Electrosurgery

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electrosurgery

[i¦lek·trō′sərj·ə·rē]
(medicine)
The use of electricity to perform surgical procedures, as the use of electricity to simultaneously cut tissue and arrest bleeding.

Electrosurgery

 

surgery involving the application of a high-frequency current (hundreds of thousands of oscillations per second) to tissues, with a sharp elevation of temperature at the point of contact between the active electrode and the tissues.

A distinction is made between electrotomy, the separation and excision of tissues, and electrocoagulation, the cauterization (coagulation of proteins) of tissues. Incision of tissues with an electric knife does not cause bleeding because the blood coagulates along the incision. Electrosurgical methods are used in operations on the brain (the bloodless operative field permits visual control of the operation) and eyes. They are also used to remove skin tumors and in dentistry.