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What is Electrosurgery?

Electrosurgery is a dermatological procedure that uses different forms of electrical currents to eliminate skin tissue, effectively addressing both benign and malignant lesions, managing bleeding, and excising skin tissue.

Throughout this process, the electric current works to dehydrate, damage, and vaporize affected skin tissue. This not only hinders the spread of malignant skin conditions but also promotes the regeneration of new skin cells.

Electrosurgery is used to treat patients with basal cell carcinoma and other eligible skin conditions. Additionally, it may be utilized post-curettage, a method involving the scraping of skin with a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to eliminate skin tissue. In such cases, electrosurgery plays a crucial role in managing bleeding and eradicating any remaining cancer cells.


How does electrosurgery work?

Electrosurgery proves versatile in eliminating abnormal skin growths and controlling bleeding during surgical procedures. In the course of an electrosurgical intervention, the skin is subjected to a high-frequency, alternating electric current with voltages ranging from 200 to 10,000 volts, delivered through one or more electrodes. This electric energy transforms into thermal energy, inducing tissue heating and the breakdown of the designated skin tissue.

Modern electrosurgical devices of high frequency efficiently transfer electrical energy to human tissue via a treatment electrode that remains cool. In contemporary settings, these devices operate at frequencies slightly below the AM radio frequency band. The inherent electrical resistance of biological tissue facilitates the conversion of electrical energy into molecular energy, altering the molecular structure of intracellular and extracellular proteins. This, in turn, leads to the coagulation and drying up of the targeted tissue. Elevating intracellular temperatures results in instantaneous cell death, offering the potential for the removal of cancerous cells.

FAQ About Electrosurgery

Is electrosurgery painful during skin cancer treatment?

Electrosurgery is typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring minimal discomfort during the procedure. Patients may experience some mild sensations, but pain is generally well-managed.

Can electrosurgery effectively treat various types of skin cancer?

Yes, electrosurgery is versatile and can be used to treat different types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma. It is often employed after procedures like curettage to control bleeding and eliminate remaining cancer cells.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with electrosurgery for skin cancer treatment?

Like any medical procedure, electrosurgery carries some risks, including scarring and changes in skin pigmentation. However, these risks are generally low, and your dermatologist will discuss them with you before the procedure.

How long does it take to recover from electrosurgery for skin cancer treatment?

Recovery time varies, but many patients can resume normal activities shortly after the procedure. Your dermatologist will provide specific post-operative care instructions to optimize healing.

Is electrosurgery a one-time treatment for skin cancer?

The number of electrosurgery sessions depends on the extent of the skin cancer and the treatment plan determined by your dermatologist. Some cases may require multiple sessions for optimal results.

Can electrosurgery be combined with other skin cancer treatments?

Yes, electrosurgery can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include surgery, radiation, or other therapies. Your dermatologist will customize a plan based on the specifics of your case.

Is there a dermatologist near me in Providence that offers electrosurgery?

Yes. At our Providence dermatology office we offer Electrosurgery to patients from Providence and the surrounding area. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.