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Plasma Tool Reduces Damage to Surrounding Tissue

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 01 Jun 2015
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The J-Plasma surgical tool
The J-Plasma surgical tool (Photo courtesy of Apyx Medical)
A new plasma-based hand piece surgical tool promotes soft tissue coagulation and cutting during open and laparoscopic procedures.

The J-Plasma tool is based on a highly defined, cool plasma stream that is used for soft tissue coagulation and cutting during surgery. The plasma stream is formed by passing an inert gas, such as helium, over a uniquely designed blade, which energizes the gas. The plasma stream generated can cut, coagulate, and ablate tissue at much cooler temperatures than traditional CO2 lasers, allowing surgeons to operate more freely in delicate areas of the body and reduce damage to surrounding tissue. The J-Plasma stream is also limited to a maximum of 15 mm in length, thus eliminating pass-through.

The distinctive design of the hand piece provides an option to retract or extend the surgical blade, providing multiple modes of operation. In the extended configuration, the surgical blade can be used without energy or plasma, similar to a scalpel for incisions and other cutting procedures. When retracted, the device can be used to form the J-Plasma stream for coagulation or blunt dissection. A combination of the J-Plasma stream with the blade extended can provide an enhanced cutting capability with minimal impact on surrounding tissue.

Surgeons treating women with endometriosis, for example, can remove diseased tissue on the fallopian tubes without fear of damaging the delicate structures. This can improve the likelihood of more effective treatment, potentially reducing the need for repeat procedures. The J-Plasma tool is a product of Bovie Medical Corporation (Clearwater, FL, USA), and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The extended blade can be energized while helium is flowing to provide an enhanced plasma-based electrosurgical effect which speeds the cutting action, but produces virtually no eschar,” said Rob Saron, CEO of Bovie Medical Corporation. “When the blade is retracted, it serves as the sharp conductive point to produce the plasma beam which can then be used to coagulate, affect hemostasis, desiccation, etc.”

Plasma has so far enjoyed a limited role in surgery due to the high temperatures it creates and resulting harmful effects on body tissue.

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