The Pellevé® Wrinkle Reduction System from Ellman International is a skin tightening system for non-ablative skin rejuvenation that utilizes advanced radiofrequency technology to target fine lines, wrinkles, and aging skin. Pellevé precisely delivers heat to the deep dermal tissue to induce collagen contraction without damaging the epidermis. The result is skin tightening and wrinkle reduction with a visible improvement in skin quality and texture.

One of the features that is unique to Pellevé is its ability to straddle the line between doctor performed and aesthetician performed procedures, yet command a higher overall value to the patient/customer. Few treatments are able to produce results as significant as Pellevé, while sitting squarely in the aesthetician’s realm.

Pellevé is a highly versatile system that delivers continuous radio-frequency energy so that the clinician can customize how much energy is delivered and the specific areas of focus. Using one of four sizes of GlideSafe® handpieces, heat is gradually delivered into the deep layers of skin, stimulating new collagen growth and tightening skin.

The gradual heat delivery ensures that this treatment is not only painless, but pleasant for the patient. The handpieces feature an innovative sensor that delivers even energy and stops energy flow when the device senses loss of contact with the skin, resulting in increased comfort during the treatment.

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The versatility of having the optimal handpiece sizes (7.5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, and 20 mm) to work with is another advantage. By using a combination of the different sizes of Pellevé handpieces, each patient treatment can be customized so that specific areas of concern can be addressed, resulting in just the right amount of energy delivered to achieve the desired effect. The small handpieces are ideal for maneuvering around the contours of the face, including areas that are difficult to access, such as the periorbital and perioral regions where fine lines are a common complaint. The larger handpieces are optimized for the mid-face and jowl areas.

The Pellevé System is unique as it is also a high frequency surgical generator specialized for cosmetic procedures. Based on Ellman’s Surgitron® technology platform, the 4 MHz high frequency waveforms result in less collateral thermal damage than standard electrosurgical generators. Many practices find it especially valuable for minor surgical procedures, telangiectasias and the removal of small lesions.

High patient satisfaction

Any new piece of equipment or procedure has to fill an unmet need in your practice. Pellevé fits well into an aesthetic practice and is especially good for patients who are not ready for or resistant to deeper resurfacing procedures that can have side effects such as edema, erythema and downtime, or may have time constraints that don’t allow longer procedures on the day of the consultation.

Many of our patients are delighted to have the ability to start their rejuvenation process immediately, but without any downtime at all. They appreciate that the treatment is quick, affordable and comfortable, and they are able to go back to their normal routines immediately while experiencing some immediate improvement.

Figure 1 (left) before and (right) 30 days after 8th Pellevé treatment

Figure 1 (left) before and (right) 30 days after 8th Pellevé treatment

At the same time, our aestheticians appreciate the revenue stream and ability to build their practices and frequently reciprocate with patients who come to them for Pellevé and then start cosmetic treatments with us. It is one of the few aesthetician-level procedures that acts as a ‘gateway’ to larger procedures.

We began doing Pellevé this year in our medical spa, and the response was so favorable that we added a second unit for our cosmetic dermatology practice within just 2 months. We have kept the fees reasonable and position Pellevé as an entry-level treatment for patients who do not want anything invasive, painful or that will incur downtime. I specifically explained to the staff of my spa that it was imperative that they promote Pellevé as being able to deliver good, yet not dramatic results; it is a minimally-invasive treatment that is comfortable and provides a noticeable improvement after a series of treatments. They have done this and results match expectations, which leads to happy patients.

I personally do not perform the procedure, but my staff is very pleased with Pellevé as performed by our aestheticians. One of the main benefits for the busy dermatologist or aesthetic practitioner is that the procedure can be safely delegated to physician extenders, nurses and medical aestheticians, and thus provides an income stream not dependent on the physician being hands-on. We have found that patients enjoy the treatment and the results enough to continue to come back. Additionally, the staff enjoys performing the procedure and patients frequently comment that it actually feels good.

Figure 2 (left) before and (right) after 3rd Pellevé treatment

Figure 2 (left) before and (right) after 3rd Pellevé treatment

As a key benefit to the Pellevé treatment, patients often experience immediate reduction in the visibility of wrinkles. Over the course of 6 months, they continue to see smoother skin. Although some patients see improvement in a single treatment session, we usually recommend a series of three treatments spaced about 3 weeks apart, based on individual skin needs.  Additionally, we encourage an ongoing ‘maintenance’ program.

With Pellevé, more youthful skin can be seen in under an hour, at an affordable price, and with no downtime, which speaks to what most patients are looking for today.

Overall, the recurring theme we hear is that they feel that they look more refreshed and their skin looks brighter. We market this as a procedure that either acts as an ‘add on’ to larger cosmetic procedures or bridges the gap for those patients who do not want or cannot have bigger procedures, or for those who desire maintenance after neurotoxins, fillers or lasers.

Treatment bundling

In our clinic, we have seen how quickly this investment has paid off. For example, many patients come in asking what can be done to reverse the signs of aging around the eyes, such as crow’s feet and crepey texture. With Pellevé, patients can achieve tightening around the eyes and improvement in texture and tone, which opens up a practice to a new segment of patients.

Figure 3 (left) before and (right) 60 days after 4th Pellevé treatment

Figure 3 (left) before and (right) 60 days after 4th Pellevé treatment

Another advantage of Pellevé is that it is ideal for bundling with other aesthetic treatments, including peels, neurotoxins and dermal fillers, as well as medical grade skincare. Pellevé fits well into the paradigm of non-invasive rejuvenation and offers a nice ‘entry point’ to accessing cosmetic services.

While it is certainly more expensive than many treatments such as peels or microdermabrasions, it is less expensive than most lasers. By combining several non-invasive or minimally-invasive therapies, we feel we are continually improving skin function and appearance and keeping patients engaged in the practice and coming back.