Variation in electrosurgical vessel seal quality along the length of a porcine carotid artery.


Electrosurgical vessel sealing has been demonstrated to have benefits for both patients and practitioners, but significant variation in the strength of the seal continues to be a concern. This study aims to examine the variation in electrosurgical seal quality along the length of a porcine common carotid artery and explore the relationships between seal quality, vessel size and morphology. Additionally, the study aimed to investigate the minimum safety threshold for successful seals and the influence of vessel characteristics on meeting this requirement. A total of 35 porcine carotid arteries were sealed using the PlasmaKinetic Open Seal device (Gyrus). Each seal was burst pressure tested and a sample taken for staining with elastin van Gieson's stain, with morphological quantification using image processing software ImageJ. With increasing distance from the bifurcation, there was an increase in seal strength and a reduction in both elastin content and vessel outer diameter. A significant correlation was found between burst pressure with both outer diameter (p < 0.0001) and elastin content (p = 0.001). When considering the safe limits of operation, vessels of less than 5 mm in outer diameter were shown to consistently produce a seal of a sufficient strength (burst pressure > 360 mmHg) irrespective of vessel morphology.

DOI: 10.1177/0954411915621092

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@article{Wyatt2016VariationIE, title={Variation in electrosurgical vessel seal quality along the length of a porcine carotid artery.}, author={Hayley Wyatt and Rosie Richards and Rhys Pullin and Th Jimmy Yang and Emma J. Blain and Sam Evans}, journal={Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine}, year={2016}, volume={230 3}, pages={169-74} }