2011 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 88-91
The reluctance to incise skin with electrocautery is partly attributable to concerns about excessive scarring and poor wound healing. However, recently no difference was reported in wound complications between the cold scalpel and electrocautery scalpel. We assessed the safety and efficacy of electrocautery skin incision in 22 scalp incisions, including 4 cases of reoperation. Electrocautery skin incisions were created using a sharp needle electrode. The generator unit was set on cutting mode, with power of 6 W and 330 kHz sinusoid waveform. Subcutaneous dissections also used the sharp needle electrode, set on coagulating mode, with power of 10 W and 1 MHz pulse-modulated waveform. Galea incisions used a standard blade tip, set on coagulating mode, with power of 20 W and 1 MHz pulse-modulated waveform. Skin incision with the sharp needle electrode caused no charring of the wound. Little bleeding or oozing were observed and skin clips were not necessary. No wound complication such as necrosis or infection occurred. Electrocautery skin incisions for re-operations were also performed safely without complications. Electrocautery skin incision is sufficiently safe procedure not only for first operation but also for re-operation. Electrocautery skin incision is efficacious, especially for extended operation times, because of little blood loss from the edges of skin incision and possible avoidance of skin edge necrosis or alopecia caused by skin clips.