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    Comparing laser to radiofrequency in vaginal rejuvenation

    Plastic surgeon Jennifer L. Walden, M.D., compared radiofrequency treatment with ThermiVa (Thermi) to laser treatment with diVa (Sciton) during her presentation on noninvasive vaginal rejuvenation at the 2017 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology meeting, in Las Vegas.

    Dr. Walden, of the Walden Cosmetic Surgery Center, Austin, Texas, shares these highlights from her talk.

    ThermiVa is a radiofrequency device, compared to diVa, which is two wavelengths — 2940 nm for the ablative and 1470 nm for the nonablative options. That’s just like Sciton's HALO laser for the face, according to Dr. Walden.

    Treatment time with ThermiVa is 20 to 30 minutes, versus three to four minutes with diVa.

    ThermiVa requires a manual repetitive handpiece movement over the labial and vaginal anatomy, as well as inside the vagina. This can be embarrassing for patients, due to the in-and-out motion, Dr. Walden says. diVa, on the other hand, has a stationary handpiece, with a 360-degree laser, to cover all areas of the vaginal mucosal wall as it is withdrawn from the vagina, she says.

    ThermiVa results in bulk heating for collagen remodeling and tightening. diVa results in cell rejuvenation, tissue regrowth and coagulation, as well as vaginal mucosal tightening, according to Dr. Walden.

    There is no downtime with ThermiVa; treatment is pain free; there are no side effects; and providers can treat both the external and internal anatomy, according to Dr. Walden. Post diVa treatment, patients cannot have intercourse for 48 hours and side effects include cramping and spotting. While the device can treat the internal anatomy, providers will need to add Sciton’s SkinTyte to treat external lax labial tissue, she says.

    “I like to do ThermiVa on patients who want to treat the external labial appearance for tightening and shrinkage, as well as internal tightening,” Dr. Walden says. “I do diVa on patients who only want internal tightening and aren't concerned so much with external appearance, [as well as those] who are shy or anxious about bearing their genitals to another healthcare provider for very long.”

    Both diVa and ThermiVa treat stress urinary incontinence and help tighten the vagina for enhanced sensation and sexual experience, according to Dr. Walden.

    All patients are treated with the same ThermiVa settings, aiming at bulk heating to 42 to 44 degrees Celsius. diVa has customizable settings and depths for pre- and postmenopausal women or for specific concerns, such as stress urinary incontinence, vaginal tightening for enhanced sexual experience or lubrication.

    Dr. Walden reports that among 49 ThermiVa and 36 diVa patients treated at her practice, not one reported unsatisfactory results.

    “In my opinion and experience, patients more often report quicker results with diVa, and most report an improvement in vaginal laxity and stress urinary incontinence after the first treatment, with an even more noticeable improvement after the second,” she says. “But, ThermiVa is preferred in women who want an improvement of the appearance and function of the vagina, and many patients lean towards it since radiofrequency is painless without downtime and gives the labia majora and minora a ‘lift,’ as well.”

    Disclosure: Dr. Walden is a luminary for Thermi and Sciton.

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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