The first thing, from a practical standpoint: it’s a much faster device.” For New York City dermatologist Michele S. Green, MD, that’s a key distinguishing feature of the new Thermage FLX. Thermage FLX is the latest generation of the popular Thermage radiofrequency (RF) device for tissue tightening.
“The old Thermage, which I obviously still have, would take at least an hour and a half. FLX completes the treatment in an hour,” Dr. Green continues. Patients appreciate the speed of treatment. “I tell them, ‘You need to be here for an hour or less,’ and they love that.”
“There’s a new four centimeter treatment tip that increases the surface area per tip by 25 percent. That means that the treatment time is reduced by about 25 percent,” explains San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD, a self-proclaimed Thermage devotee who says that faster treatments with Thermage FLX are a boon to patients and the practice.
Another key feature of Thermage FLX: “It’s much more comfortable because of the new cryogen device,” Dr. Green notes. “Not that the other one hurt, because it really didn’t, but this one’s more comfortable than the other.”
Dr. Narurkar agrees that treatment with Thermage FLX is more comfortable than with earlier iterations of the system, especially when treating off the face. “Now the new body tip also has vibrations, so it increases the comfort even for the body, not just the face,” he notes.
For Chestnut Hill, MA dermatologist Michael Kaminer, MD, it’s worth noting that the act of administering treatment using the Thermage FLX is more comfortable, as well. Ergonomics of the system have been improved, he says, leading to a better experience for the physician, nurse, or other operator.
What truly stands out with Thermage FLX, however, is the new AccuREP technology that is intended to optimize energy delivery for enhanced outcomes. “It automatically measures and tunes the amount of energy delivered to the patient in the treatment, so you know that you’re getting the right amount each time,” Dr. Green explains.
With AccuREP, RF energy delivery is more precise, Dr. Narurkar says. Because each pulse receives automatic feedback, the device achieves more consistent results. “The results are better with FLX than even CPT [a previous Thermage update], so patients see more of that immediate tightening,” Dr. Narurkar says. Given the novelty of the device, it’s not clear how long that tightening is sustained; patients reported long-lasting results with previous Thermage systems. Dr. Narurkar says one reason he’s remained loyal to Thermage over other RF devices is that the device has always provided consistent results, which patients take note of.