The number of body contouring options on the market never seems to stop growing. With the addition of new techniques comes a host of terms and jargon that can feel impossible to translate. When the flurry of “ultrasounds,” “radio waves” and “non-invasives” overwhelms you, the Whole Beauty Institute team is here to make it less confusing. Not only do we thoroughly discuss your best options with you during your in-person consultation at our locations in Chicago near the water tower and Winnetka on the north shore, but we also provide guides like this one to explain the differences between our most popular treatments. Here we help you understand the pros and cons of BodyTite®, a form of radiofrequency assisted liposuction, and other types of liposuction.

What is radiofrequency assisted liposuction (RFAL)?

RFAL is a relatively new type of body contouring. It was first introduced internationally in 2011, and there have been several improvements in its initial design. The procedure has gained wide popularity in Europe and Asia. After extensive clinical trials, the Body Tite® technology was approved by the FDA for use in the United States in 2016.

Dr. John Q. Cook, the founder and medical director of the Whole Beauty® Institute was the first plastic surgeon in the Midwest to work with BodyTite®, which is used to contour and tighten areas of the body, and FaceTite®, which is used to tighten the neck and jaw border. BodyTite® and FaceTite® procedures are typically done under local anesthesia in our Chicago and Winnetka offices. These procedures can also be done under IV sedation or a light general anesthesia if the patient prefers.

body tite patient

The RFAL technique uses radiofrequency waves — a type of electromagnetic energy that produces heat — to melt fat cells and make them easier to remove via liposuction, which is simply a thin metal tube with holes in its side that is connected to a suction pump. This aspect of BodyTite® is similar to other energy-based liposuction techniques that Dr. Cook has used for years, for example, Vaser®, which uses ultrasound energy to disrupt fat cells, and laser-assisted liposuction (SmartLipo® and SlimLipo®), which disrupt fat cells with laser energy.

If BodyTite® was just another way of melting fat, it would not capture much attention. The second aspect to BodyTite® is where it truly stands out- its ability to tighten skin.

The Secret to BodyTite®’s popularity- Tighter Skin

BodyTite® and FaceTite® are two of the fastest-growing procedures in our practice at the Whole Beauty® Institute. The reason for this is simple- BodyTite® opens up the possibility for liposuction to a wide range of people whom we couldn’t treat before because of the looseness of their skin.

The ideal candidate for liposuction is a trim, athletic 25-year-old woman or man who is in great shape but has distinct zones of fat excess that won’t respond to diet and exercise. If that patient goes to an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon almost any technique of liposuction should produce a beautiful result.

Many of us are not the perfect candidate we have just described. Maybe time, gravity, and life events have taken their toll so that your skin is not as tight as it used to be. If this is the case, liposuction may simply be a bad trade; you’ll have less fat in problem areas, but the skin will be even looser.

BodyTite® allows for liposuction in a wider range of people. This is because it provides significant tightening of skin along with fat reduction.

How does BodyTite® tighten Skin?

As you just learned, BodyTite® uses radio-frequency energy to produce heat and melt fat. It also uses this energy to tighten skin. The clever design of the device enables this to happen in a safe and predictable way.

how does bodytite work

There are two probes connected to the BodyTite® handpiece. One probe sits on top of the skin; the other is placed under the skin through a tiny opening. The surgeon moves the probes back and forth and energy flows between them until a particular temperature is reached. The computer in the system constantly monitors the temperature so that it does not go beyond the safe level. The energy delivered to the skin causes it to contract, and the contraction process continues for about 6 months.

BodyTite® solves the problem of loose skin in many body areas

BodyTite® works well in the traditional zones of liposuction. For women, these are often the abdomen, waist, hips, inner thigh, and outer thigh. For men these are often the abdomen, waist, and chest.

Results of Body Tite to Abdomen and Flanks

We can also use this technology to tighten areas that were often beyond the reach of liposuction: the front of the thigh, the back of the thigh, and the arms.

For a number of years, Dr. John Q. Cook has used laser liposuction to reduce the excess fullness of the arms. The laser liposuction causes a tightening of the connections that run between the deeper parts of the arm to the undersurface of the skin in addition to melting fat. He can now achieve even better arm tone by
boosting the results of laser liposuction with radio-frequency skin tightening.

slimlipo patientResults of laser liposuction of arms.

BodyTite® is not for everyone with loose skin

BodyTite® is not for everyone with loose skin. There is a degree of looseness that goes beyond what we can currently accomplish with this useful technology. Fortunately, our team at the Whole Beauty® Institute has the experience to recognize when BodyTite® simply will not be enough.

For those patients who need more powerful tightening, we have extensive experience in all forms of body contour surgery, such as abdominoplasty, Brachioplasty (arm lift), inner thigh lift, posterior body lift, and back lift.

Results of Abdominoplasty by John Q. Cook, MD

At the Whole Beauty® Institute, we offer our patients the complete range of body contour procedures, from non-invasive fat reduction with SculpSure® and BodyFx® to a wide range of liposuction and tightening techniques as well as procedures such as abdominoplasty that require direct skin excision.

Contact the Whole Beauty Institute to find out which procedure is right for you.

While BodyTite has several advantages for the right patient, it is not the best choice for everyone. BodyTite cannot address some concerns, and the BodyTite procedure is not always comprehensive enough to treat larger areas of unwanted fat. Before you decide that BodyTite is the right procedure for you, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. Your surgeon will be able to discuss all possible outcomes with you and help you decide which treatment will have optimal results. In the Chicago area, Dr. John Q. Cook of the Whole Beauty Institute offers years of experience in a wide variety of body contouring procedures. If you are interested in learning more about our services and speaking with Dr. Cook about your options, contact the Whole Beauty Institute today at 312-751-2112 to schedule your consultation.