Frequently Asked Questions
What is ThermaCool?
Thermage ThermaCool is a safe, non-laser energy, radio-frequency device that allows
for tightening of skin without surgery or injury to the skin's top layer (epidermis).
It was developed as the result of extensive research by Thermage, Inc. (Hayward,
How does the ThermaCool work?
The energy delivered with this device tightens skin tissue at varied levels while
cooling the outer layers of skin. Deep, intense, uniform, sustained heat in the
tissue underneath the surface of the skin will produce contraction of collagen
and tightening of loose skin. This leads to cosmetic improvement without any obvious
Is the procedure suitable for me? This treatment can accomplish what has been
unobtainable with prior laser devices. Those who wish to forestall a surgical
facelift or surgical browlift can accomplish some tissue tightening. Those who
want to tighten lose abdominal, knee, arm or elbow skin can do the same. Treatment
is undertaken and a patient immediately returns to normal daily activities. This
technology is not meant to replace a more aggressive surgical procedure. It is
an ideal alternative for the younger person who is just beginning to see some
jowls, drooping of their eyebrows or hanging skin elsewhere on the body.
What areas can be treated?
Tightening skin in certain key areas can be advantageous for cosmetic improvement.
For example: Treating the skin of the forehead can lift the eyebrows and enhance
the appearance of the eyes, making the eyes look more open, less tired, more alert.
Previously, this result could only be obtained with major surgery or Botox.
Other areas of the face, such as, the skin of the cheeks, jaw line, and upper
neck can also be treated to reduce sagging and tighten the skin. Other areas of
the body are currently being tested.
Is it painful?
With each pulse there is a sensation of heat in the area. An anesthetic cream
applied one-hour prior to the procedure will make this quite tolerable.
Fortunately this heat sensation lasts only a couple of seconds and is followed
by a cool sensation, which also helps with the discomfort felt. This is the result
of the use of cryogen spray, which is delivered before, during, and after the
application of heat.
How long will the procedure take?
The procedure itself may take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours, depending
on the size of the area being treated.
Do I need special preparation?
You may continue to use your topical creams and any oral medications up until
the time of the procedure. Please avoid wearing jewelry and makeup on the day
of your appointment.
When can I return to my normal activities?
You may return to your activities immediately, as there is no down time. Minimal
redness is seen in some patients, but it disappears within an hour. Swelling,
bruising, and pain are uncommon after the procedure. There is no special care
needed afterwards either, unless you develop crusting which can occur rarely.
If crusting is seen, Bactroban ointment should be applied twice daily.
When will the results show?
Although in some patients the results are seen immediately, in most patients changes
will occur gradually over 4 to 6 months or even up to a year. Since the effects
are so gradual, the patient may not be aware of the extent of the changes. Photographic
comparison with pre-operative pictures usually will demonstrate the difference.
How many treatments will I need?
For many patients one treatment will suffice. Repeat treatments may be needed
When can I have another treatment?
A decision regarding further treatment can be made as early as three months; however,
since benefits are delayed, a more accurate evaluation can be made at 6 months
or even up to a year after treatment. Further treatment should not begin for 6
months after the initial procedure.
How long will the effects last?
Each individual's ability to tighten collage varies. However, the toning and
tightening benefits of thermage are long-lasting.
Can Thermage Be Combined With Other Non-invasive Treatments?
Because of the non-invasive nature of this treatment, it is ideally combined with
other cosmetic treatments such as fillers and BOTOX® injections as well as
other non-invasive laser procedures.
How safe is it?
It is extremely safe. Although this is a relatively new procedure and a new technology,
great effort has been made to make it as safe as possible.
Dr. Tan and her staff would be happy to discuss this procedure with you. Please
feel free to call for a private consultation.