Radiofrequency (RF) technology is used as a minimally-invasive way to remove moles, warts, skin tags and other so called ‘lumps and bumps’. RF involves the passage of radio waves into the skin to perform the removal or reshaping of a lesion. Different types of electrodes are used depending on the type of lesion, (e.g. fine needle, wire loop, scalpel blade etc.)
Expect minor swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness in the area for a few days as it heals. There should not however be any bleeding due to the tissue coagulation during treatment.
Radiofrequency is used in the removal of skin lesions, including:
- Skin tags
- Seborrhoeic kerratosis (age or wisdom spots)
- Syringoma (harmless tumours within sweat glands)
Radio Frequency can also be used for the following:
- Removal of facial telangiectasia (thread veins)
- Resurfacing of chicken pox and acne scars
- Resurfacing of lips to treat perioral lines
- Resurfacing in case of Rhinophyma (bulbous appearance of nose due to rosacea in men)
Many studies have shown radiofrequency surgery to be superior to scalpel incisions and comparable to laser incision. It is also superior to shave excision with a scalpel, as RF causes significantly less thermal damage compared to electrode cautery that is typically used to stop any bleeding associated with a shave excision, resulting in much better scarring.
Background information about RF Surgery
Moles, warts, skin tags and other so called ‘lumps and bumps’ can be both upsetting to look at and cause social and psychological unease for those whose face is blighted by such growths. With increases in the occurrence of skin cancers we are well advised to seek professional, medical advice about any growths which appear over night or change dramatically in appearance. Thankfully though, most growths are benign and harmless, and removal is often quick and simple with reassuring cosmetic results.
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 (a platinum wire) to provide resistance, effectively causing high temperature heating of the electrode tip and excessive lateral (surrounding) tissue damage. There is also potential risk of shock and burn to the patient as well as post operative pain from unsealed nerve endings.