The cosmetic surgery team at Penningtons Manches LLP has been instructed to investigate a number of claims on behalf of clients who have suffered injuries after undergoing radiofrequency facials at beauty salons.
Radiofrequency (RF) energy treatment is a non-surgical tightening procedure which claims to help with the early signs of loose or sagging skin. It is commonly used to treat the forehead, under the eyes, cheeks, mid-face, jaw line, and neck.
In technical terms, radiofrequency is the number of oscillations (waves) per second of electric and magnetic fields within the radio waves portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is the lowest of the electromagnetic radiation frequencies within the spectrum, which itself spans from radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays. By applying RF energy to the human body, which can conduct current and therefore act as part of the electrical circuit, any resistance encountered by the energy flow will cause heat to be produced at the site of maximum resistance, which can also be used to cut or coagulate tissue. When used for skin tightening procedures, RF energy is able to penetrate further into the skin and affect the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers. The treatment is said to tighten and improve the underlying tissue structure but, as with all cosmetic procedures, complications can arise. One of the most serious potential complications from RF energy treatment is a ‘depression’, which is attributed to the overheating of underlying tissue, causing fat atrophy or excessive tightening, giving the individual a sunken appearance in the affected area.
Charlene King, associate in the clinical negligence team who specialises in cosmetic surgery claims, said: “With an ageing population, advances in technology and greater social pressures, it is completely understandable that people want to explore non-invasive treatments to improve their appearance and confidence levels. There is an increasing availability of such non-invasive treatments, but we have seen in many situations how non-invasive treatment can cause injury, whether through the fault of the clinician handling the device or the manufacturer. The clients we are currently acting for have all experienced a ‘depression’ following their procedures.
“If you have had a poor outcome following radiofrequency treatment, our specialist team would be happy to discuss this with you to assess whether you may have a claim for compensation.”