Electrocoagulation, also known as Radio Frequency Diathermy or Short Wave Electrolysis, is a technique used for medical treatment.
A fine wire probe or other delivery mechanism is used to transmit radio waves to tissues near the probe. Molecules within the tissue are caused to vibrate which lead to a rapid increase of the temperature, causing coagulation of the proteins within the tissue, effectively killing the tissue. At higher powered applications, full desiccation of tissue is possible.
If this technique is recommended to a patient, a surgeon will apply a local anesthetic to the area in question, carefully position the probe, and activate the current. This procedure can also be used under regional or general anesthesia, depending on the reason for the electrocoagulation. Special training is needed to learn how use this technique safely and effectively in medical settings and the equipment must be carefully maintained and inspected on a regular basis for safety.