Does ThermiRF have the potential to cause facial fat loss?

Doctor Answers 7

ThermiTite, ThermiRf and Facial Fat Loss

The short answer is yes. Some modest injury to adipose cells (fat cells) can occur at temperatures as low as 45 degrees Celsius.  The tissue effects of ThermiRF should be viewed as complex and are the combined result of depth of treatment, tissue temperature and the duration of treatment. It is certainly true that an experienced user can target specific effects in the skin (dermis), subcutaneous fat and the skin's fascia's attachments by controlling temperature, depth and treatment time. However, it is best to think of skin tightening as a measure of overall "tissue contraction".  Tissue contraction involves the skin but also some of the deeper tissues such as subcutaneous fat, fascia and septal connections.. Hope this helps. 

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews


Thanks for your question. ThermiTight delivers controlled thermal energy under the skin to reverse the effects of aging. The non-surgical and micro-invasive treatment is ideal for patients who want fast and long-lasting results with little or no downtime. The injectable RF treats skin laxity and helps sculpt the area of concern. The heat emitted from the radio frequency energy only targets the deep tissues within the dermis, leaving the surrounding skin and tissues unharmed. ThermiTight stimulates the production of new collagen which aids in tightening of the skin over time.

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

ThermiTight can be used to intentionally reduce fat in jowls and the neck, or set only to tighten collagen

The science of temperature-induced connective tissue contraction, collagen induction and fat reduction is well worked out. The temperature needed to produce fat loss is much higher than what is used to only produce tightening.  The physician decides what they want to accomplish per location on the face or neck, and the respective temperatures are set for that goal and the internal temperature is closely monitored to ensure that the deep tissue doesn't get heated more than it should.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


ThermiRF definitely has the capability to cause fat loss. Depending on the treatment settings and the location of the probe, different tissue effects (tightening vs fat reduction) can be emphasized, but there is no way to 100% guarantee that only one of the two effects will be achieved. Therefore, it’s very important to apply this technique appropriately and in consultation with an experienced cosmetic dermatologist. In particular, be cautious about applying ThermiTight to some facial areas since facial fat loss is usually not a pleasing result and there are also additional elements of anatomy such as nerves and blood vessels that need to be accounted for.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

ThermiTight And Facial Fat Loss

Hi Robin. The ThermiTight procedure provides radiofrequency energy to heat tissues. The temperature that is set during treatment as well as the depth will determine which tissues will be affected. When used on the face, if set at higher temperatures and performed in the fat layer then there will be the potential of facial fat loss. This is what makes it a good treatment for double chin reduction. If you are considering the treatment, it is important to make sure your goals for the treatment are communicated to your physician so that the treatment plan can be customized for you. Hope this helps answer your question.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

ThermiRF and loss of fat

ThermiRF treats the subcutaneous tissues to stimulate skin tightening and collagen production. However, some of the temperatures used to heat these tissues can cause some fat to die. So technically there is always some potential, though very minimal, for facial fat loss when treating that area. 

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Thermi RF and Fat

Thermi RF is a very highly selective and specifically controllable treatment, probably the safest on the market with both internal and external temperature controls. My patients and I have been very pleased with their results and I have been using Thermi RF for 3 years. I have not noticed any unwanted fat melting.

An experienced Board Certified Facial Plastic, or Plastic Surgeon can specifically choose to either only tighten skin or also melt fat in a jowl or under the chin, only  if the patient has fat in these locations, by selecting the correct settings on the machine. After your surgeon  was done with the skin tightening part of your procedure, if you had any fat that needed to be melted, he/she would then place the probe only in the  fat,  would change the settings on the machine for fat melting and would proceed to treat the fat (e.g. in Jowls or under chin).

Hence your surgeon can decide together with you if only skin tightening is needed or if fat melting is also needed and can set the machine parameters accordingly. 
Some people only need skin tightening and thus the fat melting option is not used.

I hope this helped answer your question. Best of luck in your quest !

Dr. Anna Petropoulos
Facial Plastic Surgeon, Boston

Anna Petropoulos, MD, FRCS
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.