Electrosurgery in gastrointestinal endoscopy: Principles to practice

Marcia L. Morris, Robert D. Tucker, Todd H. Baron, Louis M.Wong Kee Song

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


An electrosurgery generator unit is a critical piece of equipment in any therapeutic endoscopy setting. Electrosurgery generators produce high-frequency alternating electric current and differ from electrocautery units in that both cutting and coagulation effects can be achieved. This ability to cut and coagulate at the same time makes electrosurgery an ideal therapeutic tool for gastrointestinal endoscopy. Although education and familiarity with these devices are accepted as the primary avenue to the safest and most effective clinical outcomes, concise information linking the basic properties of electrosurgery directly to clinical practice is not widespread. The following are the aims of this article: (i) to relate the fundamental electrosurgical principles to commonly performed procedures such as snare polypectomy, hot biopsy, sphincterotomy, bipolar hemostasis, and argon plasma coagulation, and (ii) to provide practical suggestions for the use of these devices on the basis of an understanding of electrosurgical principles and the available clinical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1574
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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