Electrosurgical tissue joining is an effective way to create hemostasis, especially in surgical procedures performed in the minimally-invasive manner. The quality of tissue joints and potential thermal damage to the surroundings are the two main concerns when using electrosurgical tissue joining tools. A more robust method for quality control is still needed. In this study, we developed an experimental setup to join tissues and performed tensile tests to evaluate the quality of the tissue joint, while also monitoring the process parameters including voltage, current, impedance, temperature and thermal dose. Three joining times (4, 6, and 8 seconds) and three compression levels (80%, 90%, and 95%) were used to join porcine arterial tissues. It was found that 95% compression can form a strong joint with a shorter joining time and less energy, but the joint strength decreases when the joining time is extended to 8 seconds. A lower compression level can still form a quality joint but requires longer joining time and energy which could lead to more thermal damages. A new index, specific strength (mmHg/J), which is defined as the ratio between tensile strength and the consumed energy, is proposed. Specific strength offers a new way to estimate the required joining time to achieve sufficient joining strength while minimizing the energy consumption to reduce thermal damages.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.