The effect of electrocautery on midline fascial wound healing was studied in 108 Sprague-Dawley rats. Midline wound tensile strength was significantly reduced in fascia incised with the coagulation current compared with the cutting current or scalpel. In addition, tissue necrosis and inflammation as well as adhesion formation between the incision and abdominal viscera were more extensive in animals with incisions made using coagulation current. The results of the study indicate that the use of electrocautery coagulation current is associated with increased tissue damage and a significant reduction in the tensile strength of healing wounds. The contribution of electrocautery to wound complications in patients needs further evaluation.
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