Asad Ullah Khan, Muhammad Noor khan, Malik Rizwan Noor, Haseeb ul Hassan


Background: Incision for surgical procedures has been given by scalpel blades since long, but in recent modern era electrocautery is also favored by many surgeons. The aim of this study was to compare electrocautry versus scalpel incisions in elective midline laparotomies in terms of per operative incision timings, post-operative pain, blood loss and wound infection in population of Peshawar Pakistan.

Materials & Methods: This was Quasi experimental study conducted in Department of General Surgery MTI Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, KP from Jan 2021 to Oct 2021. Total 100 patients of elective laparotomy were included. Inclusion criteria were all male/female adults’ patients without Diabetes and bleeding disorders. Patients were randomly assigned in two groups by lottery method. Group A (50 patients) underwent incision with scalpel while in group B (50 patients) incision was given by electrocautery at cutting mode. Data was analyzed by SPSS ver.23.0.

Results: The mean age of patients in group A and B was 44.10 ± 13.14 and 48.06 ± 11.66 years respectively. Mean incision time in Group A was 3.87 ± 1.06 seconds while in group B it was 3.65 ± 1.40 seconds. Mean pain (VAS) in group A at 24 hours was 2.22 ± 0.54 and 1.62 ± 0.60 in group B (p value 0.000). Mean blood loss in group A was 2.94 ± 1.53 ml while in group B it was 1.66 ± 1.23ml (P value 0.001). Fifteen patients (30%) of group A and 6 patients (12%) of group B developed post-operative surgical site infection which was statistically significant (p value 0.02).

Conclusion: We recommend use of electrocautery as a safe alternative to scalpel for skin incision. Incision with electrocautery has a significant advantage over scalpel as it causes little blood loss, significantly low postoperative pain and decreased chances of wound infections.


Scalpel incision; Electrocautery; Laparotomy.

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