Radiosurgery is the passage of fully filtered, high-frequency radiowaves through tissue. When these waveforms are amplified and directed to an electrode that is applied to tissue, an electromagnetic field is created. This electromagnetic field heats up the intracellular fluid and volatilizes the cell.1
This description may sound familiar. It is essentially the same process that a laser uses, but instead of light stimulating the intracellular fluid it is radiowaves. There have been many anecdotal testimonials describing the benefits of radiosurgery over the past 25 years, during which it has been a mainstay in veterinary medical hospitals, especially those that treat avian and exotic species.2 Recent advances, however, require us to revisit this technology and consider a broader application to other veterinary species.
Traditional electrosurgery units emit low-frequency/high-temperature energy that results in deep absorption and unwanted tissue injury. Earlier radiosurgery units operated at 3.8 MHz, a high-frequency, but not the optimal 4.0 MHz. Technological advances have enabled the development of a fully digital, patented, 4.0-MHz dual-frequency device known as the Surgitron (http://www.ellman.com/medical/). Several comparative investigations using different methods of incision have been conducted with the 4.0-MHz radiosurgery unit. In these scientific investigations, the 4.0-MHz radiosurgery unit was equal or superior to the laser or scalpel blade.3-5