Moles, warts, skin tags and other so called 'lumps and bumps' can be unsightly. With increases in the occurrence of skin cancers we are well advised to seek professional, medical advice about any growths which appear quickly or change dramatically in appearance over a short period of time. Thankfully though, most growths are bengin and harmless, and removal is often quick and simple with reassuring cosmetic results.
Background to Radiofrequency surgery
Radiofrequency surgery is the cutting of tissues using a high frequency alternate current. This surgical modality is very different from traditional electrosurgery and other forms of electrocautery as it can simultaneously cut and coagulate tissues without applying any pressure.
Traditional electrosurgery devices cut skin tissue by passing an electric current through the patient and using the electrode tip to provide resistance, effectively causing heating of the electrode tip to a high temperature. The heat is transferred to the surrounding tissue and this can cause excessive damage. There is also potential risk of shock and burn to the patient as well as postoperative pain from unsealed nerve endings.
The principle of radiofrequency surgery is that it uses high frequency radio waves, at 4.0 MHz, to deliver low temperatures through radiofrequency (RF) electrodes.
The difference between this method and electrosurgery is that the tissue serves as the resistance instead of the electrode. This means there is no heating of the RF electrode itself by the use of low temperature RF energy. Instead, the extra- and intracellular tissue water provides the resistance and vaporises without the heat and damage seen in electrosurgery. This tissue vaporisation also results in significant sealing of blood vessels without actually burning the tissue. In addition, there is no danger of delivering inadvertent electric shocks to or burning the patient.
All this translates to less damage, less post-operative pain, less blood loss, faster recovery time and better healing.
What is Radiofrequency Surgery used for?
Radiofrequency surgery is extremely versatile and can be used in almost all surgical specialties.
At Facial Artistry, we use the RF radiosurgery to perform a variety of procedures. RF ablative technique is used extensively to remove benign moles. When using this technique, it is important to avoid over-correction. As a result of this conservative approach, it may somtimes be necessary to perform a touch up several weeks later.