Electrosurgery is a medical procedure to cut, coagulate, desiccate or fulgurate biological tissue with the application of electric current. The electric current is of high frequency and alternating polarity. Electrosurgery is often used to mitigate bleeding. A generator is used to convert the 60 cycle current to over 300,000 cycles per minute as the 60 cycles per minute current causes nerve stimulation and electrocution. Tissue response to electric current can be one of the following:
Desiccation – The cells are slowly dried out and the blood vessels are thrombosed
Fulguration – The surface is charred due to arcing or sparking of the energy above the tissue. The effect is more coagulatory in nature
Cutting – The cellular explosion caused due to cellular fluid vaporization result in scalpel like dissection
Technique of Delivery
There are two circuits of delivery – monopolar and bipolar
Monopolar is a mono-terminal electrosurgery technique where tissue effects occur at a single electrode. The dispersion occurs by the patient return electrode
Bipolar is a bi-terminal electrosurgical technique where electrosurgical process takes place between paired electrodes and no patient return electrode is required
Electrosurgery pads are in contact with the skin and effectively disperse current for better thermal performance. Electrosurgery pads may be equipped with safety rings.
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