What is Viveve?
Viveve is a safe, non-invasive office procedure which helps with vaginal laxity, sexual function, and urinary leakage. It is an energy-based treatment that activates your own body’s natural production of collagen, which has a firming and tightening effect in the vaginal area. It is performed by gently placing a probe in the vagina, for a 30-40 minute treatment. Viveve offers a non-surgical approach to women who have vaginal laxity, poor sensation with intercourse after childbirth, or mild leakage of urine.
How does it work?
Viveve uses radiofrequency energy to heat the tissue, which allows for a greater depth of penetration than other devices which typically use laser energy. By gently heating the tissue, cells called fibroblasts are stimulated to produce and remodel collagen. The advantage of Viveve over other technologies is that the probe is cooled with cryogen, allowing the energy to reach the connective tissue underneath the vaginal lining without causing discomfort or damage to the superficial mucosal layer. The other advantage to Viveve is that the benefits can be achieved in one session, whereas most other energy-based treatments require three sessions to be effective.
What can I expect if I have the procedure?
There is no preparation necessary, and you will be able to go home immediately after. Because of the unique cryogen cooling mechanism, Viveve is not painful and does not require any anesthesia during the procedure. You also do not need to take any medication after. Minor redness or swelling, or a slight feeling of warmth, is normal, and this subsides within a few days. We advise you refrain from intercourse for 2-3 days after the procedure, but there are no limits on any other activity. We also recommend not having the procedure done while you are menstruating or if you think you may have a vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.
How long do the results last?
Viveve works by using your body’s own natural synthesis of collagen, and this has been shown to start happening by one week after the initial treatment. It then progresses over a period of 30-90 days. Most women feel the maximum benefit around 90 days. After that, some women do not require further treatments while others may feel they would benefit from an additional session in about 12-18 months.
What does the clinical data show?
Viveve is a clinically proven treatment which is available all over the world, and has indications for sexual function, incontinence and vaginal laxity internationally. In the US, Viveve has FDA clearance for separate indications, and is currently running studies to expand the label for sexual function and incontinence, as it has in other countries. A study in premenopausal women showed that those who were treated with Viveve, compared to a sham treatment, were three times more likely to report improvement in sexual function (1).
The device has been extensively evaluated and has not shown to cause any damage to cells or to surrounding tissue. When it was originally being used for laxity and improvement in sexual function, doctors were noticing that their patients were also reporting improvement in stress incontinence. This led to further study of the device for an incontinence indication.
Combining it with other treatments
If you also suffer from vaginal dryness, Viveve can be combined with a laser procedure, the Mona Lisa, to resurface the outer layer of skin in the vagina, which leads to healthier and better moisturized tissue. There are no contraindications to having any concomitant or future procedures after you have had Viveve.
- Michael Krychman, Christopher G. Rowan, Bruce B. Allan, Leonard DeRogatis, Scott Durbin, Ashley Yacoubian, Deborah Wilkerson. Effect of Single-Treatment, Surface-Cooled Radiofrequency Therapy on Vaginal Laxity and Female Sexual Function: The VIVEVE I Randomized Controlled Trial,The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 215-225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.11.322.