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Electrosurgery is the surgical application of radio-frequency electricity to a specific tissue in the human body.
It is very important to say that in this medical technique, the patient becomes a part of the electrical circuit that makes up the electrosurgery equipment. Hence, there is always a risk of burns. However, recent advancements in the field have made the practice safer and widely-practiced.
How It Works.
As practiced by the pioneering medical company in the field of electrosurgery, Bovie, the basic principle of function of an electrosurgical equipment is the production of a radio frequency electric current to cut or coagulate tissues during surgery.
Every current that passes through the body produces heat. However, in electrosurgery, external sources are not needed for the production of heat in the tissue. This heat is generated due to the impedance that they present. This means that they have a resistance to the passage of the current, which is the current that circulates through the body.
Applications of Electrosurgery.
With electrosurgery, surgeons have been able to perform surgical procedures which were not possible with traditional surgery. With the arrival of electrosurgery, some treatments have become easier and feasible. Through the procedure, surgeons are now able to reach certain tissues that were formerly very difficult to treat safely.
Electrosurgery has the following applications within the surgical and medical fields:
1. Cutting and coagulating tissues in open operations.
2. Sealing of blood vessels.
3. To avoid excessive bleeding during facial surgery.
4. To make precise cuts during surgeries.
5. It is widely used in skin treatments to eliminate both superficial and vascular lesions.
Benefits of Electrosurgery.
1. An obvious advantage of electro-surgery is the absence of bleeding.
2. The infection rate is also reduced because gauze, which is the major cause of infections, is not used.
3. It ensures good asepsis and decreases the likelihood of transmitting infections to healthy tissues.
4. It considerably saves time.
5. The wounds have a shorter healing time.
Components of an Electrosurgical Device.
The Electro-surgical generator
The electrosurgical generator is the current generator which is used on the patient. This generator has the properties of high frequency and high power.
It is the tool that will be manipulated by the surgeon. The current coming from the generator flows through the electrode to contact the patient’s tissue.
In many cases, it is a metal plate. However, according to technological advances today, they are being replaced by electrodes or disposable surfaces. This electrode is the one that dissipates the current from the patient.
Some Methods of Electrosurgery
Monopolar technique: Here, the electric current coming from the generator is applied to the patient with the use of the active electrode. Since the circuit needs to be closed, the use of a neutral plate or patient plate is used in this process.
Bipolar technique: This technique involves the application of the current produced by the electrosurgical unit with the use of a clamp. One tip acts as an active electrode while the other acts as a passive electrode
Fulguration: This is a type of coagulation achieved by using a current with a very short working time. It is important to say that in this technique, the active electrode must go over the surface of the tissue without touching it.
Desiccation: It is the superficial destruction of the tissue by dehydration. With the coagulation technique, the tissues are touched by the active electrode.
Safety in Electrosurgery.
Electrosurgery works with electric current at a very high frequency. This can result in burns during the procedure. However, according to a number of studies, the majority of burn incidents are due to the density of electric current caused by the electrodes in the application area.
Patients can also have eye damage during the procedure. Hence, no surgeries are performed in the parts near the eyes because of its ability to produce a current arc that can damage the eyesight. Laser surgery can be an option for eye-related injuries.
Keeping our bodies healthy so we don’t need surgery is ideal, but sometimes we need surgical care. The advent of electrosurgery has widened the options for surgical treatment.
With the technological advancements in the medical field, more effective and precise methods have been created for the treatment of critical illnesses and tumors. Electrosurgery is unique in its ability to target and reach the exact points in the body requiring surgery.