This is one of the latest forms of cosmetic surgery although radio frequencies have been used for over 60 years in surgery; it is a new advancement in cosmetic surgery due to the surgery being able to protect the epidermis while only working on the deep dermis and subdermal layers of skin. Radio frequency surgery differs from laser surgery in that the laser treatment tends to scatter or absorb in the upper layers of skin which make it extremely difficult to work with deeper layers without totally doing harm to the skins surface layer.
Who can benefit from this type of surgery?
People who have mild lax and loose skin are the best candidates for this type of surgery and those patients with thinner skin have more success than those with thicker skin. The treatment is most suitable for areas such as the brow area, the cheeks, and the melolabial folds, the jowls and the neck, with other uses of the surgery being in the treatment of wrinkles, acne and cellulite reduction, and lifting the breast and buttocks. However, surgery using the radio frequency in these areas is still experimental and not much research has been made available.
The surgeries pros and cons
The radio frequency surgery can give great results giving a permanent way of tightening the skin and is the only proven method which gives you a quicker recovery time meaning less time taken off from work. However, this type of procedure once caused extreme discomfort during the actual procedure and in most cases a general anaesthesia was given.
The cool tip procedure was then introduced and this reduces the pain felt greatly, it has been found that by using a local anaesthetic and using a setting where the patient can feel the heat without causing too much discomfort is the most appropriate way to go with the procedure.
How is the surgery performed?
A grid will be drawn on the are that the surgery is going to be performed on, this ensure that the treatment will be even and thorough, during the surgery the patient will feel heat, cold then heat again and it is imperative that the patient remains absolutely still during the cooling cycle to prevent thermal injury to the skin.
Each application to a square on the grid will last for 2 seconds and then the surgery will move along to the next square, the typical treatment will take around one hour. Around 80% of the people treated with this type of surgery will notice an immediate tightening of the skin but for optimal results, the treatment should be repeated.
After the surgery most people will notice a mild swelling and redness with some lumpiness seen in areas where the skin is thinner than others, most symptoms will subside over a few weeks. Occasionally itching, numbness and intermittent pains may be felt for as long as two months after the surgery especially along the jaw line and cheekbones.