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J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Sep;219(3):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2014.03.060. Epub 2014 May 28.

Effect of radiofrequency energy emitted from monopolar "Bovie" instruments on cardiac implantable electronic devices.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO. Electronic address: thomas.robinson@ucdenver.edu.
2
Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO.
3
Medtronic, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.
4
Covidien, Boulder, CO.
5
Department of Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO.
6
Dermatology and Plastic Surgery of Arizona, Sierra Vista, AZ.
7
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and Department of Cardiology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The monopolar "Bovie" instrument emits radiofrequency energy that can disrupt the function of other implanted electronic devices through a phenomenon termed electromagnetic interference. The purpose of this study was to quantify the electromagnetic interference occurring on cardiac implantable devices (CIEDs) resulting from monopolar instrument use in common, modifiable clinical scenarios.

STUDY DESIGN:

Three anesthetized pigs underwent CIED placement (1 pacemaker and 2 defibrillators). Electromagnetic interference was quantified when changing the monopolar instrument parameters of generator power, generator mode, surgical technique, orientation of active electrode cord, pathway of current vector, and proximity of active electrode to the CIED.

RESULTS:

Monopolar instrument parameters that decreased the electromagnetic interference occurring on the CIED included decreasing generator power from 60 W to 30 W (p < 0.001), using cut mode rather than coag mode (p < 0.001), using desiccation technique rather than fulguration technique (p < 0.001), orienting the active electrode cord from the feet rather than across the chest wall (p < 0.001), and avoiding the current vector from crossing the CIED system (p < 0.001). Increasing the distance between the active electrode tool and the CIED system decreased electromagnetic interference occurring on the CIED in a dose-response fashion up to a distance of 10 cm (ANOVA, p < 0.001), after which the magnitude of electromagnetic interference remained constant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Electromagnetic interference occurring on CIEDs resulting from monopolar instruments is minimized by decreasing generator power, using cut mode, using desiccation technique, orienting the active electrode cord from the feet, avoiding the current vector for crossing the CIED system, and increasing the distance between the active electrode and the CIED. Surgeons and operating room staff can minimize electromagnetic interference on CIEDs during monopolar instrument use by accounting for these modifiable clinical factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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