Thermage CPT System handpieceWHAT: The Thermage CPT System is the latest version of the popular skin tightening and contouring technology that many women swear by. What’s new about this version is the the focus on a better, less painful, delivery system, which in turn assists in producing better results.

According to Thermage’s press release, the CPT – “Comfort Pulse Technology” – System and a vibrating handpiece produces “more uniform heating and increased volume of tissue reaching therapeutic temperature”. There is also a “cooling” mechanism that’s part of the handpiece and assists with reducing the heat even more.

The aim of this new technology is to reduce the pain that many people have complained of, allowing the pulsed radiofrequency, which is what tightens the collagen in the skin, to be used for longer periods of time. The longer you can endure the radiofrequency the better your result.

The Thermage CPT System is available from SL Clinic, #04-04 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Road, 238880, Tel: 6235 3246. The procedures are performed by Dr. Kelvin Chua; contact the clinic directly for prices. For more information about the clinic, go to

REVIEW: Having experienced Thermage previously and suffered terribly from the pain of it, despite numbing gel and the use of “Twilight” medication, I was not particularly keen to try it again.

However, after much convincing and the assurance that really, this version didn’t hurt, I agree to give it another try.

Since I’d previously had both my face and my stomach done with another type of procedure, we agreed to trial the Thermage CPT System on my upper arms – which I’ve hated for their flabbiness for years.

The procedure for Thermage CPT System is similar to many other radiowave or radiofrequency treatments. You need to remove your metal jewellery and it’s best to wear comfortable clothes no matter what part of your anatomy is being zapped.

Before firing up the Thermage CPT System, Dr Kelvin Chua took a good look at the area he was going to work on, taking photos and making a few marks with a felt pen to isolate particularly bad spots to concentrate on.

You then lie down and the assistant slathers you with numbing cream; which starts to take affect relatively quickly but you do need to wait for 30 minutes or so.

Once the machine is fired up and the treatment began, Dr Chua does a few test “blasts” to ascertain your pain threshold, and then gets stuck right into it.

While the Thermage CPT System procedure isn’t entirely painless – the zaps of the radiofrequency feel a little like a rubberband being flicked over your skin – it is absolutely, 100 per cent less painful than my previous experience with Thermage.

Certain areas will hurt slightly more than others – we worked out that the more fat you have the less painful it feels, so when the machine travels over your more muscled areas or boney bits it does hurt more. However the doctor can change the intensity of the machine from area to area so that where you need it most – the fattiest bits – he can turn up the heat so to speak.

Overall the procedure was relatively painless and trouble free. Yes, it does take a while – the doctor travels over your particular areas twice – so depending on the area you choose the treatment can take a couple of hours or so.

As for the results? Well, I’m not entirely sure. Thermage is said to take up to four months to completely take, and while I felt there was some immediate tightening and contouring of my arms right after the procedure, the change wasn’t remarkable. It wasn’t enough, for example, for me to start wearing sleeveless tops in public.

Three months on, and I honestly can’t say I’ve seen massive improvement. Perhaps its my ingrained arm hatred, but they seem pretty much the same as they were.

However, the arms are not the usual spot for Thermage. Despite the pain I suffered with my first Thermage treatment, I did see results. Even using a lower setting, the Thermage I had on my face previously definitely made a difference; my skin was tighter and younger-looking and even the surface texture was improved, so much so that people who saw me months later remarked on how “fresh” I looked.

So, if you’re going to have a Thermage treatment I’d thoroughly recommend trying the Thermage CPT System; it’s absolutely less painful than other systems I’ve tried.