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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 216-219

A comparative study of scalpel and surgical diathermy incision in elective operations of head and neck cancer


Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, India

Correspondence Address:
H S Shukla
Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.82904

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Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the outcome of patients following use of scalpel or surgical diathermy in elective skin incision of head and neck cancer. Materials and Methods: 80 patients undergoing surgery for various head and neck cancers were analyzed retrospectively from Jan 2002 to May 2005 and divided into two groups, matched for age, sex, stage and histopathology according to the method used to perform incision, i.e., scalpel or surgical diathermy. Blood loss, total operative time, blood transfusions, wound related complications and cosmetic assessments of the scar were compared. Results: The two groups did not differ significantly in relation to patients or wound characteristics in terms of total operative time and quantity of blood transfusions. There was significantly less blood loss in the diathermy group compared with the scalpel group. There was no difference between the groups in wound complications and cosmetic results before discharge and at 1-month follow-up. Conclusions: There is no change in wound complication rate and scar formation even after application of heat during use of surgical diathermy. Therefore, surgical diathermy is safe and as effective as scalpel during elective skin incision of head and neck cancer.






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