Electrosurgery for the skin

Barry L. Hainer, Richard B. Usatine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purposes of electrosurgery are to destroy benign and malignant lesions, control bleeding, and cut or excise tissue. The major modalities in electrosurgery are electrodesiccation, fulguration, electrocoagulation, and electrosection. Electrosurgery can be used for incisional techniques that produce full-thickness excision of nevi, for shave techniques that produce partial-thickness removal of superficial lesions, and for removing vascular lesions such as hemangiomas or pyogenic granulomas. The correct output power can be determined by starting low and increasing the power until the desired outcome is attained (destruction, coagulation, or cutting). Smaller cherry angiomas can be electrocoagulated lightly. Larger cherry angiomas may be easier to treat by shaving them first, then electrocoagulating or desiccating the base. The elevated portion of pyogenic granulomas can be shaved off with a scalpel or a loop electrode using a cutting/coagulation current. The base of the lesion is curetted to remove the remaining tissue and then electrodesiccated. Complications such as burns, shocks, and transmission of infection can be prevented by careful use of the electrosurgical equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1266
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume66
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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