Subjacent heat production during tissue excision with electrosurgery

Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, Robert F. Krejci, Allen R. Edison, Richard A. Reinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A study was designed to document heat production subjacent to tissue excision by electrosurgery. In Phase I of the study, 20 electrosurgery excisions were made with a loop electrode in the palatal mucosa of miniature swine. Subjacent heat production was measured with implantation thermistors. Temperature measurements adjacent to 20 single incisions made with a needle electrode were used for comparison. Energy used and duration of active electrode contact with the tissue were recorded for each procedure with an electronic measuring device. In Phase II, 20 sets of excisions consisting of three successive excisions were performed. The following intraexcisional cooling periods were used for four sets each: 1 second, 5 seconds, 8 seconds, 10 seconds, and 15 seconds. Results indicate that single electrosurgery excisions with a loop electrode generate more energy than incisions made with a needle electrode. Subjacent heat production, however, is not significantly different. Cooling intervals of at least 15 seconds between successive electrosurgery excisions made with a loop electrode are necessary to prevent heat build-up of a magnitude capable of initiating destructive alveolar changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-657
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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