Steven P Walsh, PhD, Nikolay Suslov, PhD, Brian Tippet, MD, Alexandra MacLean, MD. Plasma Surgical, Inc
Objective of the technology or device:
The PlasmaJet® Surgery System is an advanced energy-based surgical platform that allows surgeons to deliver a controlled jet of high energy thermal plasma to perform a variety of surgical tasks in a in a precise “no touch” manner. Dissipation of the plasma energy occurs at the tissue surface with a minimal lateral and axial thermal footprint, with the surgical energy provided in both thermal and kinetic forms. In combination these energies are ideally suited to perform Kinetic Dissection™ of tissue planes, and for controlled Microlayer Vaporization™ of lesions and Surface Sealing™ of tissues.
Description of the technology and method of its use or application:
Plasma energy is created within the device handpiece by thermally exciting argon gas to the plasma state, whereupon it exits the distal tip of the handpiece in the form of a high energy, low density focused jet with high axial velocity. Although an electric arc is used to generate the plasma, no current exits the device, or is required to pass through the patient or tissue, to cause the intended effects as with conventional electrosurgical or “plasma enhanced” electrosurgical devices.
Control of the intended surgical effect is achieved by the surgeon through the selection of operational settings on the control console, as well as by their manipulation of the handpiece. Adjusting the “tip-to-tissue” distance alters the resulting effect on the tissue to afford a spectrum of results ranging from superficial surface coagulation through dispersed surface vaporization, and ultimately to focused tissue vaporization as the distance is closed. The current handpiece designs use a straight rigid shaft of various lengths suitable for both open and laparoscopic procedures; however with recent design enhancements, flexible shaft configurations and thus endoscopic applications are possible.
To date, the PlasmaJet Surgery System has been used in over 12,000 clinical case. Stemming from the unique characteristics of thermal plasma-tissue interaction, and the level of control that is afforded the surgeon, the device is routinely used for the removal of diseased tissues in surgical specialties including: Oncology, Colorectal, General Surgery and Gynecology. Minimal unintended thermal effects allows tissue vaporization to be performed clinically on delicate or sensitive tissue structures such as the bowel or diaphragm with negligible damage to the underlying tissues. Reducing the thermal energy effects allows the device to be used as an effective technique for sealing surgical surfaces to reduce weeping and drainage, as associated with lymphatic node dissections. With the combination of the kinetic energy of the high velocity plasma jet, the device is effective in separating adhered tissues in complex surgical procedures and reoperations, as well as efficiently dissecting tissue planes as in peritoneal stripping.
The PlasmaJet® Surgery System, and its delivery of a precisely controlled jet of thermal plasma, has been shown clinically to be an effective tool for tissue dissection, vaporization, and surface coagulation. Future device enhancements will provide flexibility to the handpiece shaft, with the next generation platform providing improvements in hemostatic control and tissue cutting.