HealthSearch

Health Guide

Electrocauterization

Definition

Electrocauterization is the process of heating tissue with electricity.

Alternative Names

Cauterization

Information

Electrocauterization (or electrocautery) is often used in surgery to remove unwanted or harmful tissue. It can also be used to burn and seal blood vessels. This helps reduce or stop bleeding during surgery or after an injury. It is a safe procedure.

A small probe with an electric current running through it is used to burn or destroy the tissue. A grounding pad is placed on the body (usually the thigh) before the surgery to protect the person from the harmful effects of the electricity.

References

Tuggy M, Garcia J. Curettage and cautery. In: Tuggy M, Garcia J, eds. Atlas of Essential Procedures. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 4.


Review Date: 10/8/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.