Evaluation of the efficacy of the electrosurgical bipolar vessel sealer (LigaSure) devices in sealing lymphatic vessels

Novitsky, Yuri W.; Rosen, Michael J.; Harrell, Andrew G.; Sing, Ronald F.; Kercher, Kent W.; Heniford, B. Todd
June 2005
Surgical Innovation;Jun2005, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p155
Academic Journal
journal article
Various sources of ultrasonic and thermal energy have been developed to facilitate blood vessel ligation. However, their efficacy in sealing lymphatics has not been clearly established to date. We hypothesized that the electrosurgical bipolar vessel sealer (EBVS) produces reliable and durable sealing of large lymphatic vessels in a porcine model. Thoracic ducts from 4 adult pigs were explanted and sealed at multiple levels by using 3 different EBVS devices: LigaSure Atlas, XTD, and V. Fifteen seals (5 per group) were analyzed for sealing time and visual quality. Seal burst strength was measured by using a graduated pressure saline injection system. Twelve intact seals also underwent a histologic analysis. The mean overall burst strength of the seals was 271+/-78 mm Hg (127 to 360 mm Hg). The burst pressures in the 3 groups were not statistically different. The overall mean time to achieve a seal was 5.1+/-2.2 seconds (3 to 10 seconds). Seals were achieved significantly faster in the V group (4.1+/-0.6 seconds) compared with the Atlas (6.3+/-2.3 seconds) and XTD (6.4+/-2.6 seconds) groups. Qualitative seal assessment revealed minimal sticking and charring, a favorable degree of seal tissue clarity, and desiccation in the 3 groups. Histologic analysis demonstrated a fusion of lymphovascular channels with a complete obliteration of the lumens. We demonstrated that the use of EBVS results in a fast and effective sealing of large porcine lymphatic vessels. The seals created by all 3 devices burst at markedly supraphysiologic intraluminal pressures. Ongoing randomized human trials may prove the clinical benefits of the routine use of EBVS devices for various tissue dissections.


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