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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-59

Electrosurgery versus steel scalpel for elective surgery: A prospective study

1 Department of General Surgery, Basaveshwar Hospital, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India
2 Department of General Surgery, KBN Hospital, Gulbarga, Karnatak, India
3 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Azeezia Medical College, Kollam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Veerabhadra Radhakrishna
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ssj.ssj_76_17

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Introduction: The use of electrocautery in incising the skin was hypothesized to be questionable. It is believed to cause deep burns, excessive scarring and poor wound healing. However, many of the recent studies show that the electrosurgery has advantages of faster dissection, quicker hemostasis, reduced blood loss, and reduced operative time. Most of these studies included a homogeneous group of surgeries. Hence, a study was conducted to assess whether the electrosurgery can be used to incise skin. Materials and Methods: A prospective nonrandomized study was conducted in a tertiary center from December 2009 to May 2011. Patients were divided into electrosurgery and skin scalpel groups. Moreover, these were compared regard to duration of the incision, blood loss, operative and postoperative complications, and postoperative pain using visual analog scale. Results: A total of 60 patients were studied. Electrosurgery group and steel scalpel group both had 30 patients (50%) each in their group. The electrosurgery group had a significantly low blood loss (18.1 g ± 16.1 g vs. 35.8 g ± 16.9 g; t = 4.1; P = 0.0001) and lesser incision time (4.7 min ± 1.9 min vs. 6.6 min ± 3.1 min; t = 2.8; P = 0.006; Student's t-test) compared to steel scalpel group. Electrosurgery group also had a significantly lesser postoperative pain score at 6 h, 12 h, and 24 h. There was no statistical significance found between the groups regard to wound infection (P = 1; Fischer's exact test). Conclusion: Electrosurgery was superior to steel scalpel for incising skin, hence, can be used a primary choice to incise the skin.

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