Convective Radiofrequency Water Vapor Thermal Therapy is a unique, natural and powerful technology with the potential to treat a variety of endourology conditions.
The Simple Concept
A Unique Form of Thermal Therapy
Convective RF Water Vapor Thermal Therapy technology begins with a few drops of sterile water which are heated, converted into vapor (steam), and injected into targeted areas of tissue. As the injected vapor condenses back to its liquid state, a vast amount of stored thermal energy is released into the tissue, causing the cell membranes in the treatment area to rupture. Over time, this ablated tissue is almost completely absorbed by the body’s natural healing response, reducing the volume of tissue.
The Powerful Process
Using RF to Create Thermal Energy in the Form of Water Vapor
In a hand-held delivery device connected to a generator, radiofrequency power heats a few drops of sterile water to approximately 103ºC. As the sterile water is transformed from liquid into steam, or vapor, the volume expands by almost 1,700 times and stores 540 calories of thermal energy for every milliliter (mL). Currently, one treatment of the RF Water Vapor Thermal Therapy uses less than 0.5mL of sterile water.
A precise dose of thermal energy in the form of water vapor is injected into the targeted tissue using a small needle with multiple emitter holes to ensure controlled and uniform vapor dispersion. The vapor is delivered into the targeted tissue at slightly above interstitial pressure, convectively driving the water vapor through tissue interstices, where it condenses and transfers the stored thermal energy directly to the targeted tissue. This convective heat transfer is what differentiates this RF thermal energy technology from other ablative thermal therapies that rely on the slower, less precise and less efficient process of conduction to heat tissue.
Convective transfer of vapor thermal energy to tissue is fast but also self-limiting. Vapor condenses back into its liquid state as it is dispersed through tissue, so the energy travels no further than intended. In addition, certain areas of the body such as the prostate’s transition zone, which contains enlarged tissue that can cause BPH, also provides a natural anatomical barrier. That natural barrier contains and limits vapor dispersion to the intended transition zone treatment area.
Convective transfer of thermal energy occurs only at the point of condensation. This release of thermal energy within the targeted area of treatment causes almost instantaneous death of tissue cell membranes, including the nerves, as well as collapse of the blood vessels. The body’s natural healing response then resorbs and removes the treated tissue, reducing the obstructive area.
Convective RF Water Vapor technology is a unique and efficient means of transferring thermal energy. It is currently being used to treat BPH and is being assessed to treat other endourology conditions.