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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


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.