Today, two novel machines are available for minimally invasive skin tightening: Renuvion J plasma and BodyTite. Renuvion j plasma is made by Apyx medical and utilizes a fusion of Helium plasma technology and unipolar radiofrequency energies. BodyTite is made by Inmode Corporation and uses bipolar radiofrequency energy.
Both of these machines create thermal energy to heat and contract collagen molecules. When heated at or above its coagulation temperature, collagen will quickly shrink to half of its untreated length. Coagulation of collagen means denaturing the collagen fibers, thus shrinking them permanently in length, much like you would observe a steak cooking on the grill. The hotter the exposed temperature, the shorter the treatment time required to observe collagen contracture. This observation is much like cooking food on high heat versus low heat.
The net effect of subdermal coagulation on the skin is the sense of skin tightness that is palpable following its shrink-wrap effect on collagen molecules. The collagen molecules will undergo this desirable effect at temperatures between 65 °C to 85 °C. At 65 °C, 152 seconds of treatment time is required to get the collagen molecules to contract. At 85°C, it takes only .044 seconds for this contraction to occur! You may be wondering why not cook the collagen molecules at higher temperatures.
You cannot heat the collagen molecules to higher temperatures because there could be a detrimental effect on the outer skin. The increase in temperature to contract the collagen molecules in the deep dermis must be balanced against the avoidance of heating the epidermal skin cells to harmful levels. Specifically, if the temperature of the outer layer of the skin epidermis reaches 47 °C, a thermal injury and subsequent tissue compromise and necrosis may occur.
Tissue Heating Advantages of Renuvion versus BodyTite
BodyTite utilizes gradual & bulk tissue heating by its bipolar radiofrequency mechanism to bring up the deep skin collagen layer to 65 degrees Celsius. The required 152 seconds of tissue heating can result in epidermal temperatures nearing 47 degrees Celsius. When the collagen tissues begin to shrink, there is a very narrow 15 degrees Celsius differential between the underlying therapeutic collagen shrinking temperatures versus harmful skin temperatures.
The epidermal temperature must be continuously monitored to avoid reaching the harmful 47-degree level during the prolonged treatment interim. In contrast, Renuvion J plasma provides instant and focused deep collagen layer heating by exposing the collagen to 85 degrees Celsius for only 0.044 seconds. This short burst of thermal energy results in epidermal skin temperatures not being exposed to prolonged heating times required to reach the harmful 47-degree Celsius temperature.
Because of its short treatment times, Renuvion J plasma maintains a much safer 45 degrees of Celsius differential between therapeutic collagen exposure temperatures versus harmful epidermal temperatures. This larger cushion temperature results in the skin only getting to 40 degrees Celsius, a more tolerable temperature for epidermal cells. This safety profile of Renuvion is so protective that tissue temperature monitoring devices are not required.
Tissue Heating Efficacy Advantages of Renuvion versus BodyTite
BodyTite tissue heating using bipolar frequency will heat the tissues nonselectively that is located between the two probes. The two probes are located above the skin and under the skin layer, translating to the skin and underlying connective tissues being heated uniformly. Instead, Renuvion’s novel fusion of Helium plasma energy allows for non-contact tissue healing in a 360-degree manner with a single device limited to the underlying skin layer. In essence, the Renuvion J plasma thermal energy preferentially treats the deeper tissues before contact heating the more superficial skin epidermis.
In addition, the conductive plasma technology travels preferentially through tissues representing the path of least resistance. Once a certain collagen tissue is treated, it becomes denatured and increases resistance. This means that previously untreated tissues are preferentially treated when making multiple passes of treatment. This capacity of plasma technology provides two advantages. First, it prevents the over-treatment of any one area of collagenous tissues. Second, it maximizes the treatment of untreated tissue. In essence, non-contact 360° tissue treatment allows tissue treatment without requiring the user to direct the energy flow to encompass all collagenous tissues.
Renuvion Treatment Time Efficiency Advantage
Since Renuvion technology allows for effective collagen contraction within 0.044 seconds, it efficiently treats numerous body areas in the operating room setting. In a typical 360 liposuction case, we may treat 5 to 7 bilateral regions in a single operative session. Since treatments can be done within 5 minutes, treatment of 10 to 14 areas may be completed within 1 to 1.5 hours.
In contrast, BodyTite requires much longer treatment times of 45 minutes per area, making the treatment of multiple areas not feasible in a single session. In contrast, with treatment times reduced by up to 90%, Renuvion J plasma remains an efficient and viable treatment modality.
Body Contouring Outcome Advantage
Body contouring results are optimized with Renuvion over BodyTite because reducing skin elasticity with the former may be performed following the fat removal from the body. When attempting to gauge how much skin redundancy will result following surgery, it is imperative to remove the fat first. This is because the removal of fat will demonstrate maximum skin redundancy. The analogy I use is that of a fruit such as a kiwi that has been depulped; the overlying skin will shrivel up once you remove its insides.
Maximum skin wrinkling will not be appreciated until the inside of the fruit is removed. The same applies to your body and skin cover characteristics. Since Renuvion J plasma allows for liposuction of the fat comprehensively before treatment, it will allow you to gauge best and treat any skin elasticity.
In contrast, because of BodyTite’s propensity to heat the epidermis to a dangerous level, the fat and tumescent solution used during liposuction must be retained during treatment to ensure temperatures on the outer skin do not elevate to 47 degrees. This limitation does not allow your surgeon to gauge how much skin tightening will be required to achieve optimal contouring results.
Brazilian Butt Lift Outcome Advantage of Renuvion
Brazilian Butt lift requires fat to be transferred from the rest of the body to the buttock cheeks. BodyTite requires the fat and tumescent solution to be in place during treatment. Moreover, BodyTite treatments, like any thermal treatments, can damage fat cells, so they cannot be used at all! Since Renuvion allows the fat and tumescent solution to be removed first using liposuction, its subsequent administration will not injure the fat cells.
This advantage of Renuvion J plasma allows your surgeon to use all of the fat from your body for transfer to the buttocks, even if skin tightening is required. In conclusion, Renuvon J plasma optimizes your Brazilian buttock lift needs in skin-tightening cases.
Summary of Advantages of Renuvion J plasma over BodyTite.
In summary, Renuvion J plasma skin tightening has several advantages over BodyTite. These advantages range from safety to outcome considerations.
Furthermore, the prolonged treatment time limitations of BodyTite make this modality not practical in the operating room setting.