Radiofrequency (RF) is an extremely versatile tool that we use in three main categories of treatment:
- Scarless mole removal
- Pelleve’ skin tightening treatment
- As a surgical tool for removal of skin cancers and benign skin lesions
Radiofrequency involves the use of a high frequency radiowave to cause heating of the skin. Fine electrodes are extremely precise surgical tools that we have used for over a decade, particularly in delicate facial surgery. 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. Its precision allows us to minimise any collateral thermal damage to adjacent tissue, allowing us to greatly diminish the risk of scar formation. This forms the basis of scarless mole removal.
Large electrodes on the other hand can be used to provide gentle bulk heating of the skin. This activates the fibroblasts in the skin to stimulate new collagen formation. This forms the basis of Pelleve’ skin tightening.
Radiofrequency differs from electrosurgery (diathermy) in that the tissue serves as the resistance instead of the electrode. This means there is no heating of the RF electrode itself, because low temperature RF energy is used. This allows cutting of tissue as well as significant sealing of blood vessels without actually burning of the tissue. In addition, there is no danger of delivering inadvertent electric shocks to the patient.
All this translates to less damage, less post-operative pain, less blood loss, faster recovery time and better healing.