Scalpel versus diathermy skin incision: a randomised clinical trial


  • Monali Patole Mukherjee Department of Paediatric Surgery, Godrej Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Mandar Madhukar Patole Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Godrej Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India



Scalpel skin incision, Diathermy incision, Post operative wound infections, Hypertrophied scar, Keloid, Intestinal obstruction


Background: Scalpel skin incision produces a clean, incised wound with minimal tissue destruction. Cutting diathermy also produces an incised wound that heals as well as the one that is created by cold scalpel but with an added advantage of achieving quick hemostasis and saving operative time. The main thing of the present study is to verify and compare the usefulness of diathermy skin incision vs. scalpel skin incision in general surgical patients.

Methods: The study was conducted in Medical College and Hospital, in 60 patients randomly selected for diathermy and scalpel incision, between 14-65 years age group, between January 2011-June 2012. Post operative pain, seroma, hematoma, discharge were observed and results were analyzed and compared for the two groups using Mann-Whitney U Test.

Results: Diathermy group, with incision related time of 6.20±0.97 sec/cm, was significantly quicker (p=0.003) than scalpel incision, with incision time of 6.76±0.84 sec/cm. Postoperative pain scores, recorded daily over five days, showed insignificant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that the diathermy provides efficient cutting of skin, with no superior wound-healing profile, comparable to that of the traditional scalpel blade.

Author Biography

Monali Patole Mukherjee, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Godrej Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India




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Original Research Articles