System and method for electrosurgical cutting and ablation

  • US 5,697,882 A
  • Filed: 11/22/1995
  • Issued: 12/16/1997
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/07/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method for applying energy to a target site on a patient body structure comprising:

  • providing an electrode terminal and a return electrode electrically coupled to a high frequency voltage source;

    positioning the active electrode in close proximity to the target site in the presence of an electrically conducting terminal; and

    applying a high frequency voltage between the electrode terminal and the return electrode, the high frequency voltage being sufficient to vaporize the fluid in a thin layer over at least a portion of the electrode terminal and to induce the discharge of energy to the target site in contact with the vapor layer.

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