Pelleve Procedure

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What is the Pellevé Machine?

The Pellevé is a monopolar radiofrequency generator, manufactured by Ellman Aesthetics. The device generated an alternating current (AC) with a frequency of 4MHz (4 million cycles per second). The two contact points are the handpiece, which is placed on the area to be treated and a return plate which is usually placed on the lower back or abdomen. The device and the handpiece offer numerous advanced safety features to prevent inadvertent patient injury.

What does the Procedure do?

The application of the radiofrequency energy to the skin causes it to heat up. The heat is generated in the deep dermis at its junction with the subcutaneous fat. In the correct hands, this heat is allowed to build up to between 60 and 70 degrees in the deep dermis, which causes a structural change in the skin’s collagen with immediate shrinkage. No thermal necrosis of skin is caused. The structurally changed collagen is a stimulus for the body to generate additional collagen, with long-term maintenance of the result.

What are the pre-procedure requirements?

All makeup should be removed from treatment areas before treatment and men should be clean shaven. Jewelry and hearing aids should be removed before treatment. It is generally not advisable to treat patients with pacemakers or other implantable electrical devices. Patients who have had implant dentistry can be treated but do need to inform me about this prior to the procedure.

What does the procedure feel like?

A conductive gel is applied to increase the conductivity of the skin. The treatment handpiece is moved over the area of skin in circular or a side-to-side motion and the deep dermis is gradually heated. The heat also spreads down to the deep tissue and upwards to the skin surface. The surface temperature is monitored by a laser thermometer until a surface temperature of 40 to 45 C is achieved. Generally, heating is continued until the patient’s tolerance. The sensation of pain is an end-point. Most patients report mild to moderate discomfort only and very occasional pain. If pain is experienced, current flow is stopped and the pain resolved immediately. Overall, the procedure is very tolerable. Each time the tissue is heated to its target temperature, this is known as a “pass”. A minimum of 3 passes per session are required to treat an area.

How many treatment sessions are required?

The age of the patient, their general health and condition of their skin will determine this. Smoking and sun-exposure will limit the requests realizable. Generally, patients in their 30’s or 40’s will need 2 sessions, those in their 50’s and 60’s will need 3 or 4 sessions and older patients may require more. Generally, 4 to 6 weeks between treatment sessions is advisable.

Is there a need for maintenance treatments?

Younger patients will only require additional treatments every 2 years, but older patients, or those with adverse lifestyle factors may need and additional session every 6 months.

What is the recovery time?

No special skin care before or after the treatment is needed, and patients can return to normal activities immediately. There is some pinkness to the treated area for a few hours afterwards and there may be slight tissue swelling in the eyelids if they are treated. No blisters or burns are caused. Generally patients will be able to attend social activities the same day – making this a truly “no-downtime” procedure.

What kind of results are achievable?

It is important to realize that the Pellevé Procedure is not surgery and cannot achieve the same results as surgery, although I often use it in conjunction with surgery to achieve excellent results. Although a lifting of the tissue may be noted, the primary reason for using the Pellevé is to improve fine and medium wrinkles on the face. It is most effective for the lines around the mouth and eyes.

Can Pellevé by used with Botox and Filler?

Yes, although not at the same session. It is generally my preference to perform Botox treatment first, followed by Pellevé 1-2 weeks later. I also prefer to complete the required series of sessions before placing the dermal filler. If the patient has previously had dermal filler, the Pellevé procedure may be done without any effect on the filler.

How is the Pellevé charged?

I charge my Pellevé procedures in batches of 2 sessions. A payment is made after the first session and another session 4 to 6 weeks later is not charged. I charge a fixed rate for an upper or lower face treatment. A full face, multiple area treatment may be done at the same time at an additional cost.