Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia, Malaysia
Title: Introduction to electrosurgery in dermatologic and aesthetic medicine
Biography: Chandran Rajagopal
Electrosurgery refers to four different methods: Electrocoagulation, electrodesiccation, electrofulguration and electrosection using high frequency to perform various procedures in dermatology and aesthetic surgery. Aim of this study is to ascertain the mode of operation in performing several procedures safely and successfully involving high frequency alternating current, which converts to heat by resistance as it passes through the tissue. The result of heat buildup within the tissue which results in thermal tissue damage, thus enabling several procedures, these modalities are commonly used for hemostasis, debulking procedures such as rhinophyma excision and treatment of benign and malignant skin conditions ranging from acrochordons (skin tags) to Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). Electrosurgery is a surgical technique which involves sequential curettage (scraping) of a skin lesion followed by electrodesiccation (a form of electronic cautery). The sequence is generally repeated 3 or 4 times. It is an alternative to more invasive surgery. It is used to treat benign and superficial malignant skin lesions including but not limited to seborrheic keratosis, may include observation, excision and curettage of actinic keratosis, nodular and superficial basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ. Risks include discomfort, pain, bleeding, burns, electric shock, recurrence, conversion to excision, infection, changes in pigmentation and scarring. Adequate training and understanding of the electrosurgical unit is very essential to the physician using this equipment to perform safe and successful surgery.