(i9) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication
Eggers et al.
(54) SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR
ELECTROSURGICAL CUTTING AND
(75) Inventors: Philip E. Eggers, Dublin, OH (US);
Hira V. Thapliyal, Los Altos, CA
7500 Rialto Boulevard, Building Two, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78735-8532 (US)
(73) Assignee: ArthroCare Corporation, Austin, TX (US)
(21) Appl.No.: 12/272,186
(22) Filed: Nov. 17, 2008
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Continuation of application No. 11/697,606, filed on Apr. 6, 2007, which is a continuation of application No. 09/314,247, filed on May 18, 1999, now Pat. No. 7,201,750, which is a division of application No. 09/177,861, filed on Oct. 23,1998, now Pat. No. 6,066, 134, which is a division of application No. 08/795,686, filed on Feb. 5,1997, now Pat. No. 5,871,469, which is a division of application No. 08/561,958, filed on Nov. 22, 1995, now Pat. No. 5,697,882, which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 08/485,219, filed on Jun. 7, 1995, now Pat. No. 5,697,281, which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 08/446,767, filed on Jun. 2,1995, now Pat. No. 5,697,909, filed as applicationNo. PCT/US94/05168 on May 10, 1994, which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 08/059,
681, filed on May 10, 1993, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 07/958,977, filed on Oct. 9,1992, now Pat. No. 5,366,443, which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 07/817,575, filed on Jan. 7, 1992, now abandoned.
(30) Foreign Application Priority Data
May 10, 1994 (US) PCT/US94/05168
(51) Int. CI.
A61B 18/14 (2006.01)
(52) U.S. CI 606/48; 606/41
An electrosurgical probe (10) comprises a shaft (13) having an electrode array (58) at its distal end and a connector (19) at its proximal end for coupling the electrode array to a high frequency power supply (28). The shaft includes a return electrode (56) recessed from its distal end and enclosed within an insulating jacket (18). The return electrode defines an inner passage (83) electrically connected to both the return electrode and the electrode array for passage of an electrically conducting liquid (50). By applying high frequency voltage to the electrode array and the return electrode, the electrically conducting liquid generates a current flow path between the return electrode and the electrode array so that target tissue may be cut or ablated. The probe is particularly useful in dry environments, such as the mouth or abdominal cavity, because the electrically conducting liquid provides the necessary return current path between the active and return electrodes.