New option offers tighter skin without surgery

Updated: Nov. 25, 2019 at 10:36 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - If you’re looking for tighter skin without having to undergo surgery, doctors say there’s now a powerful tool delivering dramatic results. A procedure called Accutite is filling the needs of a growing group of patients.

56-year-old Tori Robinson says she was starting to look older than she wanted.

“Just the little changes you start to see as you age, some sagging, especially around the eyes, but I knew I wasn’t ready for a surgical procedure,” Robinson said.

She decided it was time for some facial rejuvenation.

“For me, I’ve worked in the beauty industry for most of my adult life so it is an industry where we focus on making people look their best. In part that’s what it was. In part, to help with my self-confidence as well," Robinson said.

Robins’s case is what New Orleans plastic surgeon Dr. Parker Velargo calls a gap patient, meaning they’ve exceeded what injectables can do for them, but they’re not quite ready for or don’t want surgery.

“So in Tori’s case, she didn’t want surgery and we were able to offer her a tightening option for her jowls, nasolabial folds and lower lids,” Dr. Velargo said.

Accutite is the latest in non-surgical skin lifting and tightening.

“Accutite is kind of the holy grail of facial plastic surgery,” Dr. Velargo said, “We take a patient and lift them up on a conveyor belt of time and bring them back maybe 3 to 5 years.”

Accutite is different from other devices that deliver energy through the skin and doctors are limited to how much energy they can deliver without burning the patient.

It’s all about deep tissue heating with the new procedure. A probe goes under the skin and a temperature sensor goes on top.

“It delivers a radio frequency energy below the surface of the skin to tighten collagen, tighten the skin and it monitors the temperature in real time,” Dr. Velargo said,“So basically, while it’s heating the tissue up, it melts a little bit of fat, it contracts the fibrous septa under the skin which allows the skin to basically shrink wrap.”

There are no incisions, no stitches, and little downtime and that’s what makes this tool so cutting edge. It can be used on more targeted and smaller areas, according to Dr. Velargo.

The results are dramatic, but like all procedures, there are risks including redness, swelling or infection.

Robinson said there was no pain though and recovery was fairly easy.

“I couldn’t feel a thing. There is some swelling and bruising that goes along with it, but after 4 or 5 days that started to subside," Robinson said.

The procedure is less expensive than surgery.

“We’re doing this in the office with local anesthesia while the patient is awake. There are no incisions, no needles, and you get half the results of surgery with half the downtime, so it’s half the cost of a facelift,” Velargo said.

Robinson considers it well worth the investment.

Doctors say some effects happen immediately, such as the liquifying of the fat. However, collagen production takes time, so the results of the treatment are best seen in 3 to 4 months with continued tightening for up to a year after the procedure.

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