Abstract To date there has been no reliable information available which compares gastric healing , following incisions made by scalpel and diathermy. Standard incisions were made in rat stomachs, half with a scalpel and half with diathermy, following which they were closed in a standard fashion. Healing was assessed at intervals by bursting and tensile strength measurements, angiography, and histology. All incisions were healed by the tenth day. The only significant difference discovered was that histologically there was a definite lag in healing up to the fifth day in those incisions made by diathermy. It is suspected that this is due to mucosa having been dragged into the wound edges by adherence to the diathermy knife.