Radiofrequency (RF) has been used in the medical field for decades, but its primary use was to cauterize tissue during surgeries. It is only over the past few years that its use has become commonplace in the field of cosmetic surgery. 


There are monopolar, bipolar, multipolar and injectable RF devices. Each of these works somewhat differently. With a monopolar device, the energy goes from the handpiece to a grounding plate that is applied to the patient’s body. With bipolar and multipolar devices, the energy being applied to the patient goes from one part of the handpiece to another part of the same handpiece. Since the target of this use of RF energy is the dermis, cooling is typically applied to the patient’s skin to protect their epidermis from overheating or burning. 

Injectable RF devices are a more recent innovation in the field of cosmetic surgery. Most of these utilize an array of small needles that pierce the skin in order to better direct the RF energy to the dermis. Since the skin is pierced with these, the patient may need topical anesthetic rather than cooling. Some injectable RF machines utilize bigger needles, and these are typically used for improving skin laxity. Nearly all of these machines can monitor the temperature of the skin during the procedure so as to prevent burning.


RF technology is usually used to treat photodamaged skin, mild wrinkling, and issues with skin texturing. They can also be used to improve skin elasticity by increasing the amount of collagen in the treated area. 

There is a trade-off in terms of the specific RF device used and what the patient can expect for results. Typically, the use of a device that causes very little downtime for the patient will only provide mild benefits to the skin’s appearance whereas a device and RF procedure that produces more bruising and swelling will produce better results but with a longer recovery time. Managing patient expectations is critical because RF procedures are already considered fairly mild compared to more elaborate cosmetic procedures, so the results will usually not be spectacular.


If you believe you may benefit from radiofrequency treatment, you may want to know about the office of Dr. Mark Peters. He is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon in Houma who has performed over 10,000 cosmetic procedures. He is well versed in all of the available RF devices and technologies, and he is one plastic surgeon in Louisiana who is more than qualified to determine if you may benefit from this type of device. 

RF Devices hold exciting promise for what they can do to help you look and feel better. That said, any device or technology is only as good as the person whose hands are wielding it. This technology is generally considered very safe, but it holds the potential to cause burning or scarring in inexperienced hands. Dr. Mark Peters is a cosmetic surgeon in Houma who can advise you on the efficacy of this technology for you and then utilize it with precision and care to bring about the desired result.

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