US 3902494 A
A suction surgical instrument combining the functions of removing liquids and/or tissue from the operation area and of coagulating tissue. A suction shaft of an electrically insulating material and modifications of a coagulating electrode positioned at the suction port prevent traditional clogging of the suction shaft. Insulation and position of the electric lead aid in increasing the stiffness of the suction shaft.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nite States atent 1191 Haberlen et a1.
1451 Sept. 2, 1975 1 SUCTION SURGICAL INSTRUMENT  Inventors: Roland Haberlen, Tuttlingen;
Theodor Schwarz, Nendingen, Germany  Assignee'. Scheerer, Tuttlingen, Germany  Filed: Apr. 30, 1974  Appl. No.: 465,583
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 15, 1973 Germany 2324415 52 US. Cl. 1213/2751; 128/303.l7; 174/47 51 111M31 ..A61M1/00;A61B17/4O 58 Field of Search 1212/2751, 303.1, 303.13, 1213/30314, 303.17, 303.18, 303.19, 276,
172.1, 407409, 417, DIG. 14; 174/47  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,275,167 3/1942 Bierman l28/303.17 2,808,833 10/1957 August l28/303.l7
2,814,296 11/1957 Everett 128/D1G. 4 2,888,928 6/1959 Seiger 128/303.17 3,324,225 6/1967 Thostrup 174/47 3,41 1,507 11/1968 Wingrove 128/407 3,680,544 8/1972 Shinnick 128/172.1 3,685,518 8/1972 Beuerle 6t 31.. 128/303.17
3,825,004 7/1974 Durden 128/275.1 3,828,780 8/1974 Morrison, Jr. 128/275.l
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,007,960 5/1957 Germany 128/303.l7 1,465,581 11/1965 France.... 128/303118 745,959 11/1932 France 128/409 Primary ExaminerRichard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerLee S. Cohen Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Eugene J. Kalil; James M. Rhodes, Jr.
[5 7] ABSTRACT A suction surgical instrument combining the functions of removing liquids and/or tissue from the operation area and of coagulating tissue. A suction shaft of an electrically insulating material and modifications of a coagulating electrode positioned at the suction port prevent traditional clogging of the suction shaft. Insulation and position of the electric lead aid in increasing the stiffness of the suction shaft.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures SUCTION SURGICAL INSTRUMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a suction surgical instrument for drawing off liquids and/or tissue particles from the operation area, in particular a suction device with a hollow suction shaft having at its free end a suction port and at its other end connection socket for attaching a suction tube.
2. Description of the Prior Art Conventional suction surgical instruments employ tubular suction shafts of metal, preferably of stainless steel or of a nickel-plated or chromiumplated brass. Frequently. the electrical conductivity of the prior art suction shafts serves to connect the suction shaft to a source of high frequency current for the purpose of coagulating the tissue, preferably, the blood vessels in the area of surgery. However, this has the disadvantage that tissue is coagulated not only at the desired spot in the operation area, but that the tissue particles sucked up by the suction shaft coagulate within said shaft, thereby causing the suction shaft to become clogged very quickly.
It is the purpose of the present invention to obviate the aforementioned difficulties by providing a suction surgical instrument with a suction shaft which will not become clogged by the coagulation of tissue particles when the suction device is employed as a coagulating instrument.
SUMMARY The preferred embodiment of the present invention solves this problem inherent in suction surgical instruments of the type referred to in the beginning, by a suction shaft of an electrically insulating material with its suction port provided with a coagulating electrode, said electrode attached to an electric lead that can be connected to a source of high frequency current. This prevents coagulation from ocurring within the hollow portion of the suction shaft, so that the suction shaft cannot become clogged thereby. Should over-heating of the coagulating electrode cause clotted material to settle thereon during the coagulating process, then this material can be removed easily, since the coagulating electrode is located outside the suction shaft. By shaping the electrode correspondingly, it is possible in addition to avoid with certainty clogging of the suction port by the tissue coagulated at the tip of the coagulating electrode. Furthermore. the coagulating electrode located outside of the suction shaft can readily be cleaned at any time, for example, by the operating nurse also during a surgical procedure, e.g., by the use of a correspondingly formed instrument.
The electric lead can be attached to the electrode in any arbitrary manner, c.g., as a trailing, preferably insulated. wire joined to the electrode.
The electric lead of one preferred embodiment of the invention runs in a longitudinal direction to the suction shaft and is preferably insulated. Thereby for one preferred embodiment of the invention, it is possible for the electric lead to have a profile increasing its bending resistance. and to be preferably connected mechanically to the suction shaft, so that the electric lead contributes to increasing the stiffness of the suction shaft, thereby forming a metallic reinforcement for the suction shaft.
In order to insulate the electric lead positioned on the outside adjacent to the suction shaft, an insulating tube may be used to enclose the suction shaft and the electric lead. Thereby, a mechanical connection is established at the same time between the suction shaft and the electric lead.
A further preferred embodiment of the invention has the suction port of the suction shaft constricted by the coagulating electrode. Such constriction may take various forms, e.g., the internal diameter of a ring-shaped electrode is smaller than the internal diameter of the suction shaft, or in the case of a differently shaped electrode, the latter extends a bit beyond the suction port, thereby reducing the diameter of the suction port. Constricting the suction port of a suction shaft in this way, causes only such tissue particles to be drawn off by the shaft, which are smaller than the internal diameter of the suction shaft, so that unobjectionable removal of these particles through the shaft is ensured, and clogging of the suction shaft by particles drawn in that are too large. is avoided with certainty. This procedure to prevent clogging of a suction shaft can also be employed to advantage with conventional surgical suction devices having the entire suction shaft of metal.
The suction shaft of the suction device of the present invention may be any arbitrary material that is electrically insulating. One preferred embodiment employs polytetrafluoroethylene as the electrically insulating material. Tetrafluoroethylene has the advantage that practically no particles adhere to it, so that the problem basic to the invention, namely to prevent clogging of the suction shaft by the tissue particles drawn into it, is solved especially well.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The description refers to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views illustrating examples of the suction surgical instruments of the present invention, and in which:
FIG. I is a partial cross section and partial elevation of a first embodiment;
FIG. 2 is an end-on view of the suction port of the suction surgical instrument of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross section along the line III III of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the coagulating electrode of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 3;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are illustrations corresponding to FIG. 4 showing two different variations of the coagulating electrode;
FIG. 7 is a view of the suction port ofa suction instrument with a coagulating electrode as illustrated in FIG.
FIG. 8 is a cross section of the suction instrument shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, the invention is described with reference to a surgical instrument for drawing off liquids and/or tissue particles from a surgical operating area, as represented in FIGS. I 4, comprising a suction shaft 10 of tetrafluoroethylene, provided at its free end with suction port II and connected at its other end to handle 12 forming a connection socket I3 to attach a suction tube not illustrated in the drawing, which tube serves to join in conventional fashion suction shaft with a vacuum source, also not illustrated. Handle 12 is provided at its end opposite connection socket 13 with a bore 14 forming a seat for the end of suction shaft 10 opposite suction port 11. Bore 14 extends into a channel 15 connecting the hollow passage of the suction shaft 10 with the hollow passage of connection socket 13. A ventilating opening 16 terminates in channel 15, which opening may be closed with the thumb of the hand holding handle 12, when drawing off liquids and/0r tissue particles from the operation area. Handle 12 consists of a comparatively stiff insulating material, preferably a plastic.
Electric lead 17 butts against suction shaft 10, which lead extends longitudinally the entire length of suction shaft 10 and along a portion of handle 12. This electric lead is a round rod provided in the region in which it butts against suction shaft 10 and handle 12, with a milled groove 18, which is shaped corresponding to the circumference of suction shaft 10 and of handle 12, for the purpose of fitting it thereto.
The remaining part 19 of the rod-shaped electric lead 17 extends away from handle 12 at an angle and is shaped as a plug 24 for the purpose of joining electric lead 17 with a source of high frequency current.
The end of electric lead 17 near suction port 11 is connected, i.e., welded, to a ring-shaped coagulating electrode 21 encompassing suction port 11. As is apparent from FIG. 2, the internal opening of the coagulating electrode 21, which at the same time forms the actual suction port 11, has a somewhat smaller diameter than the internal opening of suction shaft 10. Coagulating electrode 21 consists of a material which is thermally and electrically more conductive than stainless chromium alloy steel, e g., of silver or of an alloy of silver-gold, silver-copper, silver-paladium, silvercadmium, silver-cadmiumoxide, silver-nickel, c0pper beryllium, or something similar, and for the purpose of increasing its heating capacity, it extends a bit along suction shaft 10 as part 22.
For the purpose of insulating electric lead 17 on the outside, which lead extends lengthwise of suction shaft 10, insulating tube 23 is provided, encompassing suction shaft 10 and electric lead 17 and holding the two together mechanically. The portion of electric lead 17 extending partly the length of handle 12 and away from the latter, is provided with additional insulation, so that not insulated is only part 19 of electric lead 17 opposite handle 12 forming connecting plug 24.
The sickle-shaped profile of electric lead 17 of the part butting against suction shaft 10, provides the electric lead with comparative stiffness. Because electric lead 17 and suction shaft 10 are firmly held together mechanically by insulating tube 23, the comparatively soft suction shaft 10 receives the stiffness necessary for its use. Since the internal opening of the circular coagulating electrode 21 is smaller than the internal opening of suction shaft 10, only such tissue particles can get into suction shaft 10 having outer dimensions smaller than the diameter of the suction shaft, so that these tissue particles can easily be drawn off through suction shaft 10 without leading to clogging, which is additionally aided by the property of the polytetrafluoroethylene forming suction shaft 10, to which tissue particles cannot adhere.
Since the coagulating electrode 21 Consists of a material which is thermally and electrically very conductive,
the heat formed during coagulation is quickly dissipated and heating of the coagulating electrode by the coagulating current is avoided, so that said electrode is not overheated and thus tissue particles do not stick to the coagulating electrode, which is aided by the piece 22 increasing the heating capacity of the coagulating electrode 21. Should coagulated tissue nevertheless adhere to the opening of the coagulating electrode 21 and clog said opening, then it can very easily be freed from the outside even during the surgical procedure.
The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5 comprises a coagulating electrode 121 which encompass suction port 111 only partly, which may be of advantage for certain types of applications. But even here the coagulating electrode 121 extends beyond suction port 111 to constrict the internal opening of suction shaft 10, in order to prevent tissue particles that might lead to a clogged shaft from becoming sucked in.
The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 6 8 shows the coagulating electrode 221 formed merely by a flap extending into suction port 211. For this embodiment, electric lead 217 as well as the extending electrode part 222 welded to the end of electric lead 217, are groove shaped, so that they butt against suction shaft 10 at its inner side, and as a result of the groove-shaped curvature provide a profile of increased stiffness.
One embodiment not illustrated in the drawings has the electric lead shaped as a tube encompassing suction shaft 10, which also achieves the desired increase in stiffness of suction shaft 10. For this embodiment, it is not necessary to provide an insulating tube encompassing the tubular electric lead for the purpose of insulation. It suffices, if the outer surface of the tubular electric lead is provided with an insulating layer.
However, it is also possible to provide the electric lead with any other arbitrary profile, which ensures that the lead has the necessary bending resistance to increase the stiffness of suction shaft 10 to correspond to the respective requirements.
The necessary stiffness of the suction shaft, however, can also be achieved by a corresponding selection of the material, or by shaping of the same, e.g., by molded longitudinal ribs, or something similar, so that one can dispense with the effect of increasing the stiffness achieved through the electric lead and can attach the latter loosely to the coagulating electrode, for example, as an insulated wire.
Although our invention has been illustrated and described with reference to the preferred embodiment thereof, we wish to have it understood that it is in no way limited to the details of such embodiments, but is capable of numerous modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus fully disclosed our invention, what we claim is:
1. A surgical instrument comprising:
a tubelike suction shaft comprising an electrical insulating material forming a wall which surrounds a suction channel, said suction shaft having at its first end a connection socket for attachment to a source of suction for removing liquids and/or tissue from a surgical operation area, the second shaft end being opened to form a suction port the size of which is co-extensive with the internal opening of said second shaft end, electrode means positioned out of said channel and connected to said shaft wall and extending from the outside across a portion of said suction port and constricting said suction port. and an insulated electric lead for supplying high frequency current operably connected with said electrode means, said electric lead being positioned out of said channel and disposed lengthwise of and connected to said shaft wall.
2. An instrument according to claim 1, wherein said electric lead is formed with means for increasing its bending resistance.
3. A surgical instrument according to claim 1, wherein the insulation for said electric lead is provided by an insulating tube enclosing both said electric lead and suction shaft.
4. A surgical instrument as defined in claim 1, wherein said electric lead comprises a round bar proincrease the heating capacity of said electrode.
ll k I" UNIIEI) sTATEs IA'IEN'I OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,902,494 Dated September 2, 1975 Inventor) Roland Haberlen & Theodor Schwarz It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Change the Assignee from "Scheerer, Tuttlingen, Germany" to --AESCULAPWERKE AG. vormals Jetter & Scheerer,
7200 Tuttlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Bundesrepublik Deutschland Change inventor s name "Roland Haberlen" to ---Roland Haberlen Signed and Scaled this tenth Day of February 1976 [SEAL] Attest.
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner ufPalents and Trademarks UNITED STATES PA'IENI OFFICE CERTIFKCATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,902,494 Dated September 2, 1975 Inventor) Roland Haberlen & Theodor Schwarz It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Change the Assignee from "Scheerer, Tuttlingen, Germany" to -AESCULAPWERKE AG. vormals Jetter & Scheerer,
7200 Tuttlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Bundesrepublik Deutschland-- Change inventor s name "Roland 'Haberlen" to -Roland H'aberlen- Signed and Scaled this tenth Day of February 1976 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner uj'latents and Trademarks