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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Aug;20(4):353-8. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e3283073ab7.

The evolutionary state of electrosurgery: where are we now?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.



The purpose of this review is to discuss the evolutionary changes that have taken place in the area of electrosurgery. The distinct differences between devices along with disadvantages and ways of minimizing hazards will be analyzed.


Since the first surgical application of electricity in the 1880s, the use of radiofrequency current in surgery has grown. Although monopolar and bipolar energy form the backbone of electrosurgery, various modifications have been made to both the electrosurgical generators and the hand instruments. Much of the driving force behind these modifications has been the goal of minimizing possible complications while improving surgical efficiency. Recently, the ability to obtain vessel sealing has dramatically impacted clinical practice in open, laparoscopic, and vaginal surgery.


Current evidence demonstrates the effectiveness and safety of electrosurgical devices in gynecologic surgery. Technology has evolved to allow vessel sealing capability through various instruments. Critical to the successful use of these advanced electrosurgical devices is a thorough understanding of their individual differences and nuances in order to obtain the desired tissue effects. Further studies are needed to determine the most appropriate applications and surgical procedures for these devices.

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