Care when using an electrosurgical unit

The electrosurgical unit is a medical equipment capable of transforming electrical energy into heat to cut or coagulate tissues and cauterize them simultaneously, using currents that develop at high frequencies usually above 200,000 Hz. In other words, this equipment is responsible for generating high-frequency alternating current from low-frequency electrical currents, with the aim of achieving a desired thermal effect on a biological tissue.

The use of this novel electronic equipment considerably reduces the bleeding of the tissues and produces very little thermal damage, which in turn results in a remarkable time saving. It also allows effective asepsis, by reducing the likelihood of transmission of infections from diseased tissues to healthy tissues.

Complete circuit of an electrosurgical unit and complications of its use

The complete circuit of the electrosurgical unit consists of:

  • Electrical current generator.
  • Active electrode, which concentrates energy at the point of contact.
  • The patient (tissue).
  • A neutral return or dispersion electrode, which allows the circuit to be closed with the generator.

Complications that may occur when using an electrosurgical unit are usually due to improper use of these equipment and include tissue destruction and healing, bleeding, pain, channeling, burns, fire, transmission of infection and interference with implantable systems. The risks of these complications can be avoided by paying careful attention to the safety measures that we will discuss below.

What care should be taken when using an electrosurgical unit?

  • Before each intervention it is recommended to check for faulty points in the insulation of sockets, cables or instruments.
  • The patient should be positioned in such a way that it is dry and electrically isolated.
  • Verify that the patient does not come into contact with electrically conductive objects, e.g. operating table (and this should be isolated and grounded).
  • There should be no skin-to-skin contact.
  • It should also be verified that the neutral electrode (or patient plate) used to close the electrical circuit must be firmly placed in full contact with the skin, partial separation can cause thermal burn. Removal of the surface where the neutral electrode is placed may be necessary.
  • The neutral electrode should be located in the limb closest to the operating field and as close to it as possible.
  • The areas where the neutral electrode should not be placed are: bone or irregular areas, areas covering an implant, areas with scars and areas covering a large amount of adipose tissue (such as the stomach or buttocks).
  • High frequency cables should not come into contact with the patient or other cables.
  • It is recommended to maintain a minimum distance of 15 cm between the high frequency active electrode and the ECG electrode.
  • If the patient has a pacemaker, avoid the use of monopolar current as this can damage it irreparably can even cause cardiac arrest.
  • Care must be taken with the application of antiseptics, such as iodine. Alcohol from disinfectants can be burned by contact with an electric spark.
  • The active applicator should be placed on the sterile instrument table or its cover if any. Never put it on the patient.
  • Do not apply contact gel to the neutral electrode or modify its size.
  • Do not step on neutral electrode wires and do not go over tables or appliances.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance, cleaning and sterilization of the instrument.

How does an electrosurgical unit work?

The electrosurgical unit uses high frequency electrical energy to generate heat, with the aim of coagulating or cutting tissues of biological origin. According to its structure it has two modes of operation. The monopolar mode, where the active electrode is the one that intervenes in the process, since it is the one that concentrates the energy at the contact point. While bipolar modality involves the action of the two electrodes, and are usually presented in the form of a hemostatic clamp.

The two modalities perform pure and combined electrosection as well as electrocoagulation and heat production is generated through the passage of an oscillatory electric current, concentrated in a small area. This equipment circulates currents above 200,000 Hz up to 3 GHz, the unit uses this type of currents, as they do not interfere with the patient’s nervous processes.

What does Kalstein offer you?

Kalstein is a company MANUFACTURER of medical and laboratory equipment of the highest quality and the best technology at the best PRICES in the market, so you can make your PURCHASE with us, knowing that you have the service and advice of a company specialized in the field and committed to provide you with safe, economical and effective options for the performance of your functions in the right way. In this opportunity we present our Electrosurgical Generator YR02144. Among its main characteristics we find: HERE

  • The YR electrosurgical generator offers a maximum power of 400 watts.
  • 7 monopolar and 3 bipolar outputs are available.
  • The electrosurgical generator ensures a smooth cut through all types of tissue.
  • It performs automatic recognition of the return electrode, either solid or spilled.
  • It offers program memory functions and automatic current monitoring.
  • The argon module is optional to improve cutting and coagulation.
  • Optional adapter for laparoscopy and thoracoscopy application.
  • The electrosurgical generator has an easy-to-use interface.
  • It has an isolated exit, all floating.

For more information we invite you to take a look: HERE