Electro Surgical Desiccation & Hyfrecation



This technique involves the application of extreme heat to produce very precise tissue destruction. The heat is transferred into the tissue via a tipped electrode.

Essentially, Electro-surgical Desiccation and Hyfrecation (Fulguration) is the use of a high frequency alternating electrical current (of above 0.1MHz) to treat cutaneous skin lesions. In the field of Podiatric medicine such treatment is mainly undertaken on:

       1 Resistant verrucae.

       2 Vascular and neurovascular corns   (corns with blood vessels and nerves)

       3 Long-term resistant corns   (particularly fibrous corns).

Since the procedure involves the use of heat it is therefore necessary to numb the foot or the affected area with a local anaesthetic prior to treatment. Once the area has been numbed the epidermis (outer layer of skin) is then desiccated (dried) and then peeled away (similar to peeling an orange). This will then expose the upper layer of the dermis.

Having exposed the dermis the area is then hyfrecated. In effect, this ‘vaporises’ tissue leaving the area charred (verrucae & hand warts require more aggressive hyfrecation than corns). The lesion will then take between 3-8 weeks to heal depending on how aggressive the area has been hyfrecated, and the size of surface area treated.

Post operative discomfort is normally minimal, although lesions can be uncomfortable for a few days during the second week post operative. Patients are asked to rest the affected foot for the remainder of the day of surgery. Most patients are normally able to return to work the next day.

Electro-surgical Desiccation & Hyfrecation when used to treat verrucae offers very high rates of cure that are unrivalled by any other verrucae treatment (except Laser treatment). This minor surgical procedure can provide patients with a ‘one off’ instant cure however, with the introduction of a class 4 medical laser to our practice, we now favour laser treatment since there is less thermal ‘seepage’ to deeper structures with laser. Both Electrosurgery and Laser are the treatment regimes recommended for verrucae/hand warts that have not responded to more conservative treatments such as caustics, cryotherapy and/or multiple puncture.

Our Electro-surgery specialist is Mark Hollinshead, Mark is one of only a small number of Podiatrists who are certificated to undertake these procedures. He has been undertaking Electrosurgical Desiccation and Hyfrecation regularly since 1999.

“Before the electro-surgery I had suffered from fibrous corns on the balls of my feet for over 20 years. I regularly had podiatry treatment to trim and reduce the corns but the pain from walking on any uneven surface was still excruciating. Driveway gravel, uneven ground, pebbles and any stones even with padded supported footwear were all impossible to walk on without experiencing sudden-sharp pain.

 After hearing about electro- surgery I was keen to have the treatment. Each foot was operated on separately over 3 months. The procedure was quick, leaving only a small wound which quickly healed in 3 to 4 weeks. The success of the operation is the pain free walking on any surface which I have now enjoyed for over 7 years. Six months after surgery I vividly remember walking down a cobbled street and then onto a pebbled beach without pain for the first time, it was a complete joy!  

Thanks Mark, for explaining to me the advantages of electro -surgery. The variety of pain free walking I am able to experience is testimony to the success it can achieve”.

Mrs G Rouse, Crewe.

“I had been to the Doctor and different Chiropodists for a verruca that had been painful for many years, but all to no avail. I also used several types of home treatments from the Chemist but the situation got worse and worse.

I was recommended to Mark by an extended family member who had success from Marks treatment for a similar problem.

I have to say that the Electrosurgical Desiccation & Hyfrecation has worked a treat on a very embedded problem. It was painless and i have had no recurring problems since. I am so glad to be able to walk properly again after so many years of hobbling with pain. Thank you Mark”.

Mr A Farrall, Crewe.