The electrosurgical sealing method has risen to prominence in recent years as more vessel sealing procedures are being conducted in minimally invasive surgery. Electrosurgical sealing works by applying electrical current to coagulate and denature proteins in the vessel, thereby creating a bond. In this study, experiments were conducted to seal 3 and 8 mm diameter vessels in a porcine model with a bipolar electrosurgical device and measure the electrical voltage and current, and temperature distribution in the vessel near the area of the seal. The vessel seal was modeled with finite element analysis (FEA) and compared to the experimental data. FEA allow for insight into the correlation of temperature to quality of the seal in the vessel. The maximum temperatures were 83°C and 63°C in the 3 and 8 mm vessels, respectively. Validation of the experimental results was attempted through the use of a simplified FEA model. The model showed similar thermal profiles near the electrode, but further downstream temperatures did not rise as fast as the experimental results. Further refinement to overcome limitations in the model is identified.

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