Definition of diathermy in English:



  • A medical and surgical technique involving the production of heat in a part of the body by high-frequency electric currents, to stimulate the circulation, relieve pain, destroy unhealthy tissue, or cause bleeding vessels to clot.

    • ‘The energy from diathermy can cause tissue heating at the site surrounding the implant and has the potential to cause tissue injury.’
    • ‘The chief hazards from dental equipment to pacemakers are from electrosurgery and diathermy, but these are infrequently used and the risk from other equipment such as ultrasonic scalers or pulp testers is very small.’
    • ‘One patient received diathermy following oral surgery, the other for treatment of chronic scoliosis.’
    • ‘Laparoscopic ovarian diathermy or ‘drilling’ has replaced wedge resection of the ovaries in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.’
    • ‘Manipulation is better than sham therapy and several methods that have been shown to be ineffective or harmful, such as traction, corsets, bed rest, diathermy, and no therapy.’


Early 20th century: from dia- through + thermon heat.