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Saturday
Mar172007

Thermage: Do plastic surgeons hate everything non-surgical?

First, I'll state that I like Thermage.

But plasticized raises the questions that have been haunting Thermage since the early days.

thermage.jpgThermage is a radiofrequency device that is meant to create skin tightening and collagen remodeling. It takes multiple treatments to acheive desired results, and is somewhat uncomfortable.

There seems to be a growing consensus among surgeons that Thermage is not everything they hoped it would be. When looking at a presentation by the medical device company that sells Thermage, it is at times difficult to distinguish between the before and after images. We have to strain our eyes to tell the difference (see here). Also, issues with fat atrophy and scarring have surfaced.

The issues story about Thermage fat atropy and scarring that plasticized points to:.

"I was shocked and dismayed over the scars that resulted from this reportedly safe and non-invasive procedure,” said thermage patient, Laurie.

Thanks to White, Laurie doesn't appear to be disfigured. At first glance, you can't tell she suffered second-degree burns to her neck. It's taken her two years of reconstructive procedures, but today she hopes White can hide her last remaining scars.

 Of course my account rep Chris addressed these questions with me just last week. I've invited Chris to submit some posts and rise up to defend Thermage's name. He's said that he'll check with corporate to see if they'll let him.

Reader Comments (8)

Yeah... like any Thermage rep would actually answer questions from real surgeons. They're busy scraping up what remains of their reputation after burning more than a few docs (and patients).

I'll stick with something where a company doesn't charge me $600 for a piece of plastic that should cost $50 and make my patients come after me with pitchforks.

Still sticking with scalpels.
03.16 | Unregistered CommenterCutter MD
I don't hate Thermage. I just think that it conflicts with what I do. I didn't spend all those years in residency to stand around with my hands in my pockets while my nurse does the treatment.
03.16 | Unregistered CommenterPlasticman
That article about the woman doesn't specify where she got her Thermage done (plastic, derm, medspa, dayspa)... Does anyone know where the woman actually received her Thermage treatment from. I don't think it's fair for Dr. White to imply that only plastic surgeons and dermatologists can provide a good result with Thermage. Does she think that plastics and derms are the only ones that can get good outcomes... or is it because they're the only ones that can fix bad outcomes?
03.17 | Unregistered CommenterRichard
Whoever buys Thermage gets what's coming to them. Unhappy patients and endless consumables from a price gouging company. Lord, give me strength.
03.17 | Unregistered CommenterMax DO
hmmm. no response from the thermage rep.
Looks like the Thermage rep decided it was better to lay low rather than have to answer actual questions.
03.21 | Unregistered CommenterDogearsDO
Thermage is one of our most popular procedures and we have many patients requesting repeat treatments. Thermage is NOT in place of a face lift (tummy tuck, etc). But it can be a different option. They will not get to the same endpoint and as long as patients (and doctors) understand the difference, then most people are extrememly satisfied. But if I were to try to mislead my patients into theinking they will look "just like you had a face lift" in 6 months, then I would be in trouble.

Most of my good friends who are plastic surgeons often recommend Thermage to their own patients in conjunction with the face lifts they perform. There are only so many times thin skin can be pulled up before you start looking like you are stuck in a wind tunnel. And Thermage may even help the face lift last longer. I do find that I don't compete much with the plastic surgeons in my area. They want to be in the OR and I am offering something less invasive for a different demographic. And as far as "gouging" people. We live in a capitalist society and if somebody doesn't want to pay for Thermage, then they have the choice to select something different. Its market forces at it's finest.

I wish that the guy from Thermage would continue to use these forums to discuss his company. I thought his previous comments were reasonable and pretty well thought out. Perhaps he's busy with Thermage's declining stock price: Stock prices tumbling for laser and IPL companies.

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