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During cauterization (from Latin cauterisatio : burning with the branding iron or an etchant) or cauterization , tissue is destroyed by the cautery or chemical agents (etching agents). This allows z. B. a bleeding stopped or a benign growth removed.



The cautery (Greek cautery , latin cautery ; Combustion, cautery, cautery) is a surgical instrument (also called "cautery") for cauterizing, which today as electrocautery a fine, in the form of electric current heated wire loop is used. The cautery is mainly used to stop bleeding or to cut during an operation. The corresponding surgical technique is electrocautery .

The term diathermy is often used synonymously for cautery using electrocautery .


Cautery is used to stop bleeding. The previous procedure, such as amputations, was simple: a piece of metal was heated over fire and applied to the wound. This caused tissues and blood to rapidly heat up to extreme temperatures, causing the blood to coagulate and thus control the bleeding at the expense of extensive tissue damage.

Cautery was already a common treatment in the Middle Ages , sometimes unintentional as with the Hubertus key .

The cautery is described in the Corpus Hippocraticum . Around 960, Abu Al-Qasim developed techniques and instruments for cauterization and described them in his book At-Tasrif . They continued to influence the medical world for five centuries. The cautery, which existed in the Middle Ages as a glow cautery made of gold or iron, was already used in many ways in antiquity: as a counter-stimulus , as a hemostat , as a bloodless knife, as a means to destroy tumors and much more. Later, special medical instruments called cutters were used to cauterize arteries . The technique of arterial ligation as an alternative to cautery was later improved and used more effectively by Ambroise Paré .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrun R. Hau: Cauterization. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 730.
  2. ^ Friedrun R. Hau: Cauterization. In: Werner E. Gerabek et al. (Ed.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. Berlin / New York 2005, p. 730.
  3. Chad Colarusso: The Presocratic Influence upon Hippocratic Medicine. September 5, 1995, accessed May 16, 2018 .
  4. ^ Karl Sudhoff : Contributions to the history of surgery in the Middle Ages. 2 volumes, Leipzig 1914/1918 (= studies on the history of medicine. Volumes 10 and 12), Volume 2 (1918), pp. 178, 220 and 284.
  5. ^ Surgical Instruments from Ancient Rome - Ancient Roman Surgical Instruments. Retrieved May 16, 2018 (American English).