Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
What is radiofrequency or radiowave surgery?
Radiowaves are a band of wavelengths that can be used for skin surgery and mole removal by shaving. They are high frequency wavelengths that generate minimal heat. The wavelength that is optimal for skin surgery is a frequency of 4.0 megahertz (MHz), which is similar to the frequency of marine band radios. This wavelength when channeled through an electrode tip, can cut the skin as well as simultaneously coagulate blood to produce a bloodless incision. Also, as it has minimal heat generated, surrounding tissues are unaffected.
In comparison to the traditional method of skin excision with a scalpel, there are many advantages of using radio waves to incise skin or remove skin lesions. Traditionally, skin incisions for surgery or skin lesion removal are done surgically with a scalpel. Incisions made this way tend to bleed and leave more scarring. The advantages of radiowave surgery include;
- No pressure required to make an incision – ie it can be more precise
- Simultaneous blood coagulation whilst cutting
- Incisions are bacteria free
- The scarring produced is usually less than scalpel incisions
- Safety higher than using scalpels
- Enhanced healing, with less swelling, bleeding, pain, and infection afterward in comparison to scalpel incisions
- Can be used to shave back skin lesions so no stitches are required, and no scars are left
- Cosmetically superior results to scalpel incisions
At The Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we use the Ellman Pelleve for our radiowave surgery.
What can radiowave surgery be used for?
Radiowave surgery can be used to make skin incisions or to remove skin lesions such as benign naevi (moles, mole removal), warts, seborrhoeic keratosis (benign skin lesion), and skin tags.
Its use in the removal of benign skin lesions is useful as the skin lesion can be gradually shaved down until the level of the skin is reached. Therefore, much less scarring is left than if the lesion were to be removed by incising through the skin with a scalpel. It is also still possible to send part of the lesion off for pathological diagnosis after radiowave surgery.
It is also commonly used for making incisions where a bloodless field is important. For example, it is commonly used for making the incisions required in blepharoplasty (eyelid reduction surgery).
What does radiowave skin lesion removal involve?
The first step is to have a consultation with one of our doctors. They will make an assessment of whether the lesion is suitable for treatment with radiowave surgery or not.
A small amount of local anaesthetic is injected into the base of the lesion. The radiowave electrode tip is then brushed over the top of the lesion, removing it layer at a time. As mentioned previously, a part of the lesion may be sent to pathology for assessment.
In some cases, where extra precision is required, an erbium laser can be used to remove the final few slices of the lesion that are close to the skin after the majority of the lesion has been removed with radiowave surgery. The erbium laser ablates or removes extremely fine layers of the skin lesion.
Usually no dressing is required after the treatment, however, we do usually apply a small strip of skin coloured tape to the area to help protect the area treated.
The recovery time is approximately 7 to 10 days in most cases. During this time, the skin may appear slightly red.
How much does it cost to remove skin lesions with radiowave surgery?
This will depend on the number of lesions to be removed. Prices are as follows;
Prices not inclusive of consultation fees.
Why choose The Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of radiowave surgery?
Our doctors are highly experienced and skilled in the use of radiowave surgery. As a result, we will be able to recommend you of your suitability for the treatment and provide the best treatment possible for you.
Our goals with your skin lesion removal with radiowave surgery is to;
- Ensure your skin lesion is appropriate for treatment through careful assessment.
- Discuss the pros and cons of radiowave surgery and traditional surgical excision with a scalpel.
- Cause as little discomfort with the procedure as possible.
- Produce the best cosmetic outcome possible.
Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.
Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.