How Effective is Thermage?

I am interested in having Thermage for my face, but I found quite different opinions about it. I am wondering if all the patients used the machines made by the company Thermage? Is it a problem of the approach or of the company and doctor?

Doctor Answers 3

Thermage Effectiveness.

Themage Not Ideal for loose skin

Thermage has noticeable but very limited results.Like other skin resurfacing procedures it tends to tighten the skin to an extent to smooth some of the fine lines, improve pigment problems and diminish pore size. What they do NOT do well is to minimize jowls and other signs of facial soft tissue laxity. Only a mini facelift or facelift will take care of this problem in a significant fashion. This is why satisfaction after Thermage treatments are rated so low

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Mixed Results

The original Thermage was from all accounts, patients and physicians who bought the machines, was pretty much a disaster. It was painful and ineffectual and many physicians reluctantly had to give the money back to their patients. It was probably too early to bring the product to market.

The company then gussied up the machine and proclaimed that using different parameters and techniques the units were far more successful. In a bit of surprising honesty (why am I always surprised when a salesperson concedes a fault in their product) the reps that visited me told me the original Thermage was not that good but the new one was great. In these sales presentations I was shown terrific before and after pictures and told to call certain physicians whose patients were having breath-takingly successful results.

Well, after calling around and discussing potential purchase with colleagues I know and whose opinion I value, it seems to me that in some patients, maybe quite a few, there are great results. However, many other patients are still disappointed.

Unlike say fillers, the fault may be in the technology of the machine, and not problems with the practitioner. You may get a great result but I have a feeling there is an equal if not greater chance of disappointment.


Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

The problem is the technology

The problem with Thermage is that the doctor using it can't truly tell what quality of result you will get and you don't get your money back if you are disappointed. I have personally done 6 facelifts on patients who had Thermage elsewhere and all said "they got nothing from it." I just can't go along with a treatment with such marginal outcomes. Don't be fooled by claims that newer ways of using Thermage have now worked the inadequacy out of the system. That's just a company and the doctors who bought into it trying to survive with failing equipment.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.