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Electrosurgical Generators are also called Electrosurgical Units.  They differ from the term Electrocautery or Cautery in the fact that they are more powerful fully featured systems.  Most advanced units are either Isolated Power or Argon Beam based.

Leading Brands:  Covidien / Valleylab, Conmed, Erbe, Bovie

Common Features of Electrosurgical Generators:

  • Monopolar & Bipolar Output - Monopolar is for higher power output procedures and a separate plug is used for Bipolar lower delicate procedures.  No return electrode is used for bipolar output.
  • Multiple Blend Options - Pulsed bursts of coagulation to cut and seal at the same time to reduce bleeding.  Some units have a variety of Blend modes.
  • Multiple Coagulation / Fulgeration Options - Full coagulation for thermal charring to reduce or stop bleeding.  Coag options may include Pin-Point or Spray options to target exact / limited areas for coagulation.
  • Tissue Effects - More recent feature for higher end units that allows for more customization of the tissue response.
  • Multiple Cut Options - Cuts tissue cleanly with deeper and wider cuts based on increased power.
  • Tissue Impedance Power Adjustment - Needed power will depend resistance and will require different power levels.  Generators should use only the amount of power necessary for the type of procedure being performed.  Most modern generators are able to adjust power either automatically or manually.