Electrosurgery

What is Electrosurgery?

Electrosurgery is the burning of skin tissue with an electric current that runs through a metal instrument or needle. It is a procedure that uses an electric current to cut, remove, or destroy tissue and control bleeding. Electric current is carried through an electrode, which is placed on or near the tissue. Electrosurgery may be used to treat basal cell Skin Cancer or other types of skin problems, such as actinic keratoses, warts, and moles. It may also be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix and to treat abnormal tissue of the vagina, vulva, penis, and anus that might become cancer.

What types of cancer are treated with Electrosurgery?

Electrosurgery is done to:

  • Treat cancers on the outermost skin layer (superficial), especially if they are in an area where appearance is not a concern.
  • Treat a small basal cell carcinoma.
  • Treat a squamous cell carcinoma in its earliest, non-invasive stage.

How is Electrosurgery done?

In electrosurgery, high frequency alternating electrical current is passed through the skin at different voltages (200 to 10,000 V) to produce heat. It needs a power supply with one or two electrodes and a hand piece. The mechanism is controlled through a hand piece switch or a footswitch.

What are the side effects of electrosurgery?

Side effects of treating Skin Cancer with Electrosurgery include:

  • Changes in skin, such as scarred or tight skin, slightly dented or raised skin, or red or white skin colour.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pain.
  • Infection.
  • Recurrence of Skin Cancer.

References:

www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aa40747

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/electrosurgery