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Using RF Energy for Minor Surgeries

Published on January 12, 2017 by

Radio wave or radiofrequency surgery is used to remove warts, moles, skin tags, and more. The procedure utilizes radio waves that pass into your skin to reshape or remove a lesion. Depending on the type of the lesion, the electrodes used are either a wire loop, fine needle, or scalpel blade.

Other than some minor swelling, bruising, redness, and tenderness in the area for a few days, there are no long lasting side effects.

Background

Warts, moles, skin tags, and other lesions can be upsetting to look at and cause a great deal of psychological unease. Thankfully, radiofrequency surgery can be used to cut the damaged or irregular tissues with the help of a high frequency alternating current. This is very different from traditional electrosurgery and other forms of electrocautery as it simultaneously cuts and coagulates the tissues.

A radiowave of 4.0 MHz is used to deliver low temperatures through micro-fiber electrodes. The waveband is actually quite similar to the one used for marine band radios. The principle behind this method is that the skin tissue serves as the resistance.

This means that there is no heating of the micro-fiber electrode due to the use of radiowaves. Instead, the water in the intracellular tissue provides resistance. The vaporization of the tissue stops the flow of blood without burning the tissue. The post-operative pain is minimal to non-existent and the healing period is faster as well.

What Is It Used For?

Radiofrequency surgery is a versatile procedure and can be used for craniofacial surgery, general surgery, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, and gynecology. In cosmetic medicine, it is used for removing thread veins (telangiectasias), sculpting bulbous nose growths (rhinophyma), flattening moles and birthmarks, scar revision, post-surgical irregularities, unroofing cysts, and facelifts.

What Does The Procedure Entail?

The surgeon uses a radiosurgery unit to generate radio waves at 4 MHz. The unit consists of a ground plate, an electrode and a transformer. The antenna or ground plate is coated with plastic and is placed under the patient.

The electrode resembles a loop and is held by the surgeon during the procedure. The surgeon touches the tip of the lesion with the electrode. The radio waves travel from the electrode before returning to the unit via the ground plate. The passage of radio energy between the patient electrode and the ground plate produces steam inside the cells, vaporizing them in the process.

The heat produced by the resistance of tissues cause the intracellular water to boil, thereby increasing the cell pressure to the point of breakage. This is referred to as cellular volatilization.

Contra-Indications

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not suitable candidates for this procedure. Patients who have a cardiac pacemaker should also not be treated with radiofrequency surgery. You should let your surgeon know if you are on any medication.

For the best results and ensured safety, make sure that the plastic surgeon you choose for the procedure is board certified and has enough experience with the procedure. The clinic should follow quality standards and the operating environment should be clean and sterile.

Contact Our Office

For the best results, contact Dr. Sharon Gertzman, an experienced aesthetic physician. She will answer any question you have about the procedure and guide you through the whole process.