Non-Surgical Procedures Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ
Why female rejuvenation?
A woman’s body undergoes tremendous change through out life as a result of hormonal changes, pregnancy, or medical illnesses. Until recently, women accepted the change as part of aging and a consequence of the joys of motherhood.
There are now options for women to:
- Feel and look better.
- Treat their functional problems like urinary incontinence and urgency.
- Enhance their sexual relationships well into the latter years of life.
There has been more awareness and demand for this procedures due to social media as well the advent of new technology in energy based systems as well as advances in the field of regenerative medicine such as human-derived growth factors, platelet-rich plasma, and human allografts.
Non-surgical options for female rejuvenation include:
- Hormone replacement therapy.
- Non-surgical options for rejuvenation such as radio frequency and laser-based systems.
- Platelet -rich plasma (O-shot™) and other innovations in regenerative medicine (e.g. Human-derived growth factors and Amniotic allografts).
Hormone replacement therapy can help with vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis) . This is either given as systemic therapy – (e.g. pellets and oral) or local (e.g. vaginal estrogen creams). There is also an increasing number of laser based options for rejuvenation in the market today.
What is ThermiVA™ and is it Safe?
ThermiVA™ is a revolutionary non-surgical procedure that uses controlled radio frequency energy. The energy in the form of heat is transferred directly to the areas being treated to:
- Improve laxity of labia and vagina.
- Improve sexual pleasure.
- Improve vaginal dryness.
- Improve mild-to moderate urinary incontinence and urgency.
Radiofrequency energy has been used in the medical field for a long time. Aesthetic indications of the technology such as in skin tightening have blossomed over the last few years. ThermiVa™ is radio frequency energy device used to treat the labia and vaginal wall. It has made a significant difference in the lives of many women and couples.
ThermiVA™ is safe and there has not been any reported complication associated with the procedure. The machine is engineered to allow the user to control the temperature of the treatment so that it is comfortable and safe. An experienced provider can and can also recommend other adjunctive treatments that might be beneficial for your problems.
Dr. Ong is very experienced and has performed hundreds of ThermiVA™ procedures. She is able to preferentially treat anatomical areas to best address your concerns. Sometimes, there may be other options that may be a better alternative for concern such as platelet-rich plasma, or a surgical intervention. An experienced doctor like Dr. Ong who teaches other providers the procedure will be able to guide you through this decision making process.
Is There Downtime After the Treatment?
ThermiVA™ uses radio frequency energy, which penetrates the skin or lining of the vaginal wall and causes changes without creating any microscopic “wounds”like laser treatments. Because of this reason, there is no downtime after the treatment. Women are free to do anything they want after the treatment including exercising and sexual activities.
What is the Difference between ThermiVA™ and the Mona Lisa Touch™?
The non-surgical energy-based systems that are currently being used include the CO2 lasers (e.g. Monalisa Touch™ and Femilift™), erbium (e.g. Diva™) and radio frequency (e.g. ThermiVA™). The purpose of these machines are to “rejuvenate” the area using various different energy systems to increase blood flow, stimulate collagen production and hence improving the problems of vaginal dryness, incontinence, and help tighten the vagina.
Lasers such as the Monalisa Touch™ are fractionated laser devices, which create small “holes” in the vaginal lining. These small wounds stimulate the wound healing mechanism. This would in turn create more blood flow to the area and create more collagen and layers of cells including secretory cells which would improve the problems of vaginal dryness and enhance tightening.
The radio frequency devices such as ThermiVA™ uses radio frequency energy to penetrate the lining without causing any wounds, but allows for regeneration. Histologic studies in which biopsies of the vaginal lining performed from ThermiVA™ and laser patients showed changes within the lining of the vaginal wall with increased collagen, and an increase in cell layer all indicating improved blood flow and regeneration of the lining.
The differences are the size of the treating device (ThermiVa™ is a smaller, slimmer device), ability to treat the external labia (ThermiVA™), time needed for treatment (Monalisa Touch™ is faster), and healing time after the treatment (2-3 days for Monalisa Touch™ vs. none for ThermiVA™).
The recent introduction of two other radiofrequency devices into the market may suggest the possibility that radiofrequency technology is better suited for female rejuvenation purposes.
Will I See Results After One Treatment? Why Are People Recommending Three Treatments?
Everyone is different, and the severity or extent of your condition can vary. The condition being treated i.e. improving vaginal laxity versus treating stress urinary incontinence is very different. Because of this variability between women, it is difficult to say exactly how many treatments you may need.
Women with mild urinary incontinence may need just one treatment. However, someone with vaginal dryness for several years may need several treatments in order to get the tissues to heal to where they may be satisfied with the outcome. It takes time for the changes to occur in a cellular level after the treatment. New blood flow, collagen growth takes weeks to months to regenerate. Thus, a series of treatments can augment the results.
The reason why many doctors are recommending 3 treatments is because the pilot ThermiVa™ study performed by Dr Alinsod was created with a protocol of 3 treatments. Based on this study, a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction and vaginal looseness was seen in women after three treatments.
Dr. Ong’s personal opinion on this is that physicians should treat the symptom or condition rather than be “sold” on the number of treatments. Some women may need less and some more. Some women may need adjunctive treatments such as the Apex™ device or the O-shot™. Once the results are achieved, many women will need an additional treatment between 9-15 months since the environment being treated is constantly changing with time. The “cause” of the condition i.e. lack of estrogen or aging is a constant on-going factor.
Does the Treatment Hurt?
Radiofrequency waves are delivered to the area using a small device and are regulated with a set maximum temperature, which allows for safe treatment and is well tolerated by women with no pain.
Most patients agree that the treatment is well tolerated with minimal discomfort. Patients can feel a gentle warm heat in the external area being treated, but the internal treatments are virtually painless. Warm ultrasound gel is used during the treatment. Many women do fall asleep during the treatment which is an indicator of the level of discomfort they are experiencing.
The diameter of the single-used “wand” is narrow and mimics the natural curvature of the vaginal for ease of treatment. Laser devices have much larger vaginal “probes” which can cause some discomfort in women with severe vaginal dryness.
The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has grown tremendously in sexual medicine due to its proven regenerative potential. The O-shot™ was originally described as placement of PRP into certain areas in the female genital area to enhance sensation and the female orgasm system. The male counterpart to the O-shot™ is the Priapus Shot™.
In female rejuvenation, Dr. Ong uses the regenerative capabilities of PRP selectively to help the treatment of urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis) and certain gynecologic disorders such as lichen sclerosis. This is a common problem with a reported 58% of postmenopausal women experiencing vaginal dryness. Sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence affect more than 60% of women.
Many post-menopausal women or breast cancer patients with severe vaginal dryness are unable to have sexual intercourse due to the lack of lubrication or secondary to pain at the entrance of their vagina (introitus). These women are able to benefit from the healing capabilities of PRP and are able to engage in non-painful sexual relations again.
Dr. Ong is a certified trainer of the O-shot™ procedure . She frequently utilizes and combines other treatment modalities for better results and outcomes when treating a particular concern. The results of combining ThermiVa ™ and the O-shot ™ particularly for the treatment of incontinence and to enhance sensation has shown to be greater than either treatment alone.
Vaginal Rejuvenation System™
Human-derived growth factors such as the Vaginal Rejuvenation System™, which utilizes the AQ Growth Factor technology is a helpful adjunct in the treatment of vaginal dryness. The patented technology allows for non-hormonal topical application of growth factors into the vaginal wall. Dr. Ong uses this in conjunction with radiofrequency and platelet-rich plasma based treatments to further enhance results and prolong the duration between treatments.