Ahead of Print: Thermal Comparison of Novel Bipolar Forceps in Bovine Liver

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

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.

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