What is Venus RF (or Venus Versa RF)?
Venus Radiofrequency (Venus RF) is a way to jumpstart your body’s own natural renewal and rejuvenation process.
Radiofrequency (RF) is a form of electromagnetic energy, and has been used surgically for tissue coagulation for over 50 years.
The use of RF in the cosmetic space started around 2000. With multiple advances over the years, RF is the gold standard in nonsurgical skin tightening and rejuvenation.
Who is a candidate?
Anyone who wants to tighten and rejuvenate the skin and underlying tissue.
The treatment helps to tighten and rejuvenate tissue, and can also help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
RF is also “color blind” meaning it is safe for use in all skin types.
How does it work?
RF generates heat due to the resistance in the tissues to the movement of electrons in the RF field (Ohms law).
The RF energy that is delivered causes ions in the treated tissue to collide, creating kinetic energy, which is transformed into thermal energy (heat), and this heat induces thermal changes.
The heat basically causes a controlled injury to the tissue that triggers the body’s own natural wound healing process.
The amount of heat delivered is controlled by settings adjusted by the treatment provider, in order to provide a “controlled damage” to the treated area.
This controlled damage triggers the body’s natural wound healing process described above.
The wound healing results in tissue regeneration and renewal, seen to the patient as a rejuvenated appearance.
What can I expect during the treatment?
Smooth movement of the applicator in random patterns, with light pressure, and gentle warm sensation.
Adjustment of heat is based on individual tolerance, and achieved by changing the amount of energy delivered or the speed of movement of the applicator (both under control by the treatment provider).
The treatment provider is also monitoring the tissue temperature to aim for the effective temperature range for best results.
When do you see results?
You see both an immediate effect (at the end of the treatment) and a late effect (visible mid-way through the series of treatments, and peaking at 3 months).
The immediate effect is due to the denaturation and contraction of collagen caused by the heat, which shows up as immediate tightening and rosy appearance to the skin (This is why celebrities come in for the treatment the day of or the day before an event, to get a little boost)
The later effect appears as the body begins the repair process, which generates collagen to heal the micro-wounds caused by the heat.
This has a great anti-aging effect as it is building new collagen. After the collagen is formed, the body continues the wound healing process by reorganizing or “remodeling” the collagen, which causes contraction of the fibrous septa, aka tightening.
These effects continue to occur after the treatment is done, and occur in a gradual fashion. Since this repair is on a cellular level, the results appear over time, and typically are notable halfway through a series of treatments, and continue to improve for 3 months.
What is the downtime?
None. You can go straight from your appointment to work or a social event.
The treated areas have a rosy glow, or mild redness and tightening effect. [Some patients may experience mild bruising depending on the area and medications they are on.]
What other factors affect my treatment?
1-Who is doing your treatment matters, and the more experienced and knowledgable the provider, the more effective the treatment
2-The characteristics of your tissues, and your body’s own wound healing capability, will also influence the effectiveness of the treatment.
For instance, smokers, or patients of advanced age, do not show the same degree of results due to less effective wound healing process.
3- In order for the treatment to be effective, the temp needs to reach a therapeutic threshold.
To stimulate new collagen synthesis, stimulate fibroblasts, and get immediate collagen contraction, the target point is 42-45 degrees C for the body and 39-41 degrees C for the face.
The higher within the range you can tolerate, the higher the lipolysis process and the more effective the results.
In addition to tighten, if the temp gets high enough it degradation of the fat cells, releasing fatty acids and TG. Once the temp reaches 42 degrees, this begins. The free fatty acids and TG are excreted through the lymphatic system.
4- Post-treatment- avoid any cooling measures.
5- Post-treatment- stay hydrated.
Why is this technology considered better than some of the other RF machines or brands out there?
All RF involves an exchange between positive and negative electrodes.
MONO-POLAR (or UNI-POLAR) was the first RF platforms available in aesthetics, and it was the type of platform used from around 2000 until 2002.
As shown in the diagram above, with MONO-POLAR platforms, the energy is delivered in a single line from the electrode to the grounding pad.
The distance the energy can be delivered below the skin is limited.
BI-POLAR platform became popular around 2002, and it is still the technology available in many machines today (Thermage, Accent, etc).
In this system, the energy travels from one electrode to another.
This allows for a controlled delivery of energy, but the depth is still limited, and in this case the depth is limited to half the distance between the electrodes.
MULTI-POLAR RF became popular around 2010 onwards, and is the gold standard platform. This is the platform used in Venus RF.
More details on the technology and mechanism of action?
Aside from the arrangement of electrodes, the tissue medium properties are also important, as are the temperature and frequency of electrical current.
The different layers of the skin have different properties. The energy tends to flow around fat, bone, and dry skin, rather than through them.
Wet skin has a higher electrical conductivity and will allow more current to pass through.
This is why the skin is wet with a lubricant prior to treatment. The tissue characteristics vary from person to person, and also from body area to body area, and influence how much energy is delivered.
Muscle is conductive, fat is less so, and the skin has in between conductivity. If the distance between electrodes is small, and the depth is limited to half the distance between electrodes, one can easily understand the depth of penetration is low (reaching only epidermis and part of the dermis).
When the electrodes are farther away from each other, the energy will find the path of least resistance, which is the muscle, and in doing so it has to go through the intervening fat in both directions.
The applicators for the Venus system have electrodes at different distances apart, and thus have different depths of penetration.
The technology used in the Venus Octipolar handpiece is called MP2 technology, a patented technology that has 8 different electrodes, each of which alternates between being a positive electrode and a negative electrode 1 million times per second, meaning the way the current is delivered is constantly changing between electrodes and thus into the tissues.
This allows for deeper penetration and a 3-D matrix of heat generated in the tissue, rather than individual arcs, so there are not spikes of heat (and less associated pings of pain) that are more common with monopolar and bipolar applicators (which have a 1-D heating pattern).
Venus Octipolar electrodes have the farthest distance than any other RF system (at the time of this post), and the heat feels more uniform and consistent than older RF systems.
With uniform and consistent heating, the results are also more consistent and uniform.
Who is not a candidate, or what areas are not able to be treated?
Any area with underlying metal or hardware.
Patients with pacemakers.
Are the results permanent, or do I need maintenance treatments?
Maintenance treatments are not required, however, since the series of treatments “reverses the clock” but does not “stop the clock”, keeping up with maintenance treatments mean you keep your fibroblasts stimulated.
3 months after completing your series of treatments, maintenance treatments can be done as desired.
Some patients feel one treatment one year later is sufficient, while others opt to do one treatment every 3 or 6 months afterward (Note the maintenance is not a repeat of a series, but a single treatment, spaced as needed, and varying based on individual characteristics.)