Written by Norene Anderson
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William Bovie, a physicist, and Harvey Cushing, a surgeon, worked together to create the first electro surgery instrument in the mid-1920s. The first use of what is now generally called a "Bovie" was to remove brain tumors in places that had previously been impossible. Several Bovie products are available including a system of blades and return electrodes along with a generator to make it possible for surgeons to cut or coagulate with just the touch of a switch or button.

Bovie products include split or solid grounding pads with or without the cord, disposable split adult return electrodes, and accessories for all types of electrosurgical units. Digital electrosurgical generators are available with the latest high data processing capabilities. Safety features are built into the unit to prevent injury to the patient or the physician. Tissue impedance can be measured 5,000 times per second.

Advances in the Operating Room Include Bovie Technology

The surgeon can digitally choose and control the cutting effect in a variety of applications. There are blended settings for cutting and coagulation effects. The choice of bipolar or mono-polar coagulation offers effective desiccation without active electrode sticking. Carbonization is minimized. A foot switch indicator clearly identifies the mode of mono-polar or bipolar.

Any patient with a pacemaker must be monitored carefully with any exposure to a Bovie device as it can cause the pacemaker to malfunction and go to the upper heart rate limit. The Bovie is one of the most common instruments in the operating room to control bleeding during a procedure. The capability to have a foot switch controlled electric cauterization is a critical standby for many surgeons regardless of the type of surgery or procedure.

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