Prospective Randomized Control Trial Comparing Diathermy versus Scalpel for Skin Incisions in Patients Undergoing Elective Surgeries
Chhabda T. S., Agrawal Mohit
Background Electrocautery is widely used in surgery. However it is less frequently used for skin incisions. This is because of fear of scarring of tissues, post-operative pain, and wound infection in view of devitelisation of tissues. This study compares the efficacy of diathermy versus scalpel for skin incisions in patients undergoing elective surgeries. Materials and Methods In this prospective randomized study, 200 patients undergoing elective surgeries are divided into two groups. In Group A, skin incision is taken with electrocautery, and in Group B, incision is taken with steel scalpel. Incision time, incision related blood loss and post-operative wound complication rates are compared between the two groups. The results are finally analyzed and compared for the two groups using Chi-square test and unpaired t test. Results Compared with a scalpel incision, cutting diathermy resulted in significantly less blood loss (mean difference 0.36 ml/cm, P < 0.001) and shorter incision times (mean difference 14 s, P < 0.001), with no differences in the wound complication rate. Conclusion Although results are similar in both the groups, we still recommend the use of electrocautery for skin incisions, as it is an alternative, attractive and easily available new method. On the basis of this study we recommend a wider use of electrocautery in all surgical procedures to make skin incisions as this technique is quite safe. We recommend further broad studies in this regard to confirm the reliability of this method of skin incision.
Keywords: Electrocautery, Diathermy, Scalpel, Skin incision
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 12, December 2015
Pages: 1414 - 1419