin laxity and are within 30% of their ideal weight. However, excess body fat is not a requirement.
People who are not good candidates include women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, people with autoimmune diseases, those with skin diseases and/or infections, and anyone with allergies to certain local anesthetics.
If you are a good candidate, BodyTite has several advantages over more invasive body procedures—including less bruising and pain as well as minimal downtime. And many patients appreciate that BodyTite is an outpatient procedure requiring no general anesthesia.
According to Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Cruise, MD, BodyTite is most effective for contouring and tightening the abdomen, arms, breasts, thighs, love handles, and knees. “It is also a great complement to liposuction,” he says.
What is the procedure like?
The first step is to administer a local anesthetic in to the treatment area(s). The surgeon inserts a small cannula through a small incision in the skin. This device delivers radio frequency energy to the treatment area, which makes the skin and other tissues contract while liquefying fat. This energy is focused in the areas of fat so that only the fat cells are liquefied, without harm to adjacent tissues. The liquefied fat is then suctioned out through the cannula. Special safeguards control the skin temperature for maximum safety.
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How is the recovery and when should I see results?
Following treatment, you may feel sore or tender. However, the minimally invasive nature of this procedure makes for rapid recovery time—you should feel your normal self within a few days.
“There is some recovery with swelling, bruising, and uncomfortable tightness at times,” says Dr. Randal Haworth, a plastic surgeon practicing in Beverly Hills, California. “I recommend a compressive garment during the initial healing. Most people can start exercising within a few days.”
According to Dr. Cruise, it can take up to six months to see the final results, but these results are long lasting. “It can last for years provided the patient maintains their weight,” he says.
What are the potential side effects and complications?
As with any other aesthetic treatment, BodyTite does have some potential side effects and complications.
“I have personally seen a burn, while others have seen some hardening under the skin. One of the things patients note initially is a significant feeling of tightness in the area that has been treated,” says Dr. Haworth. However, bear in mind that these sensations and feelings of discomfort do subside.
Other potential side effects include temporary lumps for two or three weeks postoperatively; minor bruising and swelling (which can be controlled with pain medication); and minor redness and sensitivity (which should resolve within a few days).
How much does it cost?
BodyTite is not a short treatment—a session can last from one to three hours—as multiple areas are usually targeted. And the technology is expensive. As a result of these factors and the fact that it is often combined with liposuction, BodyTite can be relatively expensive. “In Beverly Hills for example, $7,000 to $8,000 to treat both arms is not unheard of,” says Dr. Haworth.
In the end, it will be up to you to determine if BodyTite is the right procedure for you and whether the potentially dramatic results and less invasive nature of the treatment justify the cost. To learn more about cost and obtain answers to your questions about this treatment, contact a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.
How effective is BodyTite?
The plastic surgeons we spoke with were impressed with BodyTite’s efficacy, particularly considering the hype that always surrounds new aesthetic technologies—and the failure of many of these treatments to deliver.
“Being in the business for over 22 years, I’ve seen my fair share of ‘high tech’ cosmetic devices come and go. They are the equivalent of billboards’ top 100 ‘one hit wonders,’” says Dr. Haworth. “I’ve always said that around 60–70% of all medical technology aimed at the aesthetic marketplace overpromises and underdelivers.”
BodyTite is the exception, according to Dr. Haworth. Unlike other treatments utilizing radio frequency to tighten and lift the skin, such as Thermage and Refirme, BodyTite’s results have not disappointed him.
“Though not purely a noninvasive device, BodyTite has exceeded my expectations,” Dr. Haworth says. “It is a powerful device to both tighten and lift the skin of all areas of the body. Both the literature and my current personal experience with BodyTite have verified that the machine works. You actually see skin tightening occur before your very eyes during the procedure and it only gets better from there.”
Dr. Haworth explains that one can see 35–45% skin contracture being maintained as long as three years—and most likely beyond that. A strong bonus is that no visible scars are involved. He states, “I want to get it done since I’m not considering a facelift at this time, but could benefit from the tightening.”
While Dr Cruise is also enthusiastic about BodyTite, he points out that it is not beneficial for those with moderate to severe skin laxity. While he feels this procedure can be quite effective for the right candidate, he says that people with poor skin quality and severe laxity may need a more invasive procedure such as tummy tuck.
“Tummy tucks effectively create a tight, flat abdomen by tightening the underlying muscles and removing excess skin,” he explains. “BodyTite is unable to provide the dramatic results that can be achieved with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), brachioplasty (arm lift), inner thigh lift, and back lift.”
In fact, Dr. Cruise points out that there is not a noninvasive or minimally invasive treatment on the market today that can address skin looseness in the same way as a surgical procedure. Lastly, he says that when fat alone is the problem, liposuction is the procedure of choice. Not only can liposuction remove unwanted fat, it can also help sculpt the body for an improved shape.