Electrocautery and cryotherapy
Electro cautery is a safe and effective procedure that is routinely used in surgery to remove unwanted or harmful tissue and skin lesions such as skin tags, etc.
The procedure is usually indicated for treatment of various small benign skin lesions for patients who have implanted electrical devices and in whom external electromagnetic interference should be avoided. Other indications are for vasectomy and dry eye syndrome.
Electro cautery involves passing a direct or alternating current through a metal wire electrode, generating heat at its endpoint. The heated electrode is then applied to the living tissues to achieve tissue destruction. Prior to the procedure a grounding pad is placed on the thigh to protect you from any harmful effects of electricity.
After the procedure, the healing process varies depending on the depth of the lesion. For superficial spots it might take around 7-14 days to fully heal and deeper spots might take 6-8 weeks to heal.
As with any procedure, it is associated with potential risks to the patient as well as the operating physician including burns, transmission of infection, etc.
Cryotherapy refers to a treatment in which tissues are superfreezed to destroy them. It is used to remove precancerous skin lesions, warts, etc. Cryotherapy is also used to treat skin cancer that does not affect deep tissue.
The procedure takes less than a minute and is usually done in your health care provider’s office with numbing medicine. The procedure involves applying a cotton swab which is dipped in liquid nitrogen onto the area that requires treatment. The treated area will heal in about 7 to 10 days with minimal scaring. However, for the redness to go away it does takes a longer time.
As with all procedures, cryotherapy is associated with certain risks which include development of blisters and ulcers, leading to pain and infection, scars if the freezing was prolonged and changes in skin color.