Electrosurgery vs. Electrocautery

Electrosurgery is the use of channeled electric currents to heat and cut organic tissues with precision and cauterization. Typically the frequency used for electrosurgery is high, approximately 500,000 cycles per second. This type of surgery limits blood loss, as it cauterizes the wounds as the tissue is cut away and removed and has a wide variety of medical uses. In fact cancer.gov defines electrosurgery as:

A procedure that uses an electric current to cut, remove, or destroy tissue and control bleeding. The current is carried through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. Electrosurgery may be used to treat basal cell skin cancer or other types of skin problems, such as actinic keratoses, warts, and moles. It may also be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix and to treat abnormal tissue of the vagina, vulva, penis, and anus that might become cancer. Examples of electrosurgery are electrodesiccation and fulguration.”

But did you know there’s a difference between electrosurgery and electrocautery?

Electrocautery on the other hand is the process in which a direct or alternating current is passed through a metal wire electrode which when applied to living tissue achieves hemostasis or varying degrees of tissue destruction. Cancer.gov defines it as:

A procedure that uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion. It may also be used to control bleeding during surgery or after an injury. The electric current passes through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. The tip of the electrode is heated by the electric current to burn or destroy the tissue. Electrocautery is a type of electrosurgery. Also called electrocoagulation, electrofulguration, and fulguration.”

Plus, unlike electrosurgery it is not used to pass the current directly through the tissue, but instead applies it directly to the targeted area. As such it’s perfect for use in a variety of minor medical procedures like dermatology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and urology and is often used by dermatologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, urologists, and other specialists.

Fortunately, at MFI Medical we carry complete electrosurgical kits with all the necessary components for a successful electrosurgery or electrocautery operation. In this post we’ll walk you through the differences between the two operations and the pros and cons of some of our most popular electrosurgery and electrocautery products. 

Electrosurgery Products

The type of products used in electrosurgery are as wide ranging as the uses for the procedure itself. And, the electrodes that apply the current include blades, round balls, needles, and even loop configurations. At MFI Medical we carry a wide selection of all the best ConMed electrosurgery products and more so you can rest assured that you’ll be prepared no matter what type of electrode your next operation requires. 

ConMed Hyfrecator 2000

Safe and simple to use, the ConMed Hyfrecator 2000 utilizes state-of-the-art electronic circuitry and two microprocessors to provide superior output power accuracy and patient safety making it ideal for electrosurgery procedures. So, no matter whether it’s at full power for broad surface coagulation or low power in 1/10 watt increments for delicate facial procedures, the 2000 provides the precision electrosurgery demands. 

ConMed Electrolase Disposable Electrode - Sharp Tip

Ideal for pinpoint coagulation, the ConMed Electrolase Disposable Electrode - Sharp Tip is specially designed for use with the Hyfrecator 2000. Features a stainless steel electrode with a white plastic base and is available in four different configurations - non-sterile (100 electrodes), non-sterile (1200 electrodes), sterile (50 electrodes), and sterile (600 electrodes) making it perfect for any procedure that requires your Hyfrecator 2000.

ConMed Hyfrecator Electrode Starter Kit

Also designed to be used with the Hyfrecator 2000, the ConMed Hyfrecator Electrode Starter Kit contains a 45° angle general purpose electrode, a 75° angle needle electrode, a 30° angle extra fine needle electrode, a 0.625" straight needle electrode, and a ball electrode for controlled coagulation to ensure you’re prepared for any possible procedure. Responsible for conducting the electrosurgical current from an electrosurgical handpiece to the operative site for a desired surgical effect, this complete kit is a must-have for any surgeon who practices electrosurgery.

Electrocautery Products

Electrocautery products feature a wide range of tip types such as fine tips, sharp dermal tips, loop tips, needle electrodes, standard needle electrodes, and more. As one of the most well regarded names on the market, Bovie electrosurgery and electrocautery products are available at MFI Medical in every configuration you need to conduct a successful procedure.

Bovie Reusable Change-A-Tip Deluxe Cautery Kit

Perfect for ER and clinical procedures, the Bovie Reusable Change-A-Tip Deluxe Cautery Kit features a replaceable battery in addition to replaceable tip cauteries that have advanced battery operated cauteries where reusability is a requirement to the next level. The reusable cauteries are designed with a special safety-enhanced recessed button that helps reduce the potential for inadvertent activation. As such, this top-of-the-line kit is the ideal upgrade for any surgeon who performs electrocautery.

Bovie Disposable High Temperature Fine Tip Cautery

Designed primarily for pinpoint hemostasis and for delicate oculoplastic, dermal, and minor subcutaneous procedures, the Bovie Disposable High Temperature Fine Tip Cautery works at 2200° F (1204° C). Individually packaged sterile, this first-rate cautery has been innovatively engineered to allow the back-end to be broken up so the alkaline batteries can be removed ensuring the product can be safely disposed of by eliminating the energy source. As a result, this is a cautery that will provide any electrocautery surgeon some much needed peace of mind.

Bovie Disposable High Temperature Loop Tip Cautery

Specializing in the hemostasis of small bleeding areas, incision, and excision, the Bovie Disposable High Temperature Loop Tip Cautery is the perfect accessory for any surgeon working in neurosurgery, OB/GYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, proctology, or urology. This cutting-edge cautery also works best at 2200° F (1204° C) and is individually packaged sterile. 

Now that you know more about several of the most useful products for both electrosurgery and electrocautery you can browse the extensive selection of products available through MFI Medical or talk with one of our experts at (800) 633-1558 to get exactly what you need for your next procedure.


Editor’s Note: Information, prices, and products are subject to change. Please visit product listings or contact MFI for most up to date information.