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Rationale, bench testing and in vivo evaluation of a novel 5 mm laparoscopic vessel sealing device with homogeneous pressure distribution in long instrument jaws

Stefan Eick, Brandon Loudermilk, Erik Walberg and Moritz N Wente


Background: In 1998, an electrothermal bipolar vessel sealing (EBVS) system was introduced and quickly became an integral component of the surgical armamentarium in various surgical specialties. Currently available EBVS instrumentsuse a scissor-like jaw configuration and closing mechanism, which causes decreasing compression pressure from the proximal to the distal end of the jaws. A new EBVS system is described here which utilizes a different instrument jaw configuration and closing mechanism to enable a more homogeneous pressure distribution despite longer instrument jaws.

Methods: Results of jaw pressure distribution measurements as well as sealing experiments with subsequent burst pressure measurements ex vivo on bovine uterine arteries are demonstrated. Furthermore, an in vivo evaluation of the new EBVS system in a canine and porcine model including histological examination is presented.

Results: The device revealed an even pressure distribution throughout the whole jaw length. The ex vivo burst pressure measurements revealed high average burst pressures, above 300 mmHg, independent of the outer diameter (1 to 7 mm) of the tested vessels. Histological evaluation of sealed vessels 21 days postoperatively demonstrated sealed and fused vessels without adjacent tissue damage.

Conclusions: The even pressure distribution leading to a sufficient tissue sealing in combination with the novel closing mechanism and extended jaw length differentiates the novel device from other available EBVS systems. This might offer a reduction of the overall procedure time, which should be further evaluated in a clinical study.

Keywords: Surgical instruments, Tissue sealing, Laparoscopic surgery, Hemostasis, Electrocoagulation, Electrosurgery, Thermal injury, Burst pressure, Equipment design 

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B. Braun Medical Ltd.
Brookdale Rd
S35 2PW Sheffield
United Kingdom