Does Pelleve Work?

A friend told me about a new treatment that doesn't cause much pain: Pelleve for skin tightening. Does it work and if so, what should I expect in terms of improvement?

Doctor Answers 6

Pelleve results

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A lot of  patients can see results immediately after their first treatment. Pelleve uses radiofrequency to gently deliver energy deep into the skin. The heat produced modifies existing collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen over time.  Collagen is a part of the connective tissue in the skin that helps in firmness and suppleness. Firmer, tighter skin can continue to improve over the 6 months as the new collagen continues to grow. Some patients say it feels like a warm massage. I hope this was helpful.


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We have found Pelleve most useful for tightening lower eyelid skin and increasing volume in the lower lids.  It all depends on our personal abililty to make new collagen in this area.  To some extent, this is age related. As with any non invasive procedure, your expectations should be limited.  

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Skin Tightening Lasers- Do Not Get Caught Up In Brand Names

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Skin Tightening Lasers- Do Not Get Caught Up In Brand Names

First of all you should ask -"Do they really work?" I would urge you to find a responsible and knowledgable plastic surgeon and not focus on brand names as this is the least important part of your decision.  As far as longevity- the six week results of your intervention are as permanent as anything in your body can be.  you will continue to age depending on your genetics and environmental factors.

The problem with noninvasive skin tightening is that everyone wants it and everyone wants to believe it works.  The result is practitioners of all sorts capitalizing on this demand.  The truth about skin tightening interventions is that almost all of them work AND NONE OF THEM WORK.  What I mean by this is that there are many ways to convert energy into heat inside or below the skin causing contraction.  The problem is that to deliver clinically effective results the tissue needs to reach at a minimum 43 C which is uncomfortable and can be scary for the patient and the practitioner.  This often results in ineffective treatment and wasted time and money. After using several "best in class" technologies to deliver definitive results, my patients were relatively pleased but I was underwhelmed.  THis is why I started using  a treatment called Maerckks Multimodal Therapy(MMT) in my practice.  All this is is an intelligently designed multitechnology treatment customized for the individual patient.  I use multiple diffferent frequencies and administration systems for radiofrequency delivery, three different ultrasound frequencies, infrared pulsed light, two different laser systems in concert to deliver immediate significant results that are hard to argue with and continue improving for weeks.  I think the only way to get real results is to combine technologies under the direction of a plastic surgeon that understands the capabilities and limitations of noninvasive skin tightening.  No one technology really delivers anything significant.  Also realiize that even my MMT results that I am very proud of do not remotely compare to what I can achieve with surgery and the cost can approach or exceed that of surgery depending on location and individual patient findings

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Let me extend Dr. Placik's remarks to also include the dermatololgy community. Although our specialty has been using radiofrequency devices for years, I am waiting for more data to come out before recommending this form of treatment for wrinkles. For me, this is especially relevant since I already own a Surgitron and am deciding whether to add the Pelleve handpiece.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Pelleve skin tightening for facial treatment

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Like most cosmetic treatments, the patient must be evaluated to determine what is the best, or are the best treatments for their condition based on their desires, anatomy, history and physical examination.
A patient who is not terribly sun-damaged, and has retained some good elasticity of their skin, but has recently just started to notice sagging, can be a good candidate. The tightening that occurs after Pelleve radiofrequency facial skin tightening does not mimic that of a facelift. It is not a painful treatment. Usually it requires a series of several treatments done every few weeks and the results may take as much as six months to maximize the appearance as new collagen takes time to be produced.
Retreatment can be done six to 12 months after but may not take the same number of treatments as the first series. No result, including facelift, is permanent as the aging process continues causing more lowering or sagging as time goes on.

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 39 reviews

Pelleve and the use of radiofrequency technology for skin tightening

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Good question. This is a new application of radiofrequency technology that has been around for many years. However, the longterm results and techniques have yet to be fully accepted by the plastic surgery community. Other manufacturers have been using this over the past several years with mixed and unpredictable results. We shall see......

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.