Direct Current: Iontophoresis and Galvanic Surgery

  • Hugh M. Crumay


Direct (galvanic) current may be used by dermatologists for ion transfer (medical galvanism, iontophoresis, and surgical galvanism) and to heat electrocautery terminals (Table 17-1); in the future we may use it to generate plasma for the plasma torch. Electrolysis (surgical galvanism) is currently used with decreasing frequency for hair removal and limited surgery. It results in dissolution of tissue caused by the formation of chemical caustic (sodium hydroxide) following ion transfer. Electrocauteries may be heated by either direct or alternating current to perform limited or extensive surgery. Heat is conducted from red-hot cautery tips (cf, branding irons or soldering irons) to comparatively cold bodies and tissue destruction follows.


Direct Current Negative Pole Plasma Torch Negative Electrode Positive Pole 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1978

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  • Hugh M. Crumay

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