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Monopolar electrosurgery involves the use of a surgical instrument, usually pencil-shaped, which contains a single electrode. The return current is through the patient to a “grounding pad”, usually placed on the patient’s thigh. 

Bipolar electrosurgery is a surgical instrument that contains both the source and sink. Current is almost entirely limited to the space between the forceps. 

For cutting, monopolar is generally the accepted form of electrosurgery. 

However, bipolar forceps electrocautery is generally accepted as the best instrument for electrocautery.

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