Synergy: The result of a combination of smaller elements which is greater than their simple mathematical sums.

In other words, we plastic surgeons, estheticians, and R.N.s at My Plastic Surgery Group delight at the discovery of combinations of small treatments which appear to build on each other for result. For example, liposuction and skin tightening procedures often combine for a more dramatic result than patient or physician would predict. Likewise, skin care and regular massage seem to be synergistic. With this in mind, we were delighted to find the Venus Freeze device. It appears to us to be the first and only noninvasive machine which uses a combination of radiowave and magnetic field technologies to actually tighten skin. Devices and surgical procedures which aim at fat reduction have a problem. It is the same one we face when we lose a lot of weight. What happens to the skin? It hangs around and hangs down. As we age, we deflate and loosen. This is why our practice is very selective about procedures such as liposuction alone, which addresses only the fat. We need a synergy with something that tightens our skin as well. Until recently the solution laid only in surgical reduction of the amount of skin to tighten what remained. The solution is dramatic but also surgical. Previous devices which claimed to tighten skin without surgery failed our standards of efficacy and comfort. If something is going to be noninvasive, it had better feel that way. First, the patient expects little or no pain. Second, the plastic surgeon expects to see results. Both are often disappointed. It is difficult to prove results on skin using photography alone. An only slightly overexposed post treatment photograph looks better than the slightly darkened pre-treatment photograph. Surgeons tend to evaluate noninvasive devices with a bias related to the more dramatic surgical procedures. We are hard to please. Finally, companies producing devices to be sold to physicians are reluctant to offer any guarantee of results. We understand. Plastic surgeons are equally hesitant to offer guarantees. Physical and emotional variations in patient responses to treatment make this difficult. We, therefore, rely on our track record and testimonials. Word-of-mouth is our best marketing tool. The secret of a job well done is difficult to keep. The device companies and their products are new; they have not much of a track record.

Venus Concept is the first company we talked to that offered to stand behind their product not just in safety but in efficacy. They agreed to take our machine back in six months if we felt it had not proven itself. Two independent studies involving 31 and 15 patients respectively reported a 15 to 20 percent improvement in skin tightening based on the Fitzpatrick Scale of Wrinkles. In addition, one study showed an average 1.2-inch reduction in abdominal circumference. Venus Freeze works by using a combination of radio-frequency stimulation of skin and pulsed magnetic field stimulation of collagen-producing cells. The devices which use radio-frequency alone tend to cause more pain from thermal or heat stimulation. The addition of the magnetic field helps to reduce the amount of radio-frequency required for tightening. Impressed but cautious, we obtained the Venus Freeze device in December. After technical checkouts of the machine and ourselves, we began treating our patients in January. So far, we have been pleasantly surprised. The results are pleasing our patients. They realized before we surgeons did that, although the result is not nearly as dramatic as surgery, the treatments are not as painful or expensive.

Nowadays, everyone is busy. It is difficult to plan for downtime. Many people will happily accept a result that is more subtle if the procedure can be done on a lunch hour or a weekend morning. We invite any of our previous patients to come and see us about Venus Freeze. We also invite anyone who does not know our practice to ask around. You can probably find someone who knows our reputation, look on Angie’s List, people talk.