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Dig Surg. 2012;29(1):43-7. doi: 10.1159/000335732. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Use of bipolar radiofrequency in parenchymal transection of the liver, pancreas and kidney.

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HPB Unit, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, London, UK.



Intraoperative blood loss has been shown to be an important factor correlating with increased morbidity and mortality in oncological surgery. Despite technological advances in parenchymal transection devices, bleeding remains the single most important complication. To address this, we designed and developed a bipolar radiofrequency (RF) device, the Habib 4X (Angiodynamics, Inc., Queensbury, N.Y., USA), which was initially used specifically for liver resections.


A search using Medline, Embase and Google™ Scholar was performed for the period January 2001 to August 2011. The following Mesh terms were used: 'bipolar radiofrequency', 'Habib 4X', 'laparoscopic', 'liver resection', 'partial nephrectomy' and 'distal pancreatectomy'. The references of the studies included were also reviewed. Series from our centre were excluded.


There were seven series published, reporting a total of 188 liver resections [113 minor (< 3 segments) and 75 major (≥ 3 segments)] assisted by the bipolar RF (Habib 4X) device over this period. The median blood loss reported ranged from 15 to 427 ml with a transfusion rate of 0-14% In addition, five series of partial nephrectomies were also identified, reporting a total of 149 (45 open and 104 laparoscopic) cases. Hilar clamping was not used in any of the cases, and the mean blood loss reported was 100-337 ml whilst the transfusion rate ranged from 0 to 7.1%. There was only one published series of distal pancreatectomies; these were laparoscopic and included 14 patients.


This review of bipolar RF-assisted liver resections, partial nephrectomies and distal pancreatectomies reported in the literature to date shows that there are significant advantages in using this device in these types of operation.

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