Electrocautery is a surgical technique that uses heat generated by an electric current to destroy or remove tissue. The heat is delivered through a small, handheld device called a cautery pen or electrode, which is inserted directly into the tissue.
The electric current is passed through the device, causing the tip to become extremely hot, which in turn coagulates blood vessels, seals nerve endings, and cuts through tissue.
Electrocautery is commonly used in a variety of surgical procedures, including skin and cosmetic surgery, gynecological surgery, and ear, nose, and throat surgery. It is also used in the removal of warts, moles, and other skin growths.
One of the main benefits of electrocautery is that it allows for minimal blood loss during surgery. This is because the heat generated by the electric current causes blood vessels to coagulate and seal, which reduces the amount of blood loss.
Additionally, the heat generated by electrocautery also helps to reduce the risk of infection, as it helps to sterilize the surgical area.
There are two main types of electrocautery: monopolar and bipolar. Monopolar electrocautery uses a single electrode, which is inserted directly into the tissue.
The electric current flows through the tissue to a grounding pad, which is placed on the patient’s skin. Bipolar electrocautery, on the other hand, uses two electrodes, which are inserted directly into the tissue.
The electric current flows between the two electrodes, causing the tissue in between them to be cauterised.
There are several precautions that must be taken to prevent complications when using electrocautery. One of the most important is to ensure that the cautery pen or electrode is properly insulated to prevent accidental burns to the patient or the surgeon.
Additionally, it is important to use the appropriate settings for the type of tissue being cauterized, as well as to monitor the patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure.
Overall, electrocautery is a safe and effective surgical technique that can be used to minimise bleeding and reduce the risk of infection during surgery. It is commonly used in a wide range of surgical procedures and can be used to remove or destroy tissue with minimal complications. However, it is important to use the appropriate settings, monitor the patient’s vital signs, and take the necessary precautions to prevent complications.