Electrosurgery
Skin lesions are burnt off using a metallic probe heated by an electric current.

Also known as

diathermy, fulguration, electrocautery, electrosurgery, electrodessication

How it’s performed

The area is injected with a local anaesthetic. A doctor applies a hot electrode to the skin lesion to be treated. The lesion is burnt off with attention not to damage surrounding tissues. A small burnt area is left behind; this area may be black and crusted.

Preparation

The skin must be clean and dry. Do not wear make-up, fake tan or any other skin medications, creams or cosmetics on the area to be treated.

Side effects and complications

Scarring, burns

Follow-up

Leave any dressings in place and keep the area dry for 2-3 days. Medical follow-up is usually not required.

Contraindications

Cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator

Warnings

Pregnancy

It's safe to undergo this procedure while you are pregnant.

News/blog articles

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Web links

Electrosurgery

DermNet NZ

Describes the different types of electrosurgery and how they work

Manufacturer's brochure

Download PDF file
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References

Baigrie D, Qafiti FN, Buicko JL
Electrosurgery
StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan
2021
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482380/
Date accessed:
15
May 2021