Advantages of Electrosurgery | Disadvantages of Electrosurgery

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Electrosurgery for soft tissue cutting using laser. It mentions benefits or advantages of Electrosurgery and drawbacks or disadvantages of Electrosurgery.

What is Electrosurgery?

The surgery performed using electrical devices is known as electrosurgery. It uses high frequency alternating electrical current at various voltages to generate heat. Elctrosurgery can be applied to biological tissue in order to cut, coagulate (to control bleeding) or desiccate desired tissues.

In dental service, electrosurgery is used to cut soft tissues in the mouth and to sculpture live tissues without any pressure and control of bleeding. Electric current is delivered to target tissue area using cables and electrodes.

Monopolar Electrosurgery vs Bipolar Electrosurgery
Image Courtesy : Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Book on "Fundamentals of Electrosurgery Part I: Principles of Radiofrequency Energy for Surgery"

Electrosurgery uses 200 KHz to 3.3 MHz frequencies for its operation. There are two types of devices used for energy delivery in electrosurgical technology viz. monopolar and bipolar. The figure-1 depicts Monopolar electrosyrgery and Bipolar electrosurgery. As shown, Monopolar device delivers current through active electrode. It travels through the patient and back to generator through pad attached to patient. The pad is conductive adhesive grounding pad.

Electrosurgery in dentistry

The bipolar device is similar to surgical forceps. As shown, bipolar device consisting of both active electrode and return electrode function at the surgical site. Here energy is confined to the desired tissue between forceps. It does not travel through the patient. Bipolar device assures unintended dispersal of current. The figure-2 depicts use of electrosurgery in dental service.

Benefits or advantages of Electrosurgery

Following are the benefits or advantages of Electrosurgery:
➨The electrodes (or wires) used in electrosurgery are easy to bend which helps in smoothing of soft tissues.
➨Electrodes can perform cut at its side and at the end which helps in deep cutting of the soft tissues.
➨The cutting speed is very fast compare to other methods such as diode laser.
➨It is painless method.
➨If electrodes are cleaned during operation, it provide consistent, fast and much better results.
➨Electrode tips can be changed to pencil shape which provides narrow and precise cuts.
➨It is inexpensive method.
➨Electrodes are self disinfecting.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Electrosurgery

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Electrosurgery:
➨Flesh burning smell using electrosurgery is stronger than diode laser technique.
➨Taste of flesh burnt remains for longer period in the mouth.
➨Patients must be anesthetic for electrosurgery.
➨As it is very fast cutting method, It leads to overcutting if proper care is not taken by practitioners.
➨High heat is produced during cutting and hence it should not be used near implants. Diode lasers are used near implants.

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