US 3417752 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 24, 1968 B. c. BUTLER 3,417,752
MAGNETIC CLAMP CLOSING DEVICE FOR USE WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed NOV. 12, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 4 INVENTOR r mil I Kym C Kai/e7 ATTORNEY Dec. 24, 1968 a. c. BUTLER MAGNETIC CLAMP CLOSING DEVICE FOR USE WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS S Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 12, 1965 ATTORNEY Dec. 24, 1968 B. c. BUTLER 3,417,752
MAGNETIC CLAMP CLOSING DEVICE FOR USE v WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Nov. 12, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 g /6 3 i J INVENI' OR 53/7072 6. flail/aw ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,417,752 MAGNETIC CLAMP CLOSING DEVICE FOR USE WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS Byron C. Butler, 550 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, Ariz. S5021 Filed Nov. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 507,296 4 Claims. (Cl. 128322.)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A magnetic clamp closing device for use with surgical instruments of the character having a pair of pivotally connected arms or handles incorporating apair of gripping jaws at one end thereof, wherein magnetic means comprising a pair of permanent magnets carried by the handles, and adapted for complementary overlapping engagement, are employed to retain the gripping jaws in closed gripping position. In lieu of permanent magnets, an electro-magnet of the solenoid-plunger type is operatively connected to the handles, whereby upon energization of the solenoid, the gripping members are moved into clamping position, and retained in such position.
Heretofore, it has been suggested to provide mechanical arrangements for surgical clamp devices, whereby the gripping members of the clamp are retained in clamping position by latch means comprising a pair of cooperating members carried 'by the pivoted handles of the clamp, said members being adapted for interlocking engagement when the handles are brought to the closed position. In some of the suggested arrangements, the gripping members are frictionally held in clamped position, and in others, the latch means includes a movable detent adapted to seat in a recess or slot fromed in one of the cooperating members carried by the pivoted handles. It has also been suggested to employ magnetic catch means to maintain the clamping jaws of instruments and tools in the closed or clamping position. All of the devices of this character, of which I am aware, use a flat bar magnet secured to the inner face of one, or both, arms of the clamp.
While the prior suggested mechanical arrangements no doubt function for their intended purposes, they are open to certain objections which are inherent in their basic designs. Latch means of the type wherein cooperating members associated with the pivoted handles are adatped for interlocking engagement, either frictional or positive, require a prying force of substantial magnitude to open the clamp. This force is usually applied between the thumb and second or third finger of the hand, and requires a type of finger action which is diflicult to apply; users of the instrument who have had irritation of the tendons and the tendon-sheaths to the fingers, due to prolonged use, may experience pain and further irritation of the tendons and tendon-sheaths of the fingers involved. Similarly, latches employing a movable catch or detent, not only require a prying force to open and close the gripping members, but also require manipulation of the movable member in order to efl ect desired locking or release of the gripping members.
The heretofore suggested use of bar magnets to effect clamping action of the gripping members is unsatisfactory as a surgical instrument, for the reason that as presently designed there is no method for holding the instrument in the hand, and there is no provision for separation of the handles by a surgeon using only one hand. While the prior art arrangements employing magnetic means, of which I am aware, are satisfactory for holding an object between the jaws, like a tong, they are not designed for 3,417,752 Patented Dec. 24, 1968 "ice the rapid clamping, unclamping and re-clamping of a relatively small surgical needle.
In one embodiment of the present invention, alnico magnets of generally pyramidal shape are employed in lieu of the locking elements of a convential clamp or needle holder. The magnets are constructed and arranged for compleentary overlapping engagement, the respective poles thereof being in opposed relation. Magnetic elements of this type permit a fine degree of adjustment of the closure, and the clamp can be opened by the application of a relatively small pressure to the handles, in the opposite direction. In another embodiment of the invention, an electro-magnet is mounted on one of the handles of the clamp or needle holder, the plunger of the magnet being pivotally connected to the opposite handle; and as modification thereof, the electro-magnet or solenoid, together with the plunger, are operatively mounted between the handles.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved magnetic clamp closing device for use with surgical instruments of the character requiring clamping action of a pair of gripping members such as a needle holder, a hemostat, or the like.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved magnetic clamp closing device adapted for use tools incorporating gripping members, such as a pair of pliers, or the like.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved magnetic clamp closing device incorporating a pair of pyramidal shaped, permanent magnets, constructed and arranged for complementary overlapping engagement, whereby to retain the gripping members of a clamp in closed position.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved magnetic clamping closing device incorporating a solenoid and associated plunger operatively connected to the pivotal arms or handles of a surgical instrument or other clamping tool, whereby upon energization of the solenoid, the gripping members carried by the pivotal arms are moved into clamping position.
With these and other objects in view, which may be incident to my improvements, the invention consists in the parts and combinations to be hereinafter set forth and claimed, with the understanding that the several necessary elements, comprising my invention, may be varied in construction, proportions and arrangement, without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
In order to make my invention more clearly understood, I have shown in the accompanying drawings means for carrying the same into practical effect, without limiting the improvements in their useful applications to the particular constructions which, for the purpose of explanation, have been made the subject of illustration.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a surgical needle holder equipped with a magnetic clamp closing device of the present invention, showing the clamp in the open position;
FIGURE 2 is an elevational view of the needle holder of FIGURE 1, showing a surgical needle clamped between the gripping members;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG- URE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of a surgical needle holder showing another embodiment of the invention, wherein the clamp closing actuator is an electromagnet;
FIGURE 5 is a side elevation view of the needle holder of FIGURE 4, showing a surgical needle clamped in the operative position between the gripping members;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional View along line 6-6 of FIG- URE FIGURE 7 is a sectional view along line 7-7 of FIG- URE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a side elevational view of a surgical needle holder showing another embodiment of the clamp closing actuator;
FIGURE 9 is a side elevational view of the needle holder of FIGURE 8, showing the gripping members in clamped position; and
FIGURE 10 is an enlarged sectional view along line 10-10 of FIGURE 9.
Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGURES l-3, there is shown a surgical needle holder 1, comprising a pair of arms or handles 2, 3 pivotally connected as at 4, each of said handles having a finger loop 5 and 6, respectively at one end thereof, the opposite ends of the handles terminating in clamping jaws 7, 8 provided with a suitable gripping surface 9 on the inner faces thereof. In order to retain the needle holder in clamped position, magnetic means comprising a pair of I magnets 10 are employed, the magnets being secured to handles 2, 3 in the vicinity of the junctures 11 of finger loops 5, 6 by means of rivets 12, FIGURE 3, or other suitable fasteners. It will be observed that the magnets extend inwardly of the handles at substantially right angles thereto and are formed with tapered portions constructed and arranget for complementary overlapping engagement, FIGURE 3, their poles being in opposed relation, when the arms or handles 2, 3 are moved so as to secure clamp a surgical needle 13 between the gripping surfaces 9 of the jaws 7, 8, as illustrated in FIGURE 2.
In use of the above-described needle holder, the surgical nurse may place the needle in its operative position and put the instrument aside until the surgeon is ready for it. Since the clamping force is dependent upon the magnetic attraction between the magnets, there will be no change in this force during transfer of the instrument from the nurse to the surgeon, and accordingly, the needle will not change its position. The needle holder of the present invention is easily manipulated; the surgeon can insert the needle in the tissue, release the needle, and clamp it again, and pull it out, without having to lock or unlock a catch member, as with instruments employing mechanical latch means.
During movement of the jaws from the open position of FIGURE 1 to the closed or clamping position of FIG- URE 2, the like magnetic poles initially repel each other; however, upon continued movement, this repulsion is neutralized, and the unlike magnetic poles attract each r other, whereupon movement of the jaws is accelerated into fully closed clamping position, and retained in such position. The magnetic force which maintains the needle in the operative position, and which must be overcome by finger pressure, to release the needle, can be adjusted according to the desire of the surgeon by varying the size and the shape of the magnets. In connection with the clamping force required to maintain the needle in fixed operative position, it will be noted that by reason of the location of the magnets with respect to the pivotal point of the handles, the moment arms of the handles are relatively long. Accordingly, the comparatively small force due to magnetic attraction between the magnets at the loops ends of the handles, is multiplied and applied to the clamping jaws.
Referring to FIGURES 4-7, there is shown a modification of the needle holder of FIGURES 1-3, wherein the magnetic means employed for moving the jaws into needle gripping position comprises an electro-magnet of the solenoid-plunger type. In this embodiment of the invention, the solenoid coil 13 is supported at the end of one of the arms or handles 14, and the end 15 of the plunger 16 is pivotally attached as at 17 to the loop member 18 of the handle 19, the arms or handles being spring 4 biased to open position by a leaf spring 20, or other suitable spring means.
As will be seen in FIGURES 4 and 5, the solenoid coil 13 is secured to the end portion of arm 14 by a metal band or strap 21 fitted around the coil and terminating in apertured ears 22 adapted to receive a bolt or screw 23 threadable therethrough, and through a registering aperture formed in the end portion of the arm, FIGURE 7. The end 15 of the plunger 16 may be formed with a bifurcated portion 24, FIGURE 6, having aligned apertures to receive a pin or rivet 25 insertable therethrough, and through a registering opening in the offset ear 26 formed on the finger loop. The solenoid is adapted to be energized through leads 27, 28 connected to a suitable power source, not shown. A foot actuated switch designated generally by numeral 29, FIGURE 5, is connected in circuit with the lead 27, whereby to control actuation of the solenoid.
In use of the above-described modification, assuming that the jaws 7, 8 of the instrument are in the open position as shown in FIGURE 4, the operator holds the instrument so that the solenoid side is within the palm of the palm of the hand, with the thumb against the solenoid supporting handle, the second or forefinger against the arm 19, and the third and fourth fingers through the loop member 18 (FIGURE 5 a threaded surgical needle 13 is then positioned between the jaws, and the foot switch 29 depressed to energized the solenoid and thereby move the jaws into closed clamping position, thus holding the needle in the operative position. The spring 20 forces the handles 14, 19 apart and opens the jaws when the solenoid is de-energized. It will thus be seen that the surgeon can insert the needle in the tissue, release the clamping jaws, re-clamp the needle, and withdraw it without manipulation of a catch member or applying physical force with the fingers to open and close the clamping aws.
A further modification of the present invention is shown in FIGURES 810, wherein the solenoid is positioned between the pivotal arms 30, 31. In this embodiment of the invention, the finger loops are omitted, the instrument being held by means of the handle part between four fingers of one hand. The solenoid coil 13, FIGURE 19, is enclosed within a fiber glass housing 32, and is secured to the arm 30 by bolts or screws 33 threadable into the flange 34, FIGURE 10, of the bobbin or spool on which the coil 13 is wound. A filler strip or insert 35 is positioned between the top of the solenoid and the inner face of the arm 30-, the insert being formed with a fiat base adapted to seat on the upper surface of the solenoid, and with an arcuate top surface conforming to the curvature of the handle. The purpose of the housing 32 is to dissipate heat which may develop due to continued use. Since the instrument would have to be autoclaved prior to use, the housing will protect the solenoid coil from moisture.
The plunger 16 is pivotally connected to the handle 31 by means of a cotter pin 36 insertable through the apertures of the bifurcated portion 24, FIGURE 10, and through an aligned opening in the offset ear 37 of the handle. As with the embodiment of FIGURES 4-7, the solenoid is adapted to be energized through leads 38 and 39, detachably connected to a suitable power source and incorporating switch means, not shown, whereby to control actuation of the solenoid. In use, the jaws 7, 8 are moved to needle clamping position when the solenoid is energized, and maintained in such position as long as the solenoid remains energized; when the solenoid is de-energized, the jaws are moved to the open position by the spring 20 interposed between the handles.
While I have shown and described preferred embodiments of my invention, I wish it to be understood that I do not confine myself to the precise details of construction herein set forth by way of illustration, as it is apparent that many changes and variations may be made therein, by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention or exceeding the scope of the appended claims.
1. In a surgical clamp closing device, including a pair of pivoted handles, each of said handles having a finger loop at each end thereof, the opposite end of each handle terminating in a clamping jaw incorporating a gripping surface, each handle having a recess of rectangular shaped cross section formed therein in the vicinity of the point of juncture of the finger loop with the handle; magnetic means for moving the jaws into clamping position and maintaining them in such position, said magnetic means comprising a bar magnet associated with each handle having one end portion of rectangular cross section seated in the recess formed in the handle and secured therein; each of the magnets extending inwardly of its respective handle at substantially right angles thereto, one of the magnets being downwardly tapered from its free end to the opposite end portion exterior of the recess, the other magnet being upwardly tapered from its free end to the opposite end portion exterior of the recess, the free ends of the magnets having magnetic poles of like polarity, the complementary tapered portions of the magnets being constructed and arranged for free sliding movement into aligned overlapping contact when the handles are moved to bring the jaws into clamping position; whereby during initial manual movement of the handles to clamping position the like magnetic poles repel each other and upon continued movement of said handles the unlike poles of the magnets attract each other, thereby accelerating movement of the jaws into fully closed clamping position, and upon manual movement of the handles to open the jaws the like magnetic poles repel each other to accelerate movement of said jaws to fully open position.
2. In a surgical clamp closing device, including a pair of pivoted handles incorporating a pair of clamping jaws at one end thereof, one of the handles having an offset ear formed thereon in the vicinity of its opposite end, the other handle having a magnetic jaw closing device secured thereto in the vicinity of its corresponding opposite end, said handles being spring biased to open position, the jaw closing device comprising an electromagnet of the solenoid-plunger type having its plunger operatively connected to the otfset ears formed on one of the handles; and a source of power to optionally energize and deenergize the solenoid.
3. In a surgical clamp closing device, in accordance with claim 2, wherein the portions of the pivotal handles between the pivot point and the distal ends of the handles are of arcuate shape, the solenoid coil is secured to the inner face of one of the handles, the olfset ear is secured to the inner face of the other handle, and the plunger is pivotally attached to the offset ear.
4. In a surgical clamp closing device, in accordance with claim 3-, wherein the solenoid coil is hermetically sealed within a plastic housing, whereby to protect the coil from moisture and to dissipate heat developed by the coil due to continued use for extended periods of time.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,876,792 9/1932 Thompson 128340 2,648,884 8/1953 Loofboro 2420l.2 3,176,689 4/1965 Yahr 12 8-321 FOREIGN PATENTS 912,080 5/1954 Germany.
DALTON L. TRULUCK, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.