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'Freeze' the aging process without surgery

May 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Under the chin, gravity and genetics will inevitably do what they are meant to. That extra skin is all 52-year-old Cathy Waronker can focus on when she sees herself online.

A chin lift would be too drastic for the West Los Angeles mom.

"I dont want to come in and have invasive surgery," she said. "I want to remain myself, but look my best."

To Waronker, looking her best means slowing down the aging process with a non-invasive treatment. She hopes a new procedure puts the freeze on her drooping jaw line. It's called Venus Freeze, and it actually has nothing to do with cold, but rather, heat.

Dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer, says the device heats fat cells to 107 degrees Fahrenheit without pain.

"It doesn't involve needles," Lancer said. "There's no blood, there's no down time. It feels like a rotary warm massage and people actually like it."

Waronker said she nearly fell asleep.

Thermage, another type of thermal heat technology, delivers heat through a single source, which many patients say is uncomfortable. With Venus Freeze, the radio frequency is distributed evenly through multiple contact sources.

Venus Freeze is the first technology to use both radio frequency and magnetic pulse fields. The radio frequency stimulates growth factors in the skin. The magnetic pulses are suppose to boost collagen and elastin.

In a small study, researchers found the combined technology was faster, less painful and more efficient than other RF-only devices.

Still, changes don't happen all at once. You may see subtle changes after one treatment, but bigger changes come after several.

The Venus Freeze can be used on other areas, including under the arms, thighs and abdomen. Depending on the area treated, the price can range from $400 to $800 a session, which can get pricey.

"It can be expensive, but for me it's worth it as long as I don't have to do something that is invasive," Waronker said. Lancer says results may depend on what condition your skin is in. For example, patients with a lot of laxity in the skin would not be good candidates.

Results are long lasting, but not permanent. After the initial four to six treatments, Lancer recommends patients come back for maintenance.

"In this office, we may repeat it every couple of months or every three months to maintain the effect," he said.

After the procedure, Waronker said she sees a difference.


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