Fresno dermatologists use high-tech ThermiTight treatment that doesn't require going under the knife

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The demand for non-surgical cosmetic treatments has skyrocketed. People no longer need to go into an operating room to get the results they want.

A compact but powerful machine is helping people like Christie Forcella address the feature that always frustrated her.

"On my mom's side of the family, we have kind of like that natural double-chin thing going on," she said.

Christie heard about a non-invasive option to reverse her double-chin destiny at the northeast Fresno office of Dr. Kathleen Behr.

"You can often see from looking at your mom or your grandmother, your aunts, and uncles what your genetic makeup might be," Behr explained.

Behr is a dermatologic surgeon but also specializes in cosmetic treatments that don't require surgery. Her latest tool, the Thermi machine, is one device with multiple uses.

The maker of Thermi says it can smooth and tighten these areas of the body, using radio-frequency heat. The in-office ThermiTight procedure takes about an hour.

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Patients wear a wrap over the treated area and can resume normal activities the next day, and that fits into Christie's hectic schedule.

"Grandkids, running around, there's always something," she said. "I have a big family here in town, so there's always something going on."

And when it gets tough, Christie's hoping ThermiTight can help her keep her chin up.

"I want something where I can actually get it done, not have a lot of downtime and see results," she said.

Christie wants to tighten the area under her chin but can't take too much time out of her busy life to recover from a procedure.

It uses radio-frequency to deliver heat at the end of a tiny probe into the subdermal tissue of the skin. The body then produces skin-firming collagen in the areas where the heat was applied.

After a topical anesthetic is applied to Christie's treatment area, Behr begins the ThermiTight procedure assisted by a special camera that makes the process precise.

Because ThermiTight uses heat, Behr can follow her technique using this thermal-imaging camera. It allows her to pinpoint the exact areas of radio-frequency heat for the skin-tightening procedure. Yellow and orange showing warmth, blue and purple showing the cool areas.

Each application with the heated probe must reach between 42 and 45 degrees, which is constantly tracked on the monitor. The versatile machine can also combine a little fat-blasting with the skin-tightening.

"If there's a small packet of fat underneath the skin, I can go and melt that fat at the same time of the procedure," Behr explained.

In fact, the Thermi machine can treat many areas of the body to smooth and tighten. Patients wear a wrap over the treated area and can resume normal activities the next day.

Behr says it takes about nine months to see the full results. And at an average cost of $3,500, it's thousands less than more invasive surgeries.

Christie is looking forward to seeing her results and hopefully denying her genetic destiny.

"This is going to help tighten, so I feel like I have some definition here," she said.
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