Thermi Smooth Ruined My Face - Do not do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January of 2015, I was still receiving compliments...

January of 2015, I was still receiving compliments as to how young I looked. I was often carded and told I looked like I was 30-35 years old even though I was 50. I did 5 sessions of thermi-tight on my face and I now look at least 50 years old. I have aged 10-15 years in one year. I am at a loss as to what to do next. I have looked into fat grafting under the eye but that procedure seems to be inconsistent and not very well done by plastic surgeons. I am so frustrated and angry at what happened. I trusted the people who had treated my face with care for about 5 years. They introduced ThermiTight to me; I researched it and they reassured me I wouldn't lose fat in my face. Well, they lied. I now look so much older only 5 months into it. I'm so frustrated and furious (at them and at myself). I've had to go on anti-depressants and go into therapy because it has ruined my face. I can't provide photos because I am in a high profile job. DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!

More information re: the risks of ThermiSmooth/Radio Frequency Treatments

Since my ThermiSmooth treatments ( Started first in Feb. 2015 and finished 4th at end of March 2015 and then waited a few months had 2 more treatments with final treatment - #6 in October 2015 and didn't see major issues until Jan. 2016) and my facial fat atrophy, shrinking of eyes and hollowing under eyes and now very full cheeks and smaller lips, I have being doing countless hours of research (I'm far from done yet). We need to stop the ridiculous, unregulated use of these devises. Thermi just sold their company for $80 million dollars and the owner bragged about providing investors with 2 to 6x their initial investment while people are suffering from a comprised appearance and mental anguish. By the way, the clinic who performed my procedure has said that the Thermi rep said no one else has had results like I have had. Really? That's not what I'm reading. Also, no one from Thermi is interested in talking to me. Hmmm...We need to rally together and find a way to have better reporting on all "side effects" of these treatments. It should be required that any negative side effects are documented, photographed and shared more readily. We should be reporting issues to the FDA, Better Business Bureau, and...? (I'm continuing to look at options to ensure people are better armed with a full understanding of risks and ensure docs and med spas are more highly regulated in all states and, no, I am not an attorney but I am an educated, successful and once attractive woman who is interested in people not being taken advantage of. With my research on realself, other websites, and very professional doctors I've spoken to in person, I have found some good information about RF and ultrasound issues. With online resources:

1. Dr. Rian Maercks that "Devices that use Radiofrequency and Ultrasound energy ( Thermage, Refirme and Ultherapy), seem to appear and disappear with an incredible frequency. Dr. Maercks does not recommend using these techniques on or near the face and recommends extreme caution elsewhere in the body. Unfortunately deep heating of the face reduces facial fat (required for a youthful appearance) and produces abnormal deep scarring, what industry leaders want you to believe is ‘healthy collagen production). The biggest problem with deep heating of facial tissues is that it causes a relatively uncontrolled concentric contraction of the deep facial tissues. From a plastic surgeons perspective, this is a recipe for disastrous aesthetic consequences. These modalities are commonly used by practitioners outside the field of plastic surgery who focus largely on the cheek area. What results is irregular scar build up(called ‘collagen production by manufacturers), and because of the concentric contraction, problems can occur with eyelid distortion and malfunction, irregular and unnatural mouth appearance and ablation of the natural concavities and convexities that make the human face attractive. The lines of tension in a natural beautiful face are different throughout the face and are the focal point of a beautiful facelift. Even more unfortunate is the fact that most of these results occur months to a year after the procedure. The time lag and severity of problems leads patients to seek a different practioner for correction and the well-meaning original practitioners never learn of these consequences they have produced. Dr. Maercks has seen many of these consequences and has tackled the difficult correction with fat transfer, facelift and other procedures. For these reasons Dr. Maercks focuses on controllable modalities with limited complication profiles."

2. http:/ - some really horrible stories on this site about what we thought were innocent treatments that have left people with devastating results with little hope or recourse.

3. Article: Complications in Lasers, Lights and Radiofrequency Devices; Mt Sinai; Drs. AlNomair, Nazaian and Marmur

4. Possible risks and complications on RF treatments. It states that tissue overheating may lead to fat atrophying and/or excessive tightening that may result in a sunken or depressed appearance in the skin in some treated areas...."

5. "What are the risks and potential complications from Radiofrequency For Facial Rejuvenation treatment?

As the treatment is carried out you will experience brief, deep heating sensations every time the RF energy is delivered to your skin and underlying tissue. Devices may have an inbuilt cryogenic capability whereby the handpiece is either chilled or emits a cooling spray before, during and after the RF burst, to protect your skin from the heating, and make the treatment more comfortable.


As each person's pain tolerance and threshold varies, it is difficult to quantify how painful or uncomfortable the treatment is. It also depends on the device used and the power settings for the treatment. Your clinician may offer you anesthetic options, such as a topical anesthetic cream applied to your skin prior to treatment, or relaxants and pain management drugs, that can minimize your discomfort.

The most frequently reported side effects of treatment with RF energy are swelling, redness, bumps and blisters on or around the treated area, which typically disappear in a few days or weeks.

One of the most serious potential complications from RF energy treatment is a “depression”; this is attributed to the overheating of underlying tissue causing fat atrophy or excessive tightening, giving you a sunken appearance in the affected area. The occurrence of this also depends on the device used and appears to be only currently reported with the Thermacool™ system. Generally, although further studies and more available data is needed, it is considered that there is a correlation between the occurrence of these depressions and the treatment being given at frequency levels above the manufacturer’s guidelines. It is therefore imperative that you make sure that your practitioner is adequately trained and certified to perform the RF treatment."

A few doctors on have made comments about RF treatments such as Drs. Larry Nichter, Mark Taylor (there are things less risky than thermi), Steven F Weiner, Panama City (yes, RF can dissolve filler and fat; not precise - can't control it) and Dr. Maercks mentioned earlier. I haven't gone deep on to see if other doctors have commented on the dangers of RF particularly on the face but I'm working on it.

I have spoken to 5 top board certified plastic surgeons (the one who owns the clinic I went to will still not see me!) and 2 top dermatologists in my city to discuss my experience and determine next steps. Almost all doctors have confirmed that RF can result in fat atrophy and shrinking of skin around eyes including lower and upper lids. A couple have expressed their disgust at the aggressiveness of the treatment even though it feels like an innocent warm massage on your face.

So for those of you who don't think this can happen because, quite honestly, it does sound so highly unbelievable, this experience is quite real and excrutiating for those suffering the consequences that were never outlined before or during the treatment. If someone else has information on websites that confirms the atrophy and eyelid shrinkage as well as any information or treatments that helped them such as fat transfer, micro currency (micro currency is not the same as RF and has been proven to heal wounds, cancer, etc - I have not tried micro-currency but am currently researching it). I am not giving up on finding a solution to prevent this from happening to others nor am I giving up on finding a solution to treat what has happened to me and what continues to happen to me as the treatment continues to tighten and flatten my face and atrophy into a face that I am not familiar with.

Next steps: 1. Try to meet with the doctor who owns the equipment and clinic who performed the procedure on me. 2. Meet with 3 other top plastic surgeons over the next few months to get their opinion on what happened and what I can do about it. 3. Continue to research treatment options on my own from plastic surgery to holistic options including diet, supplements, acupuncture - whatever may have real results without being invasive. 4. Consider what agencies I report the incident to (FDA, BBB, other consumer agencies who would be interested in understanding the lack of consistency in experience due to lack of training ( I'm not saying my person did not have good training/skills but there's nothing in my state that regulates this), lack of transparency from companies on risks and contraindications, lack of interest from doctors and clinics in helping those who they have harmed, etc.

I'll be back with updates when I have something to report. Take care of yourselves and do your research.

Update at the 6 month mark- filed with the FDA

I've now seen 8 doctors, 6 of which are plastic surgeons. They have all said that the damage that happened to me could happen with a radio frequency (RF)procedure. The RF is not consistent and it's hard to predict results so they don't use it in their practice. While they know what can happen very few actually know what to do aside from using filler and doing a lower bleph and/or fat injections, My eyes have are still tinier than they were 6 months ago and I have major hollowing under my eyes as well as recession in the upper lids and my waterline is now almost non-existent. I have significant wrinkles under my eyes, the texture of my skin has changed, and the fat loss in my temples and cheeks is obvious.

Since the clinic I went to is denying that anything happened to me even though pictures and my actual face tell a different story, I decided to file a complaint against Thermi with the FDA. I filed back in April 2016 and Thermi's compliance specialist and director contacted me last week. I spoke to them this week. They are calling the clinic where I had the procedure to get more details and have said that they will follow up with me. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually received a response since when I contacted Thermi to report the issue in January, I never received a call back nor did the clinic where I had this done have success in getting their Thermi rep to contact me. I strongly suggest that you file a complaint with the FDA if you have any major issues. The FDA needs to know that they approved something that can permanently damage people's faces and bodies. The filing process takes maybe 15-20 minutes on-line and is relatively easy.

I just started injections (Voluma) in my cheeks because I couldn't handle the flatness of my once defined cheeks. They don't think they can correct the divots that are in the middle of my face (closer to the nose). I've also done botox for crow's feet and my forehead since the wrinkles were not something I could tolerate any longer. There's only so much botox they can do so my face is a little better but far from the youthful face I had 6 months ago. I also had botox injected in my chin where I had significant dimpling. The botox after 2 weeks has softened the dimples.

I have done 3 micro current treatments on my face. I can't tell you that I had much improvement but it does seem to have softened my face a bit and the divots a bit. The new doctor I'm seeing suggested doing micro-needling and PRP to try to help with the wrinkles and thinness around the eyes. I'm hoping I can start that process within the next month or so. I'm still not giving hope.

Trying to manage the damage from ThermiSmooth-Microneedling on Face and Profractional on neck and chest

I just had micro-needling done today on my face at a well respected plastic surgeon's office. I'm trying to manage the excess wrinkles that were created by the previous "clinic" I went to for facial procedures over the last few years including most recently the ThermiSmooth that did my face in. I asked the medical nurse at the plastic surgeon's office about how deep the MicroPen goes . When I said the person who performed micro-needling where I had all the other procedures done that it was only at a " 18 depth", the medical nurse indicated that where I had it done before did not use a medical grade device as only a doctors' offices can purchase a MicroPen even if the clinic is medically directed. I did Eclipse MicroPen today on my face. First of all, the numbing was much better than at the original clinic where all the damage happened. I did a few micro-needling treatments there but the needling still hurt in spite of the topical numbing they did. Today, I barely felt anything except by my temples. My face is red, as is to be expected, but I am feeling good about the experience. I am convinced based on the micro-needling I had today that it is so much more safe and effective to have it performed in a true, well-respected plastic surgeon's office. Given the damage I experienced last year, I have been very afraid to do anything to my face. In 2016, I have had one hydrofacial in May which left my face extremely dry (not supposed to happen) so I have done nothing else. I do think using IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum in 2016 has helped my rosacea that developed after the ThermiSmooth treatments. I also apply BioOil to my face every day, as the last step before applying sunscreen, which provides much needed moisture that is gone since the ThermiSmooth treatments. Doing the bare minimum has actually helped my face heal a bit. The fat atrophy is still quite apparent and as I've mentioned in previous postings, I still have major bags (try triple under bags) and horrendous dark circles that are due to the fat loss and falling of my face in spite of the claims from Thermi that it tightens (it may contract your skin to shrink your eyes and reduce skin so much that you are a remnant of the physically beautiful person you were before the treatment. It doesn't tighten up and out; it contracts your skin so tight - not right away - it takes time- that it hurts and because of the contraction, it creates more wrinkles and does more damage).

Okay, on to the next topic. I can't believe I chose to do treatments on my neck and chest but it was time. I did a pro-fractional laser (Sciton) done on my neck and chest. Again, had a compound numbing agent on my neck and chest which made the pro-fractional treatment so much easier than I thought.

I almost didn't do the pro-fractional today given the reviews I read on this site. But, in speaking to the medical nurse, she asked me about all the details on each one and I couldn't answer it because those with major issues never indicated the settings, etc. This plastic surgeon is so well respected, I decided I would trust again (not yet on my face but my neck and chest I know can handle more). You are numbed for about 20-30 minutes, your eyes are covered with serious metal eye goggles and then she handed me a cooling hose that I could point to areas that started to get too hot. It's like having a stress ball only this actually helps cool the treated area. The procedure itself was quite painless given the great numbing cream. She did tell me my skin on my neck and chest would get really hot. True enough. The procedure for my neck and chest was quite quick - maybe 20 -25 minutes. All I know is that I was numbing from 1:30 to a bit after 2 p.m. Then, she did the micro-needling on my face. After that, went to the pro-fractional for the next and chest and I was done by 3 p.m. My neck and chest are red which is typical- like a bad sunburn and you can see small grid patterns (like a door screen) - again, typical - but they should be gone within the next few days. Because the areas are hot, as I was informed of prior to the procedure, I am icing my chest and neck as advised about two times an hour for 10-20 minutes at a time. I will do this until I go to bed. I am also taking Ibuprofen for the first night. If you ever do this, do not have activities planned even if it is an area you can cover, such as your neck or chest because you absolutely need to be home to ice it. Also, when I go to bed, I will put Aquaphor on it as recommended by the medical nurse. I'll provide updates on both the micro-needling and pro-fractional in a day or two. Actual results won't be visible for some time but I can at least provide updates on the healing process. Take care.

Good results on my face from microneedling except for under the eyes and neck/chest are good after pro-fractional

My face did okay with the microneedling. It took me two weeks (not the typical few days for others) to recover. My skin was very red the first day and then I "peeled" for two weeks until better skin came to the surface. My skin tone is better and I've received a few compliments on my skin. My under-eyes were still not ready for the microneedling. They are more crepey than before I started the treatment. Very frustrating. I happened to see my dermatologist after the treatment and he told me to wait 6 more months before doing anything else even though he said I could do needling or pro-fractional now.

The pro-fractional on my neck went fairly well. I had redness and grid marks on my neck for almost two weeks which have now disappeared. The chest is a slightly different story. While the skin is quite soft, you can still see some redness and white grid marks which I'm confident will fade. While I'm pleased with the softness of my skin, I will wait a while before I do anything else. I'm tired of having skin that reacts so much more than almost anyone else's. I can't do chemical peels so I have limited options if I can't do those or laser/needling treatments.

I'm starting 3 more micro-current treatments which have been safe and gentle. I will watch to see if it softens the wrinkles and dry patches that came back after the needling. I have two more plastic surgery appointments within the next 8 weeks. I might cancel one and keep the ocular surgeon appointment. It's been almost a year since my last Thermi treatment. It's been a living hell. If you are thinking about doing this treatment, be careful and do your research. Take care.
Clinic in Mpls

Metropolitan Clinic - Usually very good but this was an absolutely ridiculous experience. So frustrated and distraught.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful