Energy sources for laparoscopic colectomy: a prospective randomized comparison of conventional electrosurgery, bipolar computer-controlled electrosurgery and ultrasonic dissection. Operative outcome and costs analysis

Targarona, Eduardo Ma; Balague, Carmen; Marin, Juan; Neto, Rene Berindoague; Martinez, Carmen; Garriga, Jordi; Trias, Manuel
December 2005
Surgical Innovation;Dec2005, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p339
Academic Journal
journal article
The development of operative laparoscopic surgery is linked to advances in ancillary surgical instrumentation. Ultrasonic energy devices avoid the use of electricity and provide effective control of small- to medium-sized vessels. Bipolar computer-controlled electrosurgical technology eliminates the disadvantages of electrical energy, and a mechanical blade adds a cutting action. This instrument can provide effective hemostasis of large vessels up to 7 mm. Such devices significantly increase the cost of laparoscopic procedures, however, and the amount of evidence-based information on this topic is surprisingly scarce. This study compared the effectiveness of three different energy sources on the laparoscopic performance of a left colectomy. The trial included 38 nonselected patients with a disease of the colon requiring an elective segmental left-sided colon resection. Patients were preoperatively randomized into three groups. Group I had electrosurgery; vascular dissection was performed entirely with an electrosurgery generator, and vessels were controlled with clips. Group II underwent computer-controlled bipolar electrosurgery; vascular and mesocolon section was completed by using the 10-mm Ligasure device aione. In group III, 5-mm ultrasonic shears (Harmonic Scalpel) were used for bowel dissection, vascular pedicle dissection, and mesocolon transection. The mesenteric vessel pedicle was controlled with an endostapler. Demographics (age, sex, body mass index, comorbidity, previous surgery and diagnoses requiring surgery) were recorded, as were surgical details (operative time, conversion, blood loss), additional disposable instruments (number of trocars, EndoGIA charges, and clip appliers), and clinical outcome. Intraoperative economic costs were also evaluated. End points of the trial were operative time and intraoperative blood loss, and an intention-to-treat principle was followed. The three groups were well matched for demographic and pathologic features. Surgical time was significantly longer in patients operated on with conventional electrosurgery vs the Harmonic Scalpel or computed-based bipolar energy devices. This finding correlated with a significant reduction in intraoperative blood loss. Conversion to other endoscopic techniques was more frequent in Group I; however, conversion to open surgery was similar in ail three groups. No intraoperative accident related to the use of the specific device was observed in any group. Immediate outcome was similar in the three groups, without differences in morbidity, mortality, or hospital stay. Analysis of operative costs showed no significant differences between the three groups. High-energy power sources specifically adapted for endoscopic surgery reduce operative time and blood loss and may be considered cost-effective when left colectomy is used as a model.


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