Electro-cautery Procedure


Electrocautery, also known as thermal cautery, refers to a process in which a direct or alternating current is passed through a resistant metal wire electrode, generating heat. The heated electrode is then applied to living tissue to achieve hemostasis or varying degrees of tissue destruction. Indications include removal of warts, corns, cyst, skin tags, freckles etc.

In electrocautery, the current does not pass through the patient; thus, the procedure can be safely used in patients with implanted electrical devices such as cardiac pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and deep-brain stimulators. In contrast, electrosurgery is a group of commonly used procedures that utilize the passage of high-frequency alternating electrical current through living tissue to achieve varying degrees of tissue destruction. Different forms of electrosurgery include electrocoagulation, electrofulguration, electrodesiccation, and electrosection. Electrosurgery produces electromagnetic interference, which can interfere with implanted medical devices. Electrosurgery is not a synonym for electrocautery but is often erroneously referred to as electrocautery in practice and literature.