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Electrosurgery in the Gastrointestinal Suite: Knowledge Is Power

Nelson, Geri RN; Morris, Marcia L. MS

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000167

Electrosurgery allows both cutting and coagulation of tissue and is an essential tool for therapeutic endoscopy. Electrosurgery is also the most commonly used and misunderstood technology by all surgical and medical disciplines. In other words, everyone uses it, but few understand it! The aims of this article are to (1) present a useful review of the fundamentals of electrosurgery technology; (2) relate the fundamentals to commonly performed flexible endoscopy procedures; and (3) provide a review of the safe application of grounding pads, careful management of accessories, and special patient safety considerations.

Geri Nelson, RN, is Endoscopy Staff Nurse, Minnesota Gastroenterology, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Marcia L. Morris, MS, is Founder and CEO of Genii, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota.

Correspondence to: Marcia L. Morris, MS, 2145 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125 (

Ms. Nelson declares no conflicts of interest. Ms. Morris has a financial interest in electrosurgery products manufactured by Genii, Inc. No financial support was given to support this article.

Received October 17, 2013

Accepted January 26, 2014

© 2015 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.