What is bipolar cautery?


Quick Answer

Bipolar cautery is an electrocauterization technique that reduces bleeding during surgery, says OphthalmologyWeb. During bipolar cautery, an electric current passes between the tips of a forceps, cauterizing the tissue between the tips and stopping bleeding. Medical professionals believe this causes less tissue damage than monopolar cautery.

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Full Answer

Studies also find that irrigating the area during cauterization reduces charring of the tissue, according to the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery. This also keeps the tissue from adhering to the tips of the forceps and prevents the trauma of removing it.

In addition to using electrocauterization to stop bleeding, doctors use the procedure to remove tumors that are in hard-to-treat areas, such as the brain; to treat people who suffer from constant nosebleeds by cauterizing exposed blood vessels; and to remove warts, according to Healthline. They also use it during eye surgery, notes OphthalmologyWeb. Electrocauterization not only stops bleeding but sterilizes the operating site, states Healthline. Sutures are usually not necessary, though there may be a scar afterwards.

The preparation for electrocauterization treatment is basically the same for other types of surgeries, says Healthline. The patient stops smoking and taking blood-thinning medicines and fasts for several hours before the procedure. The risks of the surgery are minimal, though the patient may experiences redness, swelling or pain in the area that received treatment. The recovery time is two to four weeks, depending on the size of the treated area.

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