Aesthetic device maker Solta Medical (Hayward, California) reported the launch of its new Body Tip 16.0 for its Thermage NXT system. The company says the new tip is larger and enables doctors to perform faster, more comfortable body shaping, contouring and cellulite treatments.

The company formerly known as Thermage changed its name to Solta in January after acquiring Reliant Technologies (Mountain View, California), maker of the Fraxel laser for treating fine lines, scars and skin, late last year (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 13, 2009). The merger was first reported in July, when Thermage said it would buy Reliant for about $95 million in cash and stock (MDD, July 8, 2008).

Thermage also is the name for a non-invasive radio frequency procedure for tightening and contouring skin.

"The 16.0 is five times larger [than the previous tip] and the main benefit that that brings is speed," Kate Gilbert, director of corporate marketing for Solta, told Medical Device Daily.

The other benefit of the new Body Tip is in the way that it delivers heat to the tissue, Gilbert said.

Body Tip 16.0 uses Comfort Pulse Technology, an energy delivery system designed to gradually reduce the amount of energy delivered in a succession of short, rapid pulses during treatment. By tapering the amount of heat applied in each pulse, patients enjoy more tolerable treatments, while still maintaining the same body tightening and firming results from Thermage treatments, according to the company.

"I think this obviously represents a better value proposition for our doctors, for them to be able to halve their treatment times and have better patient outcomes because ... the patient is not in as much discomfort," Gilbert said.

The Body Tip 16.0 is only available with the Thermage NXT system and not the older-generation Thermage system, Gilbert said, so doctors would need to switch to the newer system if they haven't already in order to use the new tip. Doctors who already are using the NXT would not need to change systems, just the tip.

"For most people who have the NXT system, they will probably see the benefits of this and switch, there's not really a good reason to stick with the 3.0 because the benefits [of the 16.0] are obvious," Gilbert said. "We're expecting that a lot of people who have our old system may switch to the NXT."

The Thermage Body Tip 16.0 has received European CE-mark approval and FDA clearance and is now available worldwide, Solta said.

"The improved patient comfort associated with the Thermage Body Tip 16.0 provides a significant benefit to my patients, who get the same or better tightening and contouring results with improved comfort," said Robert Weiss, MD, of the Maryland Laser, Skin and Vein Institute (Cockysville). "In addition, the shorter procedure time improves the experience for my staff and the overall value for my practice."

According to the company, the Thermage technology safely delivers uniform, volumetric heating to deep, collagen-rich layers of the skin. This heating stimulates the body's natural skin renewal process, the company said, which helps tighten existing collagen and form new collagen. Over time, the collagen remodeling helps create smoother, tighter skin, improved tone and texture, and an overall younger-looking appearance.

"The Body Tip 16.0 offers new levels of speed and comfort to my patients who are seeking the benefits of Thermage body shaping treatments including advanced skin tightening and firming," said Michael Kaminer of SkinCare Physicians (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts). "For the first time, I am now able to complete body contouring procedures in under an hour with less discomfort, yet still provide the same positive results that patients expect from Thermage non-invasive aesthetics treatments."

"Solta Medical is committed to developing breakthrough products that increase physician and patient satisfaction," said Stephen Fanning, Solta chairman/president/CEO. "The Thermage Body Tip 16.0 is another example of how we continue to innovate to improve upon the value of Thermage treatments for our physician customers, providing them with tools to enhance their treatment offerings and also increase the viability of their businesses."