Tissue effects of argon gas flow during electrosurgery

Christiaan F.P. Van Swol*, Remco J. Van Vliet, Matthijs G.M. Grimbergen, Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

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Argon gas-enhanced electrosurgery has recently been introduced for its potential beneficial effects on hemostasis during electrical cutting. In this study, the influence of argon gas on electrosurgery on tissue was investigated. A standard electrosurgery unit was used extended with a gas unit (GSU) and accommodated handset, which enabled a flow of argon blown along the electrode in contact with tissue. The temperature distribution was visualized in polyacrylamide gel using a color-Schlieren technique. Bovine tissue was used to evaluate the macroscopic effect of the lesions. The electrode was moved over the tissue surface with different settings for speed, gas flow, gas-outlet positioning and depth of the electrode in the tissue. During cutting, coagulation was significantly increased using argon gas; coagulation on both sides of the track ranging from 1.0 mm without argon flow up to 4.5 mm with argon flow could be obtained. Changing the gas flow from laminar to affected neither the coagulation nor the cutting. The extent of the coagulation depended on the combination of power and distance of the gas-outlet to the tissue. The coagulation depth beyond the bottom of the tracks was not influenced by argon and remained less then 1 mm. Argon gas-enhanced electrode surgery is especially effective when just touching the tissue thus obtaining a superficial coagulation (and hemostasis) of the surrounding tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-71
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of SPIE - the international society for optical engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventSurgical Applications of Energy 1998 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 25 Jan 199826 Jan 1998


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