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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Nov;467(11):2859-64. doi: 10.1007/s11999-009-0863-1. Epub 2009 May 19.

The linear cutting stapler may reduce surgical time and blood loss with muscle transection: a pilot study.

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Division of Musculoskeletal Oncology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, 1011 Baldwin Park Boulevard, Baldwin Park, CA, 91706, USA.


Because of skeletal muscle's density and vascularity, its transection with standard electrocautery can be tedious. In a pilot study we asked whether a linear cutting stapling device decreased surgical time, blood loss, transfusion rates, and complications in patients undergoing above-knee amputation when compared to traditional electrocautery. We retrospectively reviewed 11 patients with above-knee amputation cases using a linear cutting stapling device over a 10-year period and compared those to 13 patients in whom we used electrocautery. The patients treated with the linear cutting stapling device had an average of 97 minutes of surgical time, 302 cc blood loss, and 1.55 units transfusion, compared to an average 119 minutes, 510 cc, and 2.15 units, respectively, with the electrocautery cases. Despite the trends, these parameters, as well as major complications, were similar in these two small groups. In skeletal muscle transection, we believe the linear cutting stapler is a reasonable and potentially cost-effective technical alternative to electrocautery, possibly resulting in less blood loss and shorter surgical time with similar rates of complications.


Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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