Isolated Electrosurgical Systems
In 1968, electrosurgery was revolutionized by isolated generator technology. The isolated generator isolates the therapeutic current from ground by referencing it within the generator circuitry. In other words, in an isolated electrosurgical system, the circuit is completed not by the ground but by the generator. Even though grounded objects remain in the operating room, electrosurgical current from isolated generators will not recognize grounded objects as pathways to complete the circuit. Isolated electrosurgical energy recognizes the patient return electrode as the preferred pathway back to the generator.
By removing ground as a reference for the current, the isolated generator eliminates many of the hazards inherent in grounded systems, most importantly current division and alternate site burns.