What is Hyfrecator?
A hyfrecator is a low-powered medical apparatus used in electrosurgery on conscious patients, usually in an office setting. It is used to destroy tissue directly, and to stop bleeding during minor surgery. It works by emitting low-power high-frequency high-voltage AC electrical pulses, via an electrode mounted on a handpiece, directly to the affected area of the body. A continuous electrical spark discharge may be drawn between probe and tissue, especially at the highest settings of power, although this is not necessary for the device to function. The amount of output power is adjustable, and the device is equipped with different tips, electrodes and forceps, depending on the electrosurgical requirement.
The word hyfrecator is a portmanteau derived from “high-frequency eradicator.” It was introduced as a brand name for a device introduced in 1940 by the Birtcher Corporation of Los Angeles. Birtcher also trademark registered the name Hyfrecator in 1939, and rights to the registered trademark were acquired by ConMed Corporation when it acquired Birtcher in 1995. Today, machines with the name Hyfrecator are sold only by ConMed Corporation. However, the word "hyfrecator" is sometimes used as a genericized trademark to refer to any dedicated non-ground-return electrosurgical apparatus, and a number of manufacturers now produce such machines, although not by this name.