Electrosurgery, Piercings & Patient Safety

05 Apr Electrosurgery, Piercings & Patient Safety

According to an US study 29% of people have piercings.

As an OR professional we understand that metal & electricity can lead to adverse outcomes for our patients. Electrode pads should be placed as close as possible to the incision and away from any fluid or metal.

Wedding rings should be removed, if not, this may predispose a patient to a thermal burn.


Electrosurgery is used in approximately 80% of surgical cases.

Why is it that patients continue to wear jewellery into the OR, without being flagged. Some of which can not be removed, ie dermal piercings.

I wonder if patients understand that the OR is an environment where we use oxygen, fluid & electricity within close proximity. This is especially important with tongue & lip piercings due to the proximity of the airway.

An alternative site burn is a complication no patient should be exposed to. Electrosurgery 

As a result removing anything metal is in the best interest of all concerned.


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