What is a Hyfrecator?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 March 2020
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Hyfrecators are a type of medical equipment used in the process of electrosurgery. The hyfrecator functions by sending electrical impulses into the body with the use of a probe. Emitting an alternating (AC) current that is low in power but at a high frequency, the typical hyfrecator treatment is aimed at removing warts or sealing off bleeding, allowing the body’s natural processes to take over and competing the healing cycle.

Hyfrecator tips make it possible for the surgeon to be very exact when it comes to addressing tissue that needs to be removed or cauterized. Some designs for this medical tool include two probes, making it possible to generate a low grade current that passes between the tips situated on each probe. Other designs call for a single probe tip that can be used to seal open wounds or to burn off some types of skin cancer.

While a hyfrecator is primarily used to treat humans, the device is also a valuable tool in the practice of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians can use the tool to treat household pets with some sort of abnormal skin activity such as papules or scar tissue resulting from an accident, or fight with other animals. Along with treating dogs and cats, the device is used to treat horses and even less traditional pets like snakes, frogs, and hamsters.


There are two principal modes in which a hyfrecator will function. The first is known as dessication. With this approach, the tip of the probe is used to heat the skin in a small area to a temperature that is too high for the tissue to tolerate. As a result, the tissue dies. This approach is ideal for tasks like wart removal.

The second mode for hyfrecator operation is called fulgeration. Here, the function of the probe tip is not just to heat the surrounding skin, but also to kill skin conditions using a small surge or spark of energy. This technique is often employed with closing lesions in the surface of the skin, as it causes the carbonization of the tissue almost immediately.

Along with wart removal and taking care of cancerous growths on the surface of the skin, a hyfrecator hand piece can effectively treat papules on the genitals, staunch bleeding, and remove other blemishes from the skin surface. The device can even be used to deal with superficial veins, making the hyfrecator ideal for use in cosmetic surgery procedures. Hyfrecators are used in many different schools of medicine, including chiropody, gynecology, ophthalmology, and dentistry.


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