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by Dr Susan Pasagic, Mossman Veterinary Surgery, QLD
This electrosurgical unit is useful for many surgical applications. It makes surgery much faster than when using a scalpel, and the healing is quicker.
What’s good about it
It cuts and cauterises so beautifully, I can remove large tumours with minimal blood loss. Rather than using a scalpel, cutting and tying and going on forever, the cautery section is so efficient it can halve the time of my surgery. It’s very accurate and has settings to provide a higher electrical charge if needed.
If I open up an abdomen and it’s bleeding all over the place, I’ll often zap the tiny vessels to reduce bleeding. It gives you a really clean workspace. I don’t tend to use it to operate internally and would never open a bladder with the cutting mechanism. I just use it for small bleeders. When I’m doing an amputation, I’ll tie off a vessel and, if it’s a big vessel I need to remove, cauterise the end of it.
I haven’t seen any regrowth after using it to remove benign tumours. I’ve even used it to remove hemangiosarcomas on dogs and that’s been very successful.
The electrosurgical components and the handpieces can be put in the steriliser. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but this unit definitely saves time and effort.
What’s not so good
It’s quite a large unit; we keep ours on a trolley in the surgery. You need to be careful with the earthing pad and connector that goes under the patient. If it becomes unsecured, the wiring will be damaged and have to be replaced.