Effectiveness of the Ultrasonic Coagulating Shears, LigaSure Vessel Sealer, and Surgical Clip Application in Biliary Surgery: A Comparative Analysis

Matthews, Brent D.; Pratt, Broc L.; Backus, Charles L.; Kercher, Kent W.; Mostafa, Gamal; Lentzner, Alan; Lipford, Edward H.; Sing, Ronald F.; Heniford, B. Todd
September 2001
American Surgeon;Sep2001, Vol. 67 Issue 9, p901
Academic Journal
Advancements in laparoscopic surgery are often dictated by the limitations of technical instrumentation. Energy sources other than electrosurgery have become popular with the promise of quick and effective vascular control. With their success surgeons have begun using these on structures other than blood vessels with little or no data establishing their efficacy or safety. This study evaluates alternative energy sources in sealing ductal structures for possible use in liver or gallbladder surgery. After elective cholecystectomy cystic ducts (n = 45) were resealed ex vivo with surgical clips (n = 14), ultrasonic coagulating shears (n = 16), or electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (n = 15), and bursting pressures were measured. Nineteen additional human cystic ducts were randomized to seal by ultrasonic coagulating shears (n = 9) or electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (n = 10) and fixed in 10 per cent buffered formalin for histologic evaluation of thermal spread (mm). After this nine adult pigs were randomized to laparoscopic ligation and transection of the common bile duct using surgical clips (n = 3), ultrasonic coagulating shears (n = 3), or electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (n = 3). The animals underwent necropsy for assessment of seal integrity on the sixth postoperative day. In the ex vivo study the mean cystic duct bursting pressure was 621 mm Hg with surgical clips and 482 mm Hg with the electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (P = 0.39). The mean cystic duct bursting pressure after ultrasonic coagulating shears was 278 mm Hg, which was statistically less than surgical clips (P = 0.007) and electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (P = 0.02). The mean thermal spread was 3.5 mm for ultrasonic coagulating shears and 13.4 mm for electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer (P = 0.0002). All animals undergoing ligation and transection of the common bile duct with ultrasonic coagulating shears and electrothermal bipolar vessel sealer developed bile peritonitis by p...


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