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Am J Surg. 1994 Jun;167(6):601-3.

Electrocautery used to create incisions does not increase wound infection rates.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


A prospective, randomized, blinded clinical trial was conducted to determine whether electrocautery as a means of creating abdominal or thoracic wounds would result in increased wound infection rates. Over a 15-month period, 492 consecutively studied patients were randomly placed into 1 of 2 groups: scalpel or electrocautery. There were no differences in age grouping, use of steroids, incidence of diabetes, number of days preoperative, operative time, use of preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis, use of drains, number of obese patients, or gender ratio. Wound infections developed in 38 of the 250 scalpel patients (15%) and in 30 of the 242 cautery patients (12%). The use of electrocautery to create surgical wounds does not increase wound infection rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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