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Electrocautery and Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC)

Several methods are available to help remove granulation tissue, airway cancers, or help treat airway bleeding. Electrocautery uses electricity through a probe that causes heat to build up at the end of the probe. This produces a burn to the tissue, removing it. Argon plasma coagulation (APC) uses a gas ignited by an electric spark to create a plasma beam that causes tissue to burn.

Why is it used?

  • To remove airway tumor and granulation tissue and treat airway bleeding
  • Treatments are delivered through a bronchoscope, either flexible or rigid

What Makes Electrocautery and APC Different?

  • Unlike other treatments, electrocautery and APC cause tissue damage by electric and plasma energy
  • Both of these treatments offer safety advantages compared to laser treatment

Benefits of Electrocautery and APC

  • Provide fast and precise removal of diseased airway tissue
  • Treatments are delivered by a bronchoscope, and your pulmonary physician may decide based on your particular airway issue which treatment modality to use

Learn More About Electrocautery and APC

At UC San Diego Medical Center’s Interventional Pulmonology Unit, the following interventional pulmonologists specialize in performing electrocautery and APC:

All referrals will still have the option of continuing their treatment with their primary care physicians after the electrocautery and APC.


For an appointment, for more information, or to find out how to refer a patient, please contact the Interventional Pulmonology Unit, 619-543-5840.

Interventional Pulmonology
UC San Diego Medical Center, 3rd Floor, South Wing
200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 619-543-5840