What is Swift?
Swift is a new technology, developed in the UK, which has been licenced for the general treatment of skin lesions in Podiatry and Dermatology. Swift uses microwave energy which is delivered through a special probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue.
Does it hurt?
Like many treatments for skin lesions, some minor discomfort may be experienced. Before treatment your podiatrist may decide to reduce the lesion with a blade. Pain levels vary from person to person but most people undergoing Swift liken it to a pain similar to an injection or a scratch, lasting 2 - 3 seconds then quickly subsiding.
When can I do after treatment?
In some cases the treated area may feel sore but will not prevent you undertaking normal daily activities.
How many treatments will I need?
This is dependent on how you respond to treatment. In some cases, you may need more than one treatment (these can be from 14 days to over a month apart depending on the response). Your podiatrist will be able to discuss this with you.
What are the possible side effects?
No significant side effects have been reported.
Can anyone have this treatment?
With a few exceptions, most people with skin lesions would be able to have this treatment. Your podiatrist will carry out an assessment prior to treatment and be able to advise you on this.
How safe are microwaves?
Microwaves have been in clinical use for over 30 years, and are used globally in the effective treatment of cancer.
One of the first published papers on the use of microwaves in medicine was in 1986 – where researchers from Japan described a method of treating liver tumours. Those techniques have advanced significantly since then, and Emblation – the company behind Swift, is a key technology supplier to the largest medical device company in the world operating in this space. The same fundamental technology that powers Swift, is also being used in the treatment of lung, liver, kidney and breast cancer in countries all over the world.
Microwaves are a form of non-ionising radiation, which means that they can’t cause damage to the DNA of living things. Microwaves sit between radio waves and infrared waves (at any frequency between 300MHz and 300GHz – Swift itself operates at 8GHz) in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Treatments at low power
The Swift system delivers very low energy levels when compared with other electromagnetic energy forms. The Swift microwave treatment is only capable of supplying enough energy to agitate water molecules and cause friction, as opposed to damaging DNA, and deliver less energy into the skin than most laser and electrocautery treatments.