US 3845771 A
A glove for use in electrosurgical and/or electrocauterization procedures which includes a flexible electrode integrally carried on the volar surface of at least one of the digits of the glove and electrically connected to one end of an electrically insulated, remotely extending, flexible lead, and through which relatively high frequency electrical current may be passed to an electrically conductive instrument grasped in the gloved hand of the surgeon and thence directly to the tissue to be cauterized or otherwise treated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Vise [ Nov, 5, 1974 ELECTROSURGICAL GLOVE  Inventor: William Michael Vise, 3440 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43210  Filed: Apr. 24, 1973  Appl. No.: 353,977
 US. Cl. 1128/303.l3, 128/404  int. Cl A61n 3/00  Field of Search 128/0241, 024.5, 303.13,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 206,474 7/1878 Morel 128/0245 1,046,985 12/1912 Creedon... 128/411 1,536,273 5/1925 Schnee 128/0245 1,915,721 6/1933 Diaz 128/0245 X Primary Examiner-Channing L. Pace Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William S. Rambo [5 7 ABSTRACT A glove for use in electrosurgical and/or electrocuuterization procedures which includes a flexible electrode integrally carried on the volar surface of at least one of the digits of the glove and electrically connected to one end of an electrically insulated, remotely extending, flexible lead, and through which relatively high frequency electrical current may be passed to an electrically conductive instrument grasped in the gloved hand of the surgeon and thence directly to the tissue to be cauterized or otherwise treated.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDNBV 5 I974 fill T0 GLOVE ELECTROSURGICAL GLOVE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to surgical equipment and more particularly to a surgical glove having a built-in electrical contact or electrode and an associated lead through which high frequency electrical current may be passed to a conductive surgical instrument held in the gloved hand of the surgeon, to thereby facilitate the electrocauterization of bleeding vessels or other tissue during surgical operations.
In the past it has been common practice during surgical operations, particularly during neurosurgery, to arrest bleeding by coagulating or cauterizing blood vessels through the application of a high frequency electrical arc to the vessels or ambient tissue. However, such electrocauterization ordinarily required the coordinated efforts of both the surgeon and an assistant who, upon verbal command from the surgeon, touched an elongated metal stick or wand-like electrode to the forceps or other electrically conductive instrument held in the hand of the surgeon in close proximity to the bleeding vessel or tissue, so as to establish a high frequency electrical are at the bleeding area and thereby cauterize such area. The intervention of the surgeons assistant in this electrocauterization procedure presented many difficulties and attendant hazards. First, the time required to effect hemostasis by this procedure was, to a large degree dependent upon the speed of reaction and dexterity of both the surgeon and the assistant. Also, the hazards attendant to the forceful striking or undue impact of the assistants electrode upon the surgeons instrument, when the latter occupied a position within the brain or other delicate area of the body, are believed obvious. Another problem arises if the assistant should accidentally contact the wrong one of the many instruments normally present in the surgical field.
Thus, electrocautery, as previously practiced with the aid of an assistant to handle the wand-like output electrode of the high frequency generator frequently monopolized the majority of the assistants time in the careful management of the electrosurgical paraphernalia and left a good deal to be desired both from the standpoint of patient safety and the maintenance of well-coordinated efforts between surgeon and assistant.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a surgical glove having a built-in, preferably flexible, electrode and associated electrical lead so arranged as to directly conduct high frequency electrical current to an electrically conductive instrument, such as a forceps or scalpel held in the surgeon's hand.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an electrosurgical glove to be worn by a surgeon during operations and other surgical procedures, and which, through the provision of a built-in electrode, permits the surgeon to perform electrocautery and/or'electrosurgical procedures without relying upon the abilities of a surgical assistant to manage a separate electrode stick.
Another important object is to add speed and accuracy to electrosurgical procedures and a convenient electrosurgical tool for the surgeon.
Other objects are to provide an electrosurgical glove which permits of more expeditious cauterization of bleeding vessels; which permits the surgeon to more delicately handle the electrocautery procedures; and which eliminates the need for a number of special coagulating instruments heretofore used in the operative field.
These and additional objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 'FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a monopolar electrosurgical glove according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged transverse vertical sectional view taken approximately ona plane indicated by the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and showing particularly the disposition of the electrode on the volar surface of the thumb portion of the glove;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken through the insulated lead on a plane indicated by the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a modified, bipolar electrosurgical glove according to this invention; and FIG. 5 is an electrical circuit diagram of a high frequency valve generator ofa type commonly used to supply high frequency operating current for electrosurgery.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As used herein, the terms electrosurgical and electrosurgery are intended to include within their definitions tissue cauterization as well as cutting operations performed through the medium of a high frequency electrical arc.
FIG. 1 of the drawings illustrates a monopolar electrosurgical glove according to this invention and which comprises a conventional, thin-walled, fluidimpervious rubber latex surgical glove or sheath 10 having integrally adjoining plural digit-receiving portions 11 and a handreceiving portion 12 which terminates in a relatively elongated wrist-receiving sleeve portion 13. Adhesively or otherwise suitably secured to at least one of the digitreceiving portions 11, preferably on the volar surface of the thumb portion of the glove, is an electrode 14 in the form of a strip of relatively fine, flexible, conductive metal wire mesh. The electrode strip 14 is preferably surface coated with a synthetic resin or rubber latex adhesive 15 impregnated with a sufficient quantity of graphite or carbon black to make the coating electrically conductive.
The electrically conductive adhesive coating serves to securely yet flexibly bond the electrode strip 14 in a partial spiral around the side and volar surfaces of the thumb-receiving portion of the rubber latex glove l0 and in a position where it will normally make direct electrical contact with a surgical instrument, such as a forceps or scalpel, grasped in the gloved hand of the surgeon. Preferably formed as an integral continuation of the flexible wire mesh electrode strip 14, is an elongated, remotely extending wire mesh or other suitable electrically conductive lead strip 116 having an electrically insulating outer covering 17 of flexible, dielectric material. The insulating covering 17 for the electrical lead strip 16 may consist of rubber latex and may be applied by dipping or successive immersion of the lead strip into a body of liquid rubber latex. The insulating covering 17 of the lead strip 16 is integrally bonded or adhesively secured to the outer surface of the glove l and extends rearwardly thereof and terminates in a quick detachable, snap-type electrical connector terminal 18 projecting outwardly beyond the wrist portion 13 of the glove 10.
As may be readily visualized, the snap-type electrical connector terminal 18 is arranged for detachable connection with a cooperatively shaped, female connector terminal (not shown) which is electrically connected with an end of a suitably insulated, remotely extending lead wire l9'which is electrically connected with the output side of a source of high frequency (0.3-1.5 megacycles per second) electrical current, such as the conventional high frequency valve-type generator 20 shown diagrammaticallyin FIG. 5. Advantageously, the lead wire 19 may be arranged so as to extend upwardly in the back of the surgeon s gown, thence downwardly and outwardly through a sleeve of the gown where it terminates in a cooperative connector terminal. lf desired, the remotely extending lead-in wire for connection with the glove terminal 18 may be permanently sewn or otherwise built into the surgeons gown so as not to hamper or impede free bodily movement by the surgeon.
In using the electrosurgical glove illustrated in FIGS. l-3, the glove is placed in the usual way upon the operating hand of the surgeon and the connector terminal 18 is-electrically connected with a cooperative terminal (not shown) connected with the output lead 19 of the high frequency generator 20. The opposite output lead 21 of the generator is electrically grounded as is the body of the patient in accordance with accepted and conventional electrosurgical procedures. Thus, during the course of an operation, should the surgeon wish to apply a high frequency electrical arc to a bleeding vessel or other tissue, he may simply move the electrically conductive instrument which he has in his grasp into close proximity or actual contact with the bleeding vessel or the selected tissue and momentarily close a switch22 connected in the output lead 19 of the generator. The switch 22 is preferably a normally open push button-type switch which may be actuated by either the foot, or arm of the surgeon, or, for that matter, by a nurse or surgical assistant on command from the surgeon. In any event, the speed and delicacy with which a cauterizing or cutting arc may be applied'to the selected area is greatly increased due to the direct electrical contact between the glove electrode 14 and the metal or otherwise electrically conductive instrument held in the operative, gloved hand of the surgeon.
HO. 4 of the drawings illustrates a modified, bipolar form of electrosurgical glove a which .is particularly adapted for use with special forceps or other bifurcated surgical instruments having two or more electrically conductive, but relatively insulated legs or prongs through which high frequency electrical current may be passed to a selected area of the body of a patient, without the need for electrically grounding the patient. This bipolar glove 10a is in all respects indentical to the monopolartype glove shown in FIGS. 1-3, with the exception that it includes in its construction a second electrode 140 adhesively bonded or otherwise secured on the volar surface of the second finger or digit of the glove in normally spaced apart relation to the thumb mounted electrode 14. The second electrode 14a is also provided with a flexible, electrically insulated lead 17a which is bonded or otherwise adhesively secured to the outer surface of the glove 10a in generally spaced apart, parallel relation to the lead 17. The lead 170 also terminates a distance beyond the wrist portion 13a of the glove in a second, snap-type electrical connector terminal 18a.
In the use of the bipolar-type glove 10a, the output lead wires 19 and 21 of the high frequency current generator 20 will be electrically connected with the respective connector terminals 18 and 18a of the glove and thence through the leads l7 and 17a to the electrodes 14 and 14a. A forceps or bifurcated clamp-type instrument (not shown) may be held in the surgeons hand with the electrodes 14 and 14a in contact, respectively, with the opposed, relatively insulated legs or prongs of the instrument. The opposed legs or prongs of the instrument may then be moved into close proximity or contact with a bleeding vessel or selected area of tissue to pass an electrical arc thereto upon momentary closure of the switch 22.
' In view of the foregoing, it will be apparent that the present invention provides a new and useful electrosurgical glove having one or more built-in electrodes by means of which the surgeon may establish an operative electrical circuit between an instrument held in his gloved hand and the output of a Bovie or other conventional type of high frequency electrical current generator without the usual intervention of an assistant. This greatly facilitates and speeds electrocautery and/or electrosurgical procedures as heretofore performed through the combined efforts of both the surgeon and an assistant charged with handling the electrode of the electrosurgical generator.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail, it will be understood that various modifications in details of construction and design are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims.
1. An electrosurgical glove comprising a thin, fluid impervious sheath of flexible, dielectric material formed with integral hand and plural digit receiving portions; a flexible electrode unitarily secured on at least one of the digit-receiving portions of said sheath in a position to normally make electrical contact with I wherein said electrode and said lead comprise a single,
integral strip of readily flexible, fine metal wire mesh, and wherein the said opposite end of said lead terminates beyond the hand-receiving portion of said sheath in a quick detachable connector terminal.