Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

George Collins

Second Advisor

Bruno A. Mantilla

Third Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Fourth Advisor

Max Roman


The extremely high temperatures applied over extremely short time intervals that are characteristic of electrosurgery result in a unique tissue damage pattern. Cesarean delivery and hysterectomy, the two most frequently performed procedures in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), commonly employ electrosurgical incision. While it is controversial, it has been suggested that tissue damage produced by electrosurgery could increase surgical site infection rates. While recommendations for the settings in the use of the electrosurgical unit do exist, there is no current technique for real time assessment of the viability of tissue around the site of the electrosurgical incision. Current methods for analyzing thermal damage inflicted on tissue are unsuitable for the case of electrosurgery as they do not match the temperature or time scales. In addition, minimal research has been performed on quantifying the temperature and resulting tissue damage in the vicinity of the electrosurgical incision.

Here, a noninvasive methodology that (1) accurately measures the heat generated by modern electrosurgical devices at the incision surface, (2) calculates the heat propagation into surrounding tissue, and (3) proposes a simple model for the estimation of the amount of tissue damage that occurs as a result of these thermal processes is proposed.



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