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    Taking a closer look at ThermiVa

     

    The GYN’s Perspective

    Dr. GoodmanGynecologist and female genital plastic and cosmetic surgeon Michael Goodman, M.D., has done it all when it comes to vaginal rejuvenation. Dr. Goodman says he has done 700 labiaplasties; 150 vaginal tightening aesthetic operations and utilized fractional CO2 laser and radiofrequency.

    “I have answered more than 1600 questions on RealSelf, and am the editor of the definitive genital plastic textbook, Female Genital Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery (Wiley Blackwell),” Dr. Goodman says.

    According to Dr. Goodman, when it comes to turning to ThermiVa and other noninvasive devices for vaginal rejuvenation, buyer beware. Inspired by dubious statistics, anecdotal propaganda and scant true science, patients are spending thousands on procedures like ThermiVa, he says.

    “While both fractional CO2 lasers (FemiLift [Alma Lasers], Mona Lisa Touch [Cynosure] and new-to-market ‘me-too’ copies) and radio frequency units, such as ThermiVa and Ellman Surgitron/Pelleve [now Cynosure], have excellent and elegant specific uses in gynecology, their use as a first line ‘vaginal tightening’ modality is substandard,” he says. “Yes, both fractional CO2 lasers…, as well as RF can ‘recondition’ both outside skin and inside vaginal mucosa by increasing elastin and collagen fibers. But the only verified usage of these costly therapies is for improving atrophic vaginal changes in postmenopausal women, and the only persons trained to use, and decide who to treat are gynecologists and uro-gynecologists.”

    There is also an abundance of information that these modalities might be an excellent short-term treatment for mild urinary incontinence, he says. But ThermiVa takes three separate treatments a month apart and lasts only one year, and ThermiVa does not significantly tighten the vagina to help with friction after childbirths, “bulk up” a “saggy” opening, or in any way improve the appearance of the vaginal opening, according to Dr. Goodman.

    “I am beginning to see many women who have been bilked out of thousands of dollars to have ‘vaginal rejuvenation,’ thinking wrongly that it would help change the appearance of their vaginal opening and produce more friction for lovemaking,” he says.

    Women, he says, are spending thousands — usually in the neighborhood of $2,500 to $3,700 for initial therapy and about $2,000 annually for maintenance therapy — when they could have had definitive surgery, usually costing about $6,500 to $8,000, from a gynecologist or uro-gynecologist, who has been specially trained in female genital plastic and cosmetic surgery, according to Dr. Goodman.  

     

    Disclosures:

    Dr. Emer has ties with Thermi, Eclipse, Aerolase and BTL Aesthetics.

    Dr. Colgrove, for whom Carla Williams works, is a shareholder in Thermi Aesthetics.

    Dr. Goodman conducts training courses for surgeons through the Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty Training Institute of America in the skills of female genital plastic and cosmetic surgery.

    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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