US 3502070 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1970 R. J. BLISS SKIN MARKER FOR USE IN BIOPSY EXCISIONS Filed Aug. 18, 1966 INVENTOR. Keefer J 5.4/55
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,502,070 SKIN MARKER FOR USE IN BIOPSY EXCISIONS Robert J. Bliss, 1025 Lemay Ave., Fort Collins, Colo. 80521 Filed Aug. 18, 1966, Ser. No. 573,338 Int. Cl. A61b 17/00 U.S. Cl. 128-2 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A surgical instrument for marking a pattern on the skin of a patient to guide a surgeon in subsequently incising to acquire an excision by a biopsy, or surgical debridement, with the use of a surgical cutting instrument, leaving a defect that can be accurately closed to provide a straight hairline scar.
In connection with certain biopsies, especially in regard to a skin biopsy, it is desirable to excise a boat-shaped or navicular section including both some healthy tissue as well as the lesion which is to be microscopically diagnosed. As used herein, the words boat-shaped and navicular have reference to a boat of the general character of a canoe or kayak in which the stern has the same shaping as the bow. An excision of this character leaves a remaining defect which may be accurately closed in a straight line and consequently a fine line straight scar results. Such a scar is preferable, as it can be made to fall in a natural skin line, such as a crease, wrinkle, and the like and thus be thereafter substantially unnoticeable. Further, straight scars spread less and are more apt to retain their hairline width than will curvate or puckered scars.
Difiiculty has been experienced heretofore in making a biopsy excision, the result of which would be a straight hairline scar. Frequently the excision would not be of a proper boat shape, but, perhaps due to the elasticity of the skin, one side of the defect to be closed would be far more accurate than the other or one end of the defect would be far rounder than the other, so that repair of the defect would result in a scar curvature, puckered, or some other shape that would thereafter be noticeable.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an important object of this invention to provide a simple form of device which may be used on the skin of a patient to accurately define a proper boat-shaped area, thus indicating to the surgeon exactly where to incise in order to excise a properly boatshaped section, leaving a defect that can be accurately closed to provide a straight hairline scar.
Also an object of this invention is the provision of a simple form of device which may easily be pressed against the skin of a patient and leave a slightly reddened and depressed line defining a properly boat-shaped area for an excision.
It is also a desideratum of this invention to provide a simple form of device by means of which a surgeon, in a single action, may mark upon the skin of a patient before incising an outline of an area where an excision is to be made.
While some of the more salient features, characteristics and advantages of the instant invention have been above pointed out, others will become apparent from the following disclosures, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is a composite view of a pair of blanks from which the instant invention may be formed;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a skin marker embodying principles of this invention, and formed from the blanks of FIGURE 1;
3,502,070 Patented Mar. 24, 1970 "ice FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating the use of the invention in marking the skin around a lesion;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the line 4-4 of FIG- URE 3, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary plan view of the defect remaining after the excising of a section for biopsy; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary plan view of the repaired defect indicating the scar to result.
The illustrated embodiment of the instant invention may be made of sheet metal, fairly rigid sheet plastic material, or any other suitable material. The completed skin marker, generally indicated by numeral 1 and seen in FIGURE 2 may be formed from a pair of like blanks 2 and 3 each having a sloping tab, 4 and 5 respectively, projecting from the upper edge of the respective blank. The blanks are shown in FIGURE 1 in position for assemblage, one blank being turned or longitudinally inverted with respect to the other. The two blanks are placed together in confronting relationship with the off-center tabs 4 and 5 bent at right angles to contact and be secured to the opposite blank, and the blanks are bent so that each defines half of the resultant boat-shaped marker 1.
In assembling the blanks, the central portions of the blanks are bowed outwardly in opposite directions and the end edges of the blanks are brought into confronting re lationship and secured together. In order to stabilize the central portion the tab 4 is bent over and secured at its free end to the upper edge of the blank 3 and the tab 5 is bent over and secured to the upper edge of the blank 2, thus maintaining the boat shape of the marker. If the blanks are made of metal, silver solder may be used to join the blanks at the ends thereof and the tabs to the margins, while if the blanks are made of thermoplastic material, the parts may be joined together in those locations by fusing. If other materials are used, they may be joined in the manner common with such materials.
The invention may be made in various sizes so that the surgeon may have available a plurality of markers graduating in size. In use, it is a simple expedient for the surgeon to select the proper size marker for the particular lesion to be excised, and press it upon the skin 6 of a patient around a lesion 7, as shown in FIGURE 3. It will be noted that when the marker is evenly disposed around the lesion, owing to the off center location of the tabs 4 and 5, the situs of the lesion is perfectly visible to the surgeon through the central portion of the marker, so accurate placing of the marker is a simple expedient. Then a gentle but firm pressure of the marker against the skin leaves a slightly reddened or discolored and depressed line as indicated at 8 in FIGURE 4 in the skin after removal of the marker, and this line incloses and defines the area of the proposed excision. It will also be noted that the line indicates plainly to the surgeon just where to make his initial incision or incisions and such marking can readily be followed by the surgeon regardless of the elasticity of the skin.
After the excision has been accomplished in a known manner, a defect 9 as seen in FIGURE 5 will remain. It will be noted that the defect is of the proper boat shape with the side walls thereof of the same general contour with only negligible, if any, relative variation. This defect 9 can therefore be repaired by bringing the side edges thereof together to form a fine straight line 10, FIGURE 6, which defines an ultimate scar of hairline width and which is practically unnoticeable thereafter. The sides of the defect may be sutured together in any desired manner, such as by an over-and-over suture 11 as seen in FIGURE 6, this particular type of suture not being critical, but shown by way of example.
The skin marker is durable, and may be repeatedly used throughout a long life, accurately retaining its shape. It is a simple expedient to assemble the blanks 2 and 3 with the proper configuration since the inclination of each tab 4 relatively to the blank and the end cut of the tab are such that when the proper shaping is reached, the free end edge of the tab will conform to the contour of the upper edge of the opposite blank. Thus, the tabs aid materially in determining when the proper boat shape of the marker has been reached. Also, the marker is clearly economical to manufacture, the illustrated embodiment including only identical stampings, and may be economically utilized because of its long life. It will also be noted that, if deemed necessary, the cutter may be effectively sterilized between uses.
While the instant invention has been hereinabove disclosed and described in connection with a skin biopsy, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the marker may be utilized for other purposes, such as a surgical debridement in some cases, as will be apparent to one skilled in the art. It should also be noted that by varying the contour of the marker locations for various types of incisions may be marked upon the body of a patient.
I claim as my invention:
1. A skin marker for surgical purposes, comprising a hollow member of material sufficiently rigid to leave a marking on the skin of a patient after being pressed edgewise thereagainst,
said member being formed of a pair of initially fiat banks disposed on edge with their ends secured tightly together and each blank being outwardly bowed centrally thereof to define an excision pattern converging to a point at each end from a widened central area to leave a defect after incision that may be closed to provide a fine line straight scar,
a sloping tab projecting at an angle from the upper edge of each blank, and
each tab being bent substantially laterally and secured to the upper edge of the opposite blank to maintain the desired shape of the marker.
2. The skin marker as recited in claim 1, wherein said blanks are identical with one blank being longitudinally inverted relatively to the other.
3. The skin marker as recited in claim 1, wherein said tabs are disposed off-center and cut in such manner that when the free ends of the tabs coincide with the upper edges of the blanks the desired shape of the marker is indicated.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 139,217 5/1873 Webster 30-301 XR 627,429 6/ 1899 Lawbaugh 30-316 634,892 10/1899 Jenks 303 16 1,590,633 6/1926 Lee 3030l 2,168,766 8/1939 Dugan 164-29 2,272,072 2/1942 Ross 128303 2,513,771 7/1950 Williams 128335 2,932,296 4/ 1960 Sanders 128305 2,646,054 7/1953 Greene et al 132-88.7 2,684,489 7/ 1954 Porter 4693 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 203,375 1/ 1956 Australia. 278,268 1/ 1952 Switzerland.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner K. L. HOWELL, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-303