Does ThermiSmooth shrink the fat underneath facial skin?

Doctor Answers 7

Does ThermiSmooth shrink the fat underneath facial skin?

The ThermiSmooth radio frequency generator can shrink fat beneath the skin in the face if that is the goal. The depth of the effects from a ThermiSmooth treatment is related to the size of the hand-piece used. A very small one or a bipolar one will only shrink skin. The depth of the radio frequency penetration is one third the size of the hand-piece. For instance, a 3 cm hand-piece will shrink fat 1 cm deep. The bipolar applicator only penetrates a few millimeters, therefore tightens skin with no fat loss.

Generally, loss of fat in the face is undesirable, so a very small or a bipolar paddle is used. This is been quite effective around the eyes and mouth. The result is basically tighter skin.

The newest addition to the ThermiSmooth is the ThermiSmooth 250, which is much more powerful and useful for shrinkage in the size of the arms, abdomen, neck, etc. Thank you for your question, and it appears you are on the right track. Excellent question.

Savannah Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Does ThermiSmooth shrink the fat underneath facial skin?

ThermiSmooth on the face is good for skin laxity particularly around the eyes and the mouth.  The treatment will not affect the fat underneath because it does not reach the depth where fat is located and the temperature necessary to shrink the fat. 


Hi Noor! I would check to see which version of the Thermi device your physician has. The Thermi250 has different hand pieces that allow the radiofrequency energy to travel different depths of the skin. The smaller spot sizes are great for skin laxity treatment. The radiofrequency energy stimulates collagen repair and regeneration, which help to tighten the skin. The larger spot sizes penetrate more deeply to heat and reduce fat cells.

I hope this helps!

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

ThermiSmooth can tighten skin but will not lessen fat

ThermiSmooth is external radiofrequency energy designed to tighten skin. It can't reduce fat volume as it does not penetrate deeply enough nor does it heat enough to melt or kill fat cells.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews


Please keep in mind this is not a diet/weight loss procedure. The results differ from one person to the next. Thermismooth assists with improving the appearance of aging skin through tightening of the skin and collagen production.  The collagen underneath the skin is heated to a certain temp and maintained at that temp for about 7 to 10 minutes in that specific area. There are some who see some residual fat loss, but again each individual will notice different results. It is always best to seek consultation from a Reputable physician so that he/she can assess your concerns. Go over any and all questions you may have. And Can with the up most confidence go over all your options. This way you can make the best Informed decision for the results you are seeking. 

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Thermi Smooth and fat

Good question!  Thermi Smooth alone does not shrink fat.  The Thermi 250, however, has the ability to shrink fat.  It is all a matter of understanding the physics of the machine.  Thermi 250 has 10 times the power of the Thermi Smooth and depending on what hand piece the physician chooses, you can target different depths beneath the skin (ie targeting skin/dermis for skin tightening, superficial fat for cellulite or deeper fat layers). That's why it is so important to have a face to face consultation and exam with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who understands and has the tools to potentially treat unwanted fat either invasively (liposuction), minimally invasively (Thermi Tight), or non invasively ( Thermi 250, CoolSculpt, etc). That way you have a unique treatment plan developed specifically for your own body issues.

Brian R. Buinewicz, MD
Doylestown Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

ThermiSmooth and Fat

Thank you for a great question.  Unfortunately, there is not a cut-and-dry answer to this one, since there are no studies I am aware of to address this.  I rely on ThermiSmooth and their new device Thermi250 for many applications in my office.  For patients who are concerned about the theoretical risk of loss of facial fat, I ONLY use the smallest head or the bipolar attachment, as I know those heads will not penetrate deeper than the skin or dermis.  The larger the diameter of the head, the deeper the penetration into tissue and the larger heads do cause some shrinkage of the fatty layer.  To date, I have not had a patient lose facial fat volume as a result of using the more superficial ThermiSmooth or Thermi250 treatments, so my gut feeling is that you should experience facial fat reduction if the smallest head or the bipolar head are used, but, again, this is not based on a formal study, but only my own clinical experience.

W. John Bullis, MD
Bellevue OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 27 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.