Active output and patient return functions are both accomplished at the site of surgery.
Current path is confined to tissue grasped between forceps tines.
Patient return electrode should not be applied for bipolar only procedures.
In bipolar electrosurgery, both the active electrode and return electrode functions are performed at the site of surgery. The two tines of the forceps perform the active and return electrode functions. Only the tissue grasped is included in the electrical circuit. Because the return function is performed by one tine of the forceps, no patient return electrode is needed.
This picture represents a typical bipolar circuit.