US 3670732 A
A curette for emptying a gravid uterus of the products of the first trimester of pregnancy has a suction tube reciprocably and rotatably carried within an open-ended sleeve and a pair of flexible, interconnected fingers joined to one end of the tube within the sleeve. After inserting the sleeve through the cervix into the uterine canal, the fingers may be expelled from the sleeve to form a loop within the uterus by shifting the tube within the sleeve. Gentle rotation and reciprocation of the tube causes the loop to wipe against the uterine walls and loosen the products for subsequent withdrawal through the tube when the latter is coupled with means for creating negative pressure therein.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Robinson 5] June 20, 1972  VACUUM CURETTE  Appl. No.: 36,049
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 362,997 1 H1922 Germany ..l28/304 Primary Examiner-Channing L. Pace Attorney-Schmidt, Johnson, Hovey & Williams  ABSTRACT A curette for emptying a gravid uterus of the products of the first trimester of pregnancy has a suction tube reciprocably and rotatably carried within an open-ended sleeve and a pair of flexible, interconnected fingers joined to one end of the tube within the sleeve. After inserting the sleeve through the cervix into the uterine canal, the fingers may be expelled from the sleeve to form a loop within the uterus by shifting the tube within the sleeve. Gentle rotation and reciprocation of the tube causes the loop to wipe against the uterine walls and loosen the products for subsequent withdrawal through the tube when the latter is coupled with means for creating negative pressure therein.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures VACUUM CURETTE This invention relates to curettes and, more particularly, to a curette utilizing controlled vacuum force for gently emptying a gravid uterus of the products of the first trimester of pregnancy.
In certain instances it may become necessary to terminate a pregnancy within its first trimester. In suchinstances an operation to remove products from the gravid uterus must be conducted with extreme care in order to avoid excessive bleeding or other injury to the patient. Without the requisite care and diligence which are required in such operations, the uterine wall may be unnecessarily irritated or even inadvertently perforated, resulting in appreciable discomfort or injury to the patient. Moreover, laxity in adhering to strict sanitation requirements during the operation may result in infection of the patients reproductive organs.
It is, therefore, an important object of the present invention to provide a device for emptying a gravid uterus of the products of the first trimester of pregnancy with a significant reduction in blood loss, myometrial damage, and anesthesia requirement.
As a corollary to the foregoing object it is an important aim of this invention to provide a curette having a flexible, closed loop at the working end thereof for gently wiping along the uterine wall during manipulation of the curette to loose the products without the possibility of accidental perforation of the wall.
Another important object of the invention is the provision of a suction tube integral with the product-loosening loop for safely and easily drawing the products out of the uterus as they are loosened during manipulation of the loop.
A further important object of the invention is to provide a vacuum curette constructed from functional, yet disposable material whereby a fresh, sanitary curette may be employed at each operation to lessen the chances of infection accompanying the operation.
Yet another important object of this invention is to provide a curette as above described wherein the suction tube is freely rotatable and reciprocable with a sleeve adapted for insertion through the cervix into the uterine canal such that the loop may be gently rotated and reciprocated within the uterus by manipulation of the tube, thereby obviating the need for moving the sleeve in the canal during such manipulation to the end that patient discomfort is minimized.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view illustrating certain of the female reproductive organs and showing a curette made pursuant to my present invention disposed for emptying the gravid uterus of a human female;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of the curette of FIG. 1, the sleeve being shown in cross section and the vacuum tube being shown partially in elevation and partially in cross section;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the loop on the vacuum tube expelled from one end of the sleeve; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, vertical cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, the vacuum curette is shown in its operative disposition and coupled to a hose 12 which leads to a suitable vacuum source. The curette includes an open-ended sleeve 14 which is of a suitable diameter to permit insertion thereof through the cervix 16 into the uterine canal 18 and a tube 20 which is reciprocable and rotatably carried within sleeve 14. One end of tube 20 is adapted for releasably coupling with the hose 12 thereby communicating tube 20 with the vacuum source and, as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2, a pair of elongated, side-by-side, flexible fingers 22 are integrally and hingedly joined to the opposite end of tube 20 at 24 and extend longitudinally of sleeve 14 within the latter.
The fingers 22 are interconnected at their ends remote from tube 20 by a thin stretch 26 which permits the fingers 22 to assume the side-by-side relationship within sleeve 14 as illustrated in FIG. 2. Stretch 26 further serves as the bight of a selfsustaining loop which is formed by fingers 22 when the latter are projected outwardly beyond one end of sleeve 14 as illustrated in FIG. 3. Referring particularly to FIG. 4, it may be seen that the fingers 22 are each trapezoidal in cross-sectional configuration presenting a pair of opposed sides 28 which diverge as an outer face 30 is approached. A pair of spaced, outer, longitudinally extending wiping edges 32 are thus formed at the intersection of each side 28 and the outer face 30.
A disc-like abutment 34 is provided on the exterior of sleeve 14 intermediate the ends thereof for engaging the cervix 16 during use of the curette 10 as will hereinafter be more fully described. In this manner, over-penetration of sleeve 14 is avoided, thereby eliminating the danger of perforating the uterine wall 36.
The curette 10 provides an extremely safe means of removing the products of the first three months of pregnancy and, in addition, is easy to use. Specifically, curette 10 may be prepared for use by initially withdrawing the fingers 22 inside the sleeve 14 as illustrated in FIG. 2, and coupling tube 20 to the vacuum source by means of hose 12. While fingers 22 are housed within sleeve 14, the latter may be carefully inserted through cervix 16 into the uterine canal 18 until abutment 34 engages the outer end of cervix 16. At such time, the leading end of sleeve 14 should be disposed within the uterus 38. With sleeve 14 disposed in its proper location, shifting the tube 20 toward the leading end of sleeve 14 expels fingers 22 from the latter into uterus 38, whereupon fingers 22 form the loop shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Tube 20 may thereafter be manipulated exteriorly of the vagina to gently rotate and reciprocate the loop within uterus 38 to cause faces 30 and edges 32 to wipe against the uterine wall 36 and loosen the products therefrom. Actuation of the vacuum source creates reduced pressure within tube 20 whereby the loosened products enter the open end thereof between fingers 22 and are completely withdrawn from the uterus 38.
It may be appreciated that rotation and reciprocation of the loop within uterus 38 is accomplished without unnecessary irritation to the walls of canal 18. Once sleeve 14 has been inserted within canal 18, no movement thereof is required until curette 10 is to be withdrawn. The rotating and reciprocating outer surfaces of tube 20 are maintained in spaced relationship to the walls of canal 18 by the stationary sleeve 14.
Moreover, the loop configuration of the means for loosening the products insures that uterine wall 36 may not be perforated through careless use of curette 10. Further, since fingers 22 perform a wiping action against wall 36 instead of a scraping action, irritation of wall 36 and resultant bleeding is held to a minimum.
Removal of curette 10 is a simple reversal of the procedure as above described wherein the fingers 22 are rehoused within sleeve 14 by withdrawing tube 20. Thereafter, sleeve 14 may be easily withdrawn from canal 18 and curette l0 discarded.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A vacuum curette for emptying a gravid uterus comprismg:
an open-ended sleeve adapted for insertion through the cervix into the uterine canal;
a suction tube within the sleeve and freely reciprocable longitudinally of the latter,
one end of the tube adapted for being operably coupled with means for producing negative pressure therein;
a pair of elongated side-by-side, flexible fingers extending longitudinally of the sleeve within the latter;
means integrally joining the fingers at one end of the latter with the tube at the opposite end of said tube; and
means interconnecting the fingers at the opposite ends of the latter,
said fingers being of self-sustaining material whereby the same form a loop when projected outwardly beyond one end of the sleeve as the tube is shifted in the sleeve toward said one end of the latter while the sleeve is in said canal to thereby dispose the loop within said uterus,
said opposite end of the tube being open between said one end of the fingers for receiving the products of the first trimester of pregnancy which have been loosened by said fingers as the tube is manually manipulated exteriorly of the vagina to cause the loop to wipe against the uterine walls, said products being simultaneously drawn into and through the tube by said negative pressure means for removal from the uterus.
2. A vacuum curette as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tube is freely rotatable within the sleeve for wiping the loop against the uterine walls without moving the sleeve within the canal.
3. A vacuum curette as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sleeve is provided with a cervix abutment for limiting the extent of insertion of the sleeve into the canal whereby the fingers are projected into the uterus as shifting of the tube toward said one end of the sleeve is continued after the abutment engages the cervix.
4. A vacuum curette as claimed in claim 1, wherein said fingers are each provided with a pair of spaced, outer, longitudinally extending wiping edges.
5. A vacuum curette as claimed in claim 4, wherein said fingers are provided with a pair of opposed sides diverging as said edges are approached.