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Electrosurgical unit What is its importance in an operating room?

The electrosurgical unit, also known as electrosurgical unit, is a medical equipment that uses electrical phenomena that generate heat; in order to coagulate, fulgurate, dry or cut tissues, depending on the parameters established by the medical operator. The generation of heat is achieved through the passage of an oscillating electrical current, concentrated in a small area.

The importance of the use of electrosurgical units in the operating room is that these devices today are considered essential instruments in these places, because they produce precise incisions without the need to exert pressure on the tissues, as well as allow easy access to difficult or compromised areas, offer excellent comfort in lifting hypertrophic tissues, facilitate hemorrhage containment and healing of gingival tissues with correct use, and also prevent the infiltration of microorganisms in the incision line.

Currently more than 80% of surgeries use devices that apply energy to tissues. In fact, most surgical specialties have benefited from electrosurgical units. Although monopolar and bipolar energy form the basis of electrosurgery, modifications have been made over the years, both in electrosurgical generators and in the instruments manipulated by the surgeon. All in search of reducing complications and increasing the surgical efficiency of electrosurgery.

How is an electrosurgical unit constituted?

  • Indicators of the operating modes.
  • Power selectors.
  • Electrodes.
  • foot switch

How do electrosurgical units work?

Electrosurgical units, also known as electrosurgical scalpels or hot scalpels, use high-frequency electrical energy to create heat to coagulate or cut biological tissue. Frequencies above 200,000 Hz are used because they do not interfere with nerve processes and only produce heat.

The heat energy comes from the electrons moving from the atoms at the rate of an electrical potential difference (that is, their movement from the area of โ€‹โ€‹higher electrons to lower electrons); This movement of particles generates photons that have energy, which is transformed into heat energy.

The impedance, or resistance to the passage of electrons, presented by the tissues, manifests itself with an increase in heat, which is what causes the desired effect. Thus, with an unmodulated electrical wave, a pure cut is produced, but if the wave is modulated or interrupted, coagulation is achieved. The patient is part of the electrical circuit that makes up the electrosurgery equipment, therefore, improper use can cause burns.

Benefits of the electrosurgical unit

  • Substantially reduce tissue bleeding, thus avoiding the use of gauzes, which are related to surgical site infections.
  • Allows good asepsis and reduces the probability of transmitting infections from diseased tissues to healthy ones.
  • They provide considerable time savings.
  • Variety in instrumentation, suitable for each surgical act.

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