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Thermal Comparison of Novel Bipolar Forceps in Bovine Liver

Elliott-Lewis, Ebonia W. MS, BSEE; Benzel, Edward C. MD

doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000370066.50193.02
New Technology

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this work was to determine whether bipolar forceps using a novel heat pipe thermal regulation technology result in decreased thermal damage of untargeted collateral tissue compared with traditional bipolar forceps.

METHODS: Fresh ex vivo bovine livers underwent controlled coagulation with forceps with (n = 36) or without (n = 36) heat pipe technology. Liver specimens were assessed regarding the extent of thermal injury (heat pipe, n = 20; non-heat pipe, n = 20). During coagulation, tissue temperatures were measured via thermocouple array thermometry and imaged via infrared camera thermography (heat pipe, n = 16; non-heat pipe, n = 16).

RESULTS: Forceps using heat pipe technology were associated with less thermal spread and demonstrated mean tissue temperatures 25% lower than observed with non-heat pipe forceps. The mean width, area, and depth of thermal injury were significantly reduced with heat pipe vs traditional forceps.

CONCLUSION: In an ex vivo study of bovine liver bipolar coagulation, forceps that incorporated heat pipe technology limited thermal spread and reduced the extent of unintended injury to untargeted collateral tissue.

Codman & Shurtleff, Inc, Raynham, Massachusetts (Elliott-Lewis)

Department of Neurosurgery, Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio (Benzel)

Reprint requests: Edward C. Benzel, MD, Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, Director, Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave S-80, Cleveland, OH 44195.

Received, March 4, 2009.

Accepted, January 15, 2010.

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons