If You’re Dealing With Loose Skin Read This

Dr. Paul F. Fortes, a double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, is an artist and a leading aesthetic plastic surgeon based in Houston, Texas. Dr. Fortes sees patients in two beautiful facilities in Memorial/ Town and Country and Galleria/River Oaks District in Houston. He is an owner of ACPS Spa and Rejuvenation Center, also in the two Houston locations, as well as ACPS The SurgiCenter, an AAAASF-certified state of the art four-operating room facility located in Memorial/Town and Country. He has lectured domestically and internationally on body contouring and now heads a safety course presented yearly at ASAPS’s The Aesthetic Meeting on body contouring surgery. He is board-certified and recertified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Fortes has become a global leader in aesthetic plastic surgery. He has lectured to international plastic surgeons in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Israel, and Malaysia and has been recognized as such by plastic surgery societies around the world. Haute Beauty sits down with Dr. Fortes to discuss skin tightening treatments that are best suitable and preferred for each patient.

Photo Credit: ShutterstockHB: What are the types of skin tightening treatments for the body?

There are surgical and minimally invasive treatment options for tightening skin on the body.

HB: What is the difference between the treatments?

The surgical options are best when the loose skin is so excessive that it hangs in folds or bunches up in wrinkles. These surgical options include operations like abdominoplasty, body lifts, and mastopexies, which are usually performed in an operating room and under general anesthesia.

Minimally invasive options are best when the skin laxity is mild and the skin is neither hanging in folds or creating significant wrinkles.  These minimally invasive options can be performed in an operating room or in a treatment room of a medspa. The minimally invasive skin tightening can also be combined with liposuction when the removal of fatty tissue deposits improves the overall contour of the treatment area. Currently, minimally invasive skin tightening is best done by exposing the deep layer of the skin called the dermis to radiofrequency energy, which heats the skin in a very controlled manner, to generate collagen. Today there are several devices that use radiofrequency to tighten the skin. They include machines that combine radiofrequency with microneedling technology as well as machines that deliver the radiofrequency through cannulas inserted under the skin.

HB: Who is the best candidate for each of the different types of skin tightening treatments you offer?

The best method for skin tightening for a particular patient is determined after a thorough examination of the skin. When the skin is so loose that it produces hanging folds or significant contour irregularities from deep wrinkles, then surgical skin reduction is the best manner to effectively tighten the skin. When the skin is mildly loose and is neither hanging nor creating deep wrinkles and contour irregularities, then minimally invasive radiofrequency-based skin tightening options are very good. Of course, the majority of patients who desire any form of skin tightening must be generally in good health. Patients with implantable heart devices like pacemakers or defibrillators are not candidates for radiofrequency skin tightening.

Photo Credit: ShutterstockHB: Do you have a preferred method?

Yes. For patients who are excellent candidates for minimally invasive skin tightening, I like combining two technologies that use radiofrequency energy. The first technology is radiofrequency delivered to the undersurface of the skin through a cannula. This produces the greatest skin tightening of the deep dermis and subcutaneous fatty layer. The second technology is radiofrequency delivered more superficially in the skin through microneedling. The combination of these two techniques maximizes deep as well as superficial skin tightening and skin restoration.

HB: What is the cost for each?

The cost of surgical skin tightening through skin removal operations is variable and depends on the exact surgical procedure as well as the time required to perform the procedure in the operating room. The costs are usually $5000 and up. The cost of minimally invasive skin tightening of the body also varies and depends on the extent of the treatment. Radiofrequency skin tightening of small areas like the knees can start at $4000. Combination procedures and/or much larger treatment areas are priced higher.