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BMC Surg. 2012 Feb 23;12:3. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-12-3.

Ultrasonic scalpel causes greater depth of soft tissue necrosis compared to monopolar electrocautery at standard power level settings in a pig model.

Author information

1
Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Medical Center Goettingen, Georg-August-University, Germany. khomayounfar@chirurgie-goettingen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ultrasonic scalpel (UC) and monopolar electrocautery (ME) are common tools for soft tissue dissection. However, morphological data on the related tissue alteration are discordant. We developed an automatic device for standardized sample excision and compared quality and depth of morphological changes caused by UC and ME in a pig model.

METHODS:

100 tissue samples (5 × 3 cm) of the abdominal wall were excised in 16 pigs. Excisions were randomly performed manually or by using the self-constructed automatic device at standard power levels (60 W cutting in ME, level 5 in UC) for abdominal surgery. Quality of tissue alteration and depth of coagulation necrosis were examined histopathologically. Device (UC vs. ME) and mode (manually vs. automatic) effects were studied by two-way analysis of variance at a significance level of 5%.

RESULTS:

At the investigated power level settings UC and ME induced qualitatively similar coagulation necroses. Mean depth of necrosis was 450.4 ± 457.8 μm for manual UC and 553.5 ± 326.9 μm for automatic UC versus 149.0 ± 74.3 μm for manual ME and 257.6 ± 119.4 μm for automatic ME. Coagulation necrosis was significantly deeper (p < 0.01) when UC was used compared to ME. The mode of excision (manual versus automatic) did not influence the depth of necrosis (p = 0.85). There was no significant interaction between dissection tool and mode of excision (p = 0.93).

CONCLUSIONS:

Thermal injury caused by UC and ME results in qualitatively similar coagulation necrosis. The depth of necrosis is significantly greater in UC compared to ME at investigated standard power levels.

PMID:
22361346
PMCID:
PMC3305372
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2482-12-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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