Archive June 2011 XII, No. 6

New Ways to Cut and Seal: The Changing Face of Electrosurgery

Today's energy-driven devices cut and seal tissue with more precision and less thermal spread than the traditional Bovie.

Vangie Dennis, RN, CNOR, CMLSO

BIO

Your standard electrosurgical device, still called a "Bovie" by most of us after its inventor, William T. Bovie, MD, has been around since the late 1920s, and for decades the technology remained pretty static. It's really been only in the past 15 to 20 years that we've seen a radical shift toward energy-driven surgical devices that can cut and seal tissue with more precision and less thermal spread than the traditional electrosurgical unit (ESU). These newer, improved devices are becoming increasingly commonplace in the operating room, but it's important to remember that they're very different from the traditional ESU — and from each other. Even with all the advances we've made, electrosurgery is still potentially dangerous if not handled properly. Here's a review of how the new energy sources function and how to operate them safely.

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

10 Tips for Safer Electrosurgery

Use these guidelines to keep both patients and staff safe.