Liposuction is a great procedure. It removes stubborn pockets of fat that are incredibly resistant to changes in diet and targeted exercise. But Dr. David Altamira has taken liposuction and one-upped it by adding radiofrequency energy to tighten the skin after liposuction has removed the fat. The procedure is called BodyTite — radiofrequency-assisted liposuction. It’s minimally invasive and our patients in Houston and the surrounding areas love it! Call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation and learn more about BodyTite.
What Is BodyTite and How Does it Work?
BodyTite is a minimally invasive body contouring procedure, but it improves upon liposuction by providing significant skin contraction along with it. The secret to BodyTite is its cannula. In traditional liposuction, the cannula simply suctions away the fat cells. BodyTite system uses a cannula with an internal electrode that is inserted as in normal liposuction. Attached to the cannula, but resting atop the skin, is a metal wand that features an external electrode. The radiofrequency energy is emitted from the cannula tip and it passes to the external electrode, heating the fat and surrounding tissues without damaging those tissues. While this is happening the cannula suctions away the liquefied fat. The RF energy that liquefied the fat has heated the dermis, the skin’s second layer, causing the skin to contract and tighten. This helps the skin firm down to its new slimmer contour.
BodyTite helps Dr. Altamira’s patients feel more confident in their skin. This fat reducing system works by removing wrinkly and sagging skin to improve the overall appearance of your skin health. This procedure gives the results of a surgical procedure without the actual surgery.
Who Is a Good Candidate for BodyTite?
No matter what kind of shape you’re in, pretty much everyone has some unwanted pockets of fat that are almost impossible to target with diet and exercise. Dr. Altamira wants potential patients to know that this is not a weight-loss procedure; it is a body contouring/skin tightening procedure. To qualify for BodyTite™, Dr. Altamira wants the patient to be at or near his or her ideal body weight. The best results come with patients who still have good skin elasticity.
Where Can I Have BodyTite Done On My Body?
Anywhere you can have liposuction, you can have BodyTite. When compared to traditional liposuction, where the cannula has to be moved back and forth to break loose fat cells, BodyTite is less traumatic on the treatment areas. This is because the cannula doesn’t need to be moved around aggressively thanks to the radiofrequency energy melting the fat. The thin cannula then simply suctions it away. BodyTite works best on the common areas that people have excess fat. These areas for treatment include the following:
- Upper arms
How Does Dr. Altamira Perform BodyTite in Houston?
Dr. Altamira first injects the target area with a tumescent solution consisting of epinephrine, Lidocaine, and saline solution. This is the same solution used in virtually all liposuction procedures today. This numbs the area and constricts the blood vessels, making for less blood loss and bruising. The incisions to insert the BodyTite cannula are tiny, around 3mm in size. That’s because the BodyTite cannula looks more like a knitting needle than a typical cannula. The incisions are so small they don’t require stitches to close, usually just a bandage. Once Dr. Altamira inserts the cannula, the radiofrequency energy is emitted by the cannula tip under the skin. The energy travels from the cannula electrode to the outer electrode on the wand sitting atop the skin, liquefying fat in the area. The cannula then suctions away the heated liquefied fat. Dr. Altamira works across the target area in this fashion until the desired fat reduction and contour improvements have been achieved.
How Long Does a BodyTite Treatment Take?
Most patients have more than a single area targeted in a treatment session. Generally, treating a single area takes about 15 minutes. This can vary, of course.
Does BodyTite Require Anesthesia?
Local anesthesia is used to make the tiny insertion incisions. Otherwise, the tumescent solution that is injected has lidocaine and that provides the anesthesia for the treatment.
How Many BodyTite Treatments Do I Need?
This is a single procedure. You don’t need multiple sessions to achieve substantial body contouring and skin tightening. Of course, after you see your results, you may want to treat additional areas in the future.
Recovery After Radiofrequency-assisted Liposuction
After your procedure, Dr. Altamira will have you wear compression garments on the areas treated with BodyTite. These usually need to be worn for two weeks to help your body adapt to its new slimmer contours. Most patients can usually return to work in a couple days. There can be some slight bruising and swelling that can linger for a couple weeks. Pain is minimal and can be managed with ibuprofen. This is categorized as a minimally invasive procedure. During your consultation, Dr. Altamira will explain in detail what to expect during your recovery process for the specific area you have treated.
When Will I See My Results from BodyTite?
BodyTite provides both instant results and results that build for the next three months. The liquefied fat is suctioned away and is gone for good. Any liquefied fat that was missed will be removed from the body through the lymphatic system over the next couple of weeks. The secondary aspect of BodyTite, skin tightening, isn’t immediate. The wound response that is triggered when RF energy enters the dermis layer of the skin is gradual, but it lasts for about three months. Over that time you will notice dramatically slimmer contour across your treatment areas.
BodyTite Vs. Traditional Liposuction
BodyTite’s combination of liposuction and RF energy gives it numerous advantages over traditional liposuction:
- Superior body contouring — Because the RF energy liquefies the fat that is then instantly suctioned away, contouring is smoother and avoids the lumpy, irregular appearance that can occur after liposuction.
- Skin contraction — The heating that melts the fat also causes a “wound” response in the dermis layer of the skin. This causes the skin to contract down and the body produces new amounts of collagen (the skin’s structural support protein) to send to the perceived “wound.” Traditional liposuction doesn’t cause the skin to contract.
- Controlled directional energy distribution — Because the RF energy transfers from the cannula through the tissue up to the external handpiece, the direction can be precisely controlled. This maximizes the RF energy utilization, while ensuring there is little risk of thermal damage to surrounding tissues. This allows Dr. Altamira to be more precise targeting and removing fat.
- Decreased downtime — Liposuction involves tissue trauma, as the cannula is moved back and forth under the skin to break up fat pockets. By using RF energy to break down and liquefy fat, the cannula with BodyTite™ gentle extracts the fat. This creates far less bruising, swelling, and downtime.