US 3815609 A
Surgical forceps for atraumatically gripping tissue during surgical procedures provides numerous rows of teeth which interdigitate; they interlock but do not make direct contact. Elongated members have opposed faces and resilient distal ends, at which ends the members are joined. The members are biased away from each other and require a small finger pressure to move the faces into an abutting relation. When the faces are forced into the abutting relation, teeth on the proximal ends interdigitate and positively grip, but do not puncture or otherwise injure, the tissue.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Chester TISSUE GRIPPING SURGICAL FORCEPS  Inventor: John E. Chester, Orange, Conn.
 Assignee: Edward Weck & Company, Inc.,
Long Island City, NY.
22 Filed: Sept. 15,1972
211 Appl. No.: 289,395
 US. Cl 128/354, 128/321, 81/43, 24/255 R  Int. Cl A6lb 1/28  Field of Search 128/354, 321, 324, 355, 128/346, 322, 323; 132/32; 32/62; 81/43,
HE, 255 G, 255 TZ, 259 FF, 259 HC, 259 A,
[561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,356,048 10/1920 Dederer 128/322 2,668,538 2/1954 Baker 128/321  3,815,609 June 11,1974
2,796,065 6/1957 Kapp 128/321 3,265,068 8/1966 Holohan.... 128/354 3,515,139 6/1970 Mallina 128/346 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Henry J. Recla Attorney, Agent, or FirmLawrence S. Levinson; Merle J. Smith; John J. Archer [5 7 ABSTRACT Surgical forceps for atraumatically gripping tissue during surgical procedures provides numerous rows of teeth which interdigitate; they interlock but do not make direct contact. Elongated members have opposed faces and resilient distal ends, at which ends the members are joined. The members are biased away from each other and require a small finger pressure to move the faces into an abutting relation. When the faces are forced into the abutting relation, teeth on the proximal ends interdigitate and positively grip, but do not puncture or otherwise injure, the tissue.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PNENTEDJUHH 1914 TISSUE GRIPPING SURGICAL FORCEPS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to surgical forceps adapted to grip tissue without causing injury thereto.
In many surgical procedures the surgeon is required to hold, lift or displace tissue. During the operation the surgeon must positively grip the tissue but he must do so in a manner which causes as little damage to the tissue as is possible. This is particularly true where the tissue to be gripped is quite thin or delicate.
There are several prior art forceps and other gripping devices capable of positively grasping the tissue, but they do not perform adequately where the tissue to be grasped is quite thin or delicate. Such tissue can easily be punctured, torn or otherwise injured. Most prior art forceps comprise opposing teeth or ridges which are exactly opposed. In other words the tips of the teeth touch when the jaws are forced together. When thin or delicate tissue is grasped with such devices the teeth tend to produce puncture holes and can even cause the tissue to tear. This is a most disadvantageous characteristic of the prior art and the present invention is directed at providing a solution to this problem. The forceps embodied in the instant invention provide a positive gripping of the tissue but avoid puncture or tearing. The surgical procedure, unhampered by tissue destruc tion, can be completed without any attendant complications from tissue injury.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide surgical forceps which permit positive gripping of thin or delicate tissue.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of surgical forceps which cause little or no injury to the tissue.
In accordance with the above designs the present invention is preferably embodied in a tweezer-like structure having cooperating jawportions. A pair of elongated members are joined at distal, resilient ends. The members are joined such that they are normally biased away from each other and need only a small amount of finger pressure to urge the faces into relative abutting relation. The intermediate portions of the members are knurled so that the instrument can be positively grasped by the surgeon.
The forward or proximal ends of the members have gripping sections formed on the respective faces. The gripping is accomplished by providing numerous rows of teeth, which teeth interdigitate when the jaws are forced together; that is, they interlock, but do not make direct contact in normal use. The individual teeth are coincident with the spaces between clusters of four teeth on the opposing face. The gripped tissue tends to fill the spaces between the teeth in an undulated or wave-like configuration. In this manner there is relatively little puncture of the tissue. The interdigitating of the teeth permit the positive gripping of even very thin or delicate tissue without harm thereto.
The above and other objects of the present invention will be apparent as the description continues and when read in conjunction with the drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1, is side elevational view of the forceps of the instant invention shown gripping tissue.
FIG. 2, is a plan view of the forceps of FIG. I.
FIG. 3, is a front view of the forceps of FIG. 1. FIG. 4, is greatly enlarged fragmentary view of a jaw section.
FIG. 5, is a greatly enlarged perspective view of several teeth of the jaws shown in a fully closed condition.
FIG. 6, is a greatly enlarged perspective view of several teeth of the jaws shown normally partially closed with tissue therebetween.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION outer surfaces of members 12, 14 is knurled or otherwise distressed to permit easy grasping by the surgeon.
The forward or jaw sections 22, 24 of the members 12, 14 consist of a plurality of teeth 28 which interdigitate when the jaws 22, 24 are forced together. As best illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 all the teeth 28 on both jaws 22, 24 are identical. They are generally pyramidal in shape, that is, they are formed from four sloped and tapered'walls 30, 32, 34, 36.The various walls slope from the major base 38 to the minor base or tooth apex 39.
The spacing and arrangement of the teeth 28 is quite important. The teeth 28 are equally spaced 40 in both transverse and longitudinal direction (with respect to the elongated members l2, 14). There is no colinearity of any of the edges of adjacent major bases 38. As in FIGS. 5 and 6 there is a substantially rectangular space 42 centrally located between clusters of four teeth 28. That space 42 generally corresponds dimensionally to the tooth apex 39. When the jaws 22, 24 are forced together there is a full interdigitation, of the teeth 28 in both the transverse and longitudinal directions. This is best seen in FIG. 5 which represents a condition in which the jaws 22, 24 are fully closed. In actual use this condition is never attained and is only illustrated here to better understand the invention. For simplicity the teeth of jaw 22 will be referred to as 28a and the teeth of jaw 24 as 28b with corresponding parts similarly identified. In the fully closed condition the apex 39a of tooth 28a will contact the area 42. The tooth 28a is received between the cluster of teeth 28b, with the space between those teeth 28b being substantially identical to that of tooth 28a. It is to be noticed that the tooth 28a occupies no space whatsoever between two longitudinally or transversely adjacent teeth but is positioned only centrally between clusters of four teeth. This is what is meant by full interdigitation. Virtually all the teeth 28 on both jaws are so received. The individual teeth 28b would be received in clusters of teeth 28a and so on. The only exception to this situation would occur at the periphery of the jaws 22, 24.
Naturally, since there are equal rows of teeth 28 on each jaw 22, 24, for complete interdigitation, the peripheral rows of teeth, one row in each jaw, will not fall between complete clusters of teeth.
As shown in FIG. 6, the interdigitation of the teeth permits the grasping of tissue without injury thereto. The situation here depicted is the normal tissue gripping situation. The tissue 49 tends to fill the spaces between the teeth in an undulated or wave-like fashion and is positively gripped. Since the apexes of opposing teeth 28 do not make direct contact there is very little tendency to puncture or otherwise injure the tissue. Also, since there are many places for gripping, very little pressure is needed to maintain a positive grip.
It has been seen that novel tissue gripping forceps have been disclosed with completely interdigitating teeth. Theforceps are capable of gripping even the most delicate or thin tissue without injury thereto. There are many variations that can be made in the details of the instant invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims and are intended to be embraced therewithin.
What is claimed is:
1. Surgical forceps for atraumatically gripping tissue comprising a pair of opposed elongated members having confronting faces, said members including a rear resilient section and said members joined at said section such that said members are normally biased away from each other, said faces forcible into generally abutting relation with the application of a relatively small amount of pressure, the forward ends of said faces comprising a multiplicity of parallel and spaced rows of pyramidal teeth, the teeth on the opposing members being identical but transversely and longitudinally interdigitating when said faces are in said abutting relation but generally do not make direct contact, the rows of teeth being staggered such that the tips of said teeth are coincident with the spaces between a cluster of teeth on the opposing jaw, said teeth being adapted for use in surgical procedures requiring the gripping of thin layers of tissue, said tissue, when gripped, tending to fill the spaces between said teeth in an undulated configuration, whereby the tissue may be positively but atraumatically gripped.
2. The forceps of claim 1 including a stop post attached to a face of one of said elongated members intermediate the respective ends thereof, said post adapted to abut the opposing face so as to prevent the teeth from making direct contact.
3. The forceps of claim 1 including a knurled intermediate portion adapted for gripping by a surgeon.