The entire field of healthcare has undergone drastic changes over the years, including surgical specialties. Electro surgery is one of those changes. Following is a description of what electro surgery entails and why it remains one of the most important breakthroughs in the medical field today.
What Is Electro Surgery?
Electrosurgery uses electrical current during different surgical procedures to destroy tissue and control bleeding. High-frequency alternating current is passed through the tissue and turns to heat. This heat builds up and destroys the tissue. Electro surgery is generally used in conjunction with scalpels and other surgical tools to achieve the desired results. There are two different methods of electro surgery: monopolar and bipolar.
Monopolar requires an electrode, grounding plate (which is the return electrode), and the generator. The electrical current travels from the electrode through the patient to the grounding plate, which is normally placed on the opposite side of the body from the incision. Once it reaches the grounding plate, the energy travels back to the generator.
Bipolar uses a forceps style electrode, each tip acting as either the electrode or return electrode. The two tips of the forceps are placed on either side of the tissue and the electrical current passes through the tissue between them.
The generators themselves, the electrodes, and the return pads have made vast safety improvements over the past several years. They have adjusted for various complications such as metal plates in the patient, obesity, and skin issues at the application site.
How Is Electro Surgery Different From Electrocautery
Electro surgery and electrocautery are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably. However, they are different procedures. While they both use electric current, electro surgery just passes alternating current through the tissue itself to achieve a thermal change in the tissue. Electrocautery actually uses current to heat a metal wire, which is then applied directly to the tissue to burn or coagulate it. While both methods seal the blood vessels and control bleeding, there is much less trauma involved with electro surgery as opposed to electrocautery.
Another noticeable difference is that electrocautery can be achieved with small, hand-held battery-operated devices. Electro surgery requires much more sophisticated generators that can produce radio-wave type alternating electrical current.
How Does Electro Surgery Change Lives
The use of electro surgery has been a life-altering improvement in the overall quality of surgical procedures. There is a significant drop in the amount of blood loss when electro surgery techniques are used, which means fewer complications during surgery. In addition electro surgery leads to minimal scarring and a more rapid healing process.
Electro surgery is also common in dermatology procedures. Electro surgery can be used to dry out an area (desiccate) and destroy and remove tissue (fulgurate) as well as form blood clots (coagulate). Procedures can often be done under local anesthesia in a clinic setting without having to be admitted into a hospital.
Some Of The Dermatology Procedures That Utilize Electro Surgery Are
– removing skin lesions such as moles, warts, skin tags, and smaller carcinomas
– treatment of certain types of acne
– scar removal and revision
– removal of granulomas (buildup of excess skin around a foreign body or infection)
Electro surgery procedures are used in over 80% of all surgeries. The use of electro surgery has reduced the amount of blood loss and related complications, making surgery safer than ever before. In addition, the use of electro surgery has enabled many procedures to move out of the operating room and into clinics and offices, saving patients a substantial amount of money. Electro surgery causes less trauma, less scarring, and offers a quicker recovery time. Electro surgery has truly been a life-altering medical achievement.