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If voltage is insufficient to create sparking, an attempt to fulgurate may result in desiccation.
The decision to fulgurate versus resect was based on surgeon preference.
For example, by increasing the peak-to-peak voltage, the ability of the unit to fulgurate (produce a superficial coagulum of tissue that insulates deeper tissues from injury) is increased, as clinically demonstrated by a greater spark-gap distance, ie, the distance between the electrode and tissue.