US 20110147433 A1
A surgical severing and stapling instrument, suitable for laparoscopic and endoscopic clinical procedures, clamps tissue within an end effector of an elongate channel pivotally opposed by an anvil. An E-beam firing bar moves distally through the clamped end effector to sever tissue and to drive staples on each side of the cut. The E-beam firing bar affirmatively spaces the anvil from the elongate channel to assure properly formed closed staples, especially when an amount of tissue is clamped that is inadequate to space the end effector. In particular, an upper pin of the firing bar longitudinally moves through an anvil slot and a channel slot is captured between a lower cap and a middle pin of the firing bar to assure a minimum spacing. Forming the E-beam from a thickened distal portion and a thinned proximal strip enhances manufacturability and facilitates use in such articulating surgical instruments.
1. A surgical instrument comprising:
an implement portion responsive to firing motions applied thereto from an actuation device, the implement portion comprising:
an elongate channel configured for attachment to a portion of the actuation device and including a channel slot,
a staple cartridge received by the elongate channel and incorporating a proximally positioned wedge member aligned to cam upward a driver supporting a staple,
an anvil pivotally coupled to the elongate channel and including an anvil channel comprising a vertical slot inwardly open along a longitudinal axis of the anvil and comprising left and right rectangular prism-shaped recesses communicating with, bisected by, and transverse to the vertical slot, wherein said left and right rectangular prism-shaped recesses extend substantially along the longitudinal length of the vertical slot,
a firing device including a distally presented cutting edge longitudinally received between the elongate channel and the vertical slot of the anvil channel of the anvil,
an upper member comprised of left and right lateral upper pins sized to slidingly engage upper and lower inner surfaces of the left and right rectangular-shaped recesses of the anvil channel,
a lower member engaging the channel slot, and
a middle member operable to actuate the staple cartridge by distally translating the wedge member of the staple cartridge, the firing device positively engaging both the elongate channel and the anvil during longitudinal firing travel to provide spacing therebetween for staple formation, and wherein engagement of the firing device during firing maintains vertical spacing between the elongate channel and the anvil resisting both pinching due to an inadequate clamped tissue and partial opening due to an excessive amount of clamped tissue.
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6. A surgical instrument comprising:
an implement portion responsive to firing motions from an actuation device coupled thereto and being diametrically dimensioned for endo-surgical use, the implement portion comprising:
an elongate channel coupled to the shaft and including a channel slot;
an anvil pivotally coupled to the elongate channel, responsive to closing motions applied thereto by the actuation device, and including an anvil channel: and
a firing device including a distally presented cutting edge longitudinally received between the elongate channel and the anvil, the firing device configured to affirmatively space the anvil from the elongate channel during longitudinal travel between the anvil and elongate channel, wherein the firing device is configured to affirmatively space the anvil from the elongate channel during longitudinal travel between the anvil and elongate channel by including an upper member having an upper surface and a lower surface that longitudinally slidingly engage the anvil.
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The present application is a continuation of and claims the benefit from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/538,154, filed Oct. 3, 2006, entitled “ARTICULATING SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING A TWO-PIECE FIRING MECHANISM”, to Shelton, IV et al. which claims the benefit of the U.S. provisional patent application entitled “SURGICAL INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING AN ELECTRICALLY ACTUATED ARTICULATION MECHANISM”, to Shelton, Ser. No. 60/591,694, filed on 28 Jul. 2004 and which is a continuation-in-part patent application of the U.S. nonprovisional patent application entitled “SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING AN E-BEAM FIRING MECHANISM” to Shelton et al., Ser. No. 10/443,617, filed on 20 May 2003, the disclosures of which are each hereby incorporated by reference in their respective entireties.
The present invention relates in general to surgical instruments that are suitable for endoscopically inserting an end effector that is actuated by a longitudinally driven firing member, and more particularly a surgical stapling and severing instrument that has an articulating shaft.
Endoscopic surgical instruments are often preferred over traditional open surgical devices since a smaller incision tends to reduce the post-operative recovery time and complications. Consequently, significant development has gone into a range of endoscopic surgical instruments that are suitable for precise placement of a distal end effector at a desired surgical site through a cannula of a trocar. These distal end effectors engage the tissue in a number of ways to achieve a diagnostic or therapeutic effect (e.g., endocutter, grasper, cutter, staplers, clip applier, access device, drug/gene therapy delivery device, and energy device using ultrasound, RF, laser, etc.).
Positioning the end effector is constrained by the trocar. Generally these endoscopic surgical instruments include a long shaft between the end effector and a handle portion manipulated by the clinician. This long shaft enables insertion to a desired depth and rotation about the longitudinal axis of the shaft, thereby positioning the end effector to a degree. With judicious placement of the trocar and use of graspers, for instance, through another trocar, often this amount of positioning is sufficient. Surgical stapling and severing instruments, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,465,895, are an example of an endoscopic surgical instrument that successfully positions an end effector by insertion and rotation.
More recently, U.S. patent Ser. No. 10/443,617, “SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING AN E-BEAM FIRING MECHANISM” to Shelton et al., filed on 20 May 2003, which has been incorporated by reference in its entirety, describes an improved “E-beam” firing bar for severing tissue and actuating staples. Some of the additional advantages include affirmatively spacing the jaws of the end effector, or more specifically a staple applying assembly, even if slightly too much or too little tissue is clamped for optimal staple formation. Moreover, the E-beam firing bar engages the end effector and staple cartridge in a way that enables several beneficial lockouts to be incorporated.
Depending upon the nature of the operation, it may be desirable to further adjust the positioning of the end effector of an endoscopic surgical instrument. In particular, it is often desirable to orient the end effector at an axis transverse to the longitudinal axis of the shaft of the instrument. The transverse movement of the end effector relative to the instrument shaft is conventionally referred to as “articulation”. This is typically accomplished by a pivot (or articulation) joint being placed in the extended shaft just proximal to the staple applying assembly. This allows the surgeon to articulate the staple applying assembly remotely to either side for better surgical placement of the staple lines and easier tissue manipulation and orientation. This articulated positioning permits the clinician to more easily engage tissue in some instances, such as behind an organ. In addition, articulated positioning advantageously allows an endoscope to be positioned behind the end effector without being blocked by the instrument shaft.
Approaches to articulating a surgical stapling and severing instrument tend to be complicated by integrating control of the articulation along with the control of closing the end effector to clamp tissue and fire the end effector (i.e., stapling and severing) within the small diameter constraints of an endoscopic instrument. Generally, the three control motions are all transferred through the shaft as longitudinal translations. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,840 discloses an accordion-like articulation mechanism (“flex-neck”) that is articulated by selectively drawing back one of two connecting rods through the implement shaft, each rod offset respectively on opposite sides of the shaft centerline. The connecting rods ratchet through a series of discrete positions.
Another example of longitudinal control of an articulation mechanism is U.S. Pat. No. 5,865,361 that includes an articulation link offset from a camming pivot such that pushing or pulling longitudinal translation of the articulation link effects articulation to a respective side. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,537 discloses a similar rod passing through the shaft to effect articulation.
In co-pending and commonly owned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/615,973, “SURGICAL INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING AN ARTICULATION MECHANISM HAVING ROTATION ABOUT THE LONGITUDINAL AXIS”, to Frederick E. Shelton IV et al, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety, a rotational motion is used to transfer articulation motion as an alternative to a longitudinal motion.
In the application entitled “SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING AN E-BEAM FIRING MECHANISM” to Shelton et al., Ser. No. 10/443,617, filed on 20 May 2003, the disclosure of which was previously incorporated by reference in its entirety, a surgical severing and stapling instrument, suitable for laparoscopic and endoscopic clinical procedures, clamps tissue within an end effector of an elongate channel pivotally opposed by an anvil. An E-beam firing bar moves distally through the clamped end effector to sever tissue and to drive staples on each side of the cut. The E-beam firing bar affirmatively spaces the anvil from the elongate channel to assure properly formed closed staples, especially when an amount of tissue is clamped that is inadequate to space the end effector. In particular, an upper pin of the firing bar longitudinally moves through an anvil slot and a channel slot is captured between a lower cap and a middle pin of the firing bar to assure a minimum spacing. While this E-beam firing bar has a number of advantages, additional features are desirable to enhance manufacturability and to minimize dimensional variations.
Consequently, a significant need exists for a surgical instrument with a firing bar that advantageously assures proper spacing between clamped jaws of an end effector and which facilitates articulation of its shaft.
The invention overcomes the above-noted and other deficiencies of the prior art by providing a firing mechanism that affirmatively vertically spaces an end effector of a surgical stapling and severing instrument. Thus, the instrument structurally assures adequate spacing to achieve proper stapling, even in instances where too little tissue is clamped in the end effector. Integrally forming these features into an E-beam that includes a cutting edge realizes consistent spacing and performance as the E-beam fires through an end effector such as a severing and stapling assembly. Further, proximally attaching a separate, thinned firing bar to the E-beam enhances use in articulating surgical instruments wherein reduced cross sectional area and the ability to flex in a plane of articulation are desirable.
In one aspect of the invention, a surgical instrument includes a handle portion operable to produce a firing motion that actuates an implement portion. This implement portion has an elongate channel that receives a staple cartridge opposed by a pivotally attached anvil. A firing device includes a distally presented cutting edge longitudinally received between the elongate channel and the anvil, an upper member engageable to the anvil channel, a lower member engaging the channel slot, and a middle member operable to actuate the wedge sled, which is integral to the staple cartridge. The middle member advantageously opposes pinching of the end effector, assuring proper staple formation even when an otherwise too small amount of tissue has been clamped. These spacing and cutting features are advantageously formed into an E-beam while flexibility for articulation is provided by a thinned firing bar attached to the E-beam.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention shall be made apparent from the accompanying drawings and the description thereof.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention, and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the present invention.
With particular reference to
Once positioned with tissue in the staple applying assembly 12, a surgeon closes the anvil 22 by drawing a closure trigger 40 proximally toward a pistol grip 42. Once clamped thus, the surgeon may grasp a more distally presented firing trigger 44, drawing it back to effect firing of the staple applying assembly 12, which in some applications is achieved in one single firing stroke and in other applications by multiple firing strokes. Firing accomplishes simultaneously stapling of at least two rows of staples while severing the tissue therebetween.
Retraction of the firing components may be automatically initiated upon full travel. Alternatively, a retraction lever 46 may be drawn aft to effect retraction. With the firing components retracted, the staple applying assembly 12 may be unclamped and opened by the surgeon slightly drawing the closure trigger 40 aft toward the pistol grip 42 and depressing a closure release button 48 and then releasing the closure trigger 40, thereby releasing the two stapled ends of severed tissue from the staple applying assembly 12.
Staple applying assembly.
While an articulation joint 32 is depicted in
With particular reference to
The shaft frame 70 encompasses and guides a firing motion from the handle 14 through a longitudinally reciprocating, two-piece knife and firing bar 90. In particular, the shaft frame 70 includes a longitudinal firing bar slot 92 that receives a proximal portion of the two-piece knife and firing bar 90, specifically a laminate tapered firing bar 94. It should be appreciated that the laminated tapered firing bar 94 may be substituted with a solid firing bar or of other materials in applications not intended to pass through an articulation joint, such as depicted in
An E-beam 102 is the distal portion of the two-piece knife and firing bar 90, which facilitates separate closure and firing as well as spacing of the anvil 22 from the elongate staple channel 18 during firing. With particular reference to
Forming these features (e.g., top pins 110, middle pins 112, and bottom foot 114) integrally with the E-beam 102 facilitates manufacturing at tighter tolerances relative to one another as compared to being assembled from a plurality of parts, ensuring desired operation during firing and/or effective interaction with various lockout features of the staple applying assembly 12.
Firing the staple applying assembly 12 begins as depicted in
A central passage 320 (
While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications may readily appear to those skilled in the art.
For example, while there are a number of advantages to having a wedge sled integral to a staple cartridge, in some applications consistent with aspects of the present invention, the wedge sled may be integral instead to an E-beam. For instance, an entire end effector may be replaceable rather than just the staple cartridge.