Kimberly J. Butterwick, MD, is a dermatologist in private practice in San Diego. Her blog will focus on issues related to cosmetic dermatology.

BLOG: ASDS discussions, part 2, include skin tightening, body contouring

In a continuation of last week’s blog entry about the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting in Chicago, I am focusing on several lectures about skin tightening, body contouring and various combinations of technologies and fillers to optimize patient results.

There was time for discussion at many sessions, during which some issues were debated.  

Some pearls and debated issues are included below:

Skin tightening: There were many lectures about new fractional radiofrequency (RF) technologies as well as microfocused ultrasound (MFUS). 

To manage the pain of MFUS, Jean Carruthers, MD, suggested Dilaudid 1-2 mg sublingual.  For superficial skin tightening, Tina Alster, MD, utilizes the non-ablative fractional lasers or micro-needling on and off the face with excellent results. Deeper skin tightening with RF or MFUS in combination with ablative or non-ablative lasers and fillers may give optimal results.

Body Contouring:  The market for non-invasive body contouring devices is growing exponentially.  Kathleen Welsh, MD, advised that it is not too late to get into this market as it is predicted to grow dramatically for the next several years. 

The technologies with cryolipolysis, ultrasound, and radiofrequency are the most commonly used.  Many speakers discussed combining some of the technologies for best results.  The use of an electronic muscle stimulator was helpful in some practices for further definition of the treated areas. 

Marguerite Germain, MD, gave several business tips in starting a body contouring practice, emphasizing that both the physician and entire staff need to be on board for it to be a success.  She has enlisted and trained enthusiastic staff dedicated only to body contouring and has monthly learning events in her office for patients. She has a “WOW” book of scripts at her front desk so staff answering phone calls will know how to describe procedures to potential patients.  Once patients have a consult, she advised getting patients in quickly for treatment within 48 hours if possible so that patients don’t get cold feet. 

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