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The Thermage CPT system is a nonsurgical treatment option for tightening skin throughout the body. It can also be used to improve fine lines and treat cellulite. This system employs monopolar radiofrequency energy to induce the necessary aesthetic changes. The radiofrequency energy goes through the epidermis to tighten collagen (i.e. the main substance that holds the skin intact in the deeper dermal layers. Thermage CPT is unique in that it uses a cooling unit at its Handpiece to cool the epidermis so as to reduce any risk of burn injuries. The radiofrequency energy this system delivers into the skin prompts collagen remodeling that leads to clinically discernible improvements in sagging skin and overall skin quality. Furthermore, it also allows for the modeling of the contours and improvement in the appearance of cellulite.
The Thermage CPT system is formulated to achieve skin rejuvenation without any surgery or injection(s). This system has three components: the generator; the cooling unit; and the Handpiece. The generator is responsible for the generation of the radiofrequency energy necessary to induce heat in the skin, the cooling unit is meant to regulate the skin surface temperature, and the Handpiece is where a single Thermage Treatment Tip is attached so as to transmit the radiofrequency produced by the generator into the skin. When a Treatment Tip that is part of a functioning Thermage CPT system touches the targeted skin, collagen denaturation with collagen fibre contraction occurs, which result in the desired skin tightening effects. A few months after such a treatment, the growth of new collagen in the treatment area occurs, as the heat stimulates its production.
Thermage CPT is manufactured by Solta Medical Inc., which is based in Hayward, California.
Thermage CPT is made in the United States.
Side effects common with the use of the Thermage CPT system include redness, pain, and mild swelling immediately after treatment. These side effects typically resolve within a day or a week at most for moderate swelling. These side effects usually do not need any additional medical care, but some practitioners advocate the use of 1% hydrocortisone creams for faster resolution. Other side effects that are important to note are altered skin sensations that include feeling numb or tingly at the treatment site, surface irregularities that are usually due to fat atrophy, and even burn injuries that may result in blisters or scars. Although most of these other side effects are exceedingly rare, patients should still be informed on the possibility of their occurrence. 2
Like other Thermage systems, Thermage CPT uses monopolar radiofrequency energy. Other competing systems employ bipolar radiofrequency energy, which has lesser depth penetration, or ultrasound, which achieves its aesthetic targets via another mechanism of action. Also, Thermage CPT is integrated with Comfort Pulse Technology, which improves patient comfort during treatment and is another distinguishing feature of this radiofrequency system.
The Thermage CPT system must only be operated by trained medical professionals.
Patient feedback during the treatment process is essential for a positive treatment outcome. Makeup and jewelry should be removed for safety and efficacy purposes. The Thermage Return Pad should be put on the patient as they climb onto the treatment table. Remember to attach the cable attached to the Thermage CPT device to the Thermage Return Pad, which should be secured to the patient’s back or abdomen. Using isopropyl alcohol, wipe the skin that is to be treated. Place the temporary grid system at the treatment area to help guide pulse placement later. Ensure that the membrane tip on the Treatment Tip you are going to use is intact before and during the treatment process. Apply a generous amount of Coupling Fluid onto the treatment area. To start the treatment procedure, press the tip against the skin with even pressure to distribute heat more equally. Studies consistently support the use of multiple and low energy passes. You may attempt two single passes that are followed by three to five vector passes in the direction the skin needs to be tightened, or you can alternately use the one super pass technique, which is where one row of squares and then one row of circles on the grid are treated in an alternating manner. Ensure that the epidermis is cool enough between passes before proceeding with the treatment. The treatment session can be considered finished when skin tightening can be observed or felt.
This Thermage system operates at the 6.78 MHz radiofrequency range with a maximum radiofrequency power of 500 Watts. There is a replaceable electrode on the device that can be switched for different sizes. Thermage Treatment Tips are provided sterile and should each be used only once.
A single Thermage CPT unit comes with the device and a package insert that has information on the device’s side effects, precautions, and contraindications.
The results from a single treatment session with a Thermage CPT device are expected to last for a few years.
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