Over the years, surgical clamps have become an increasingly popular device of choice for temporary occlusion of blood vessels during surgery. Clamps are available in both large and small sizes for various purposes. Nevertheless, laparoscopic surgery still presents challenges associated with reduced access to the operative field and with inability to use large clamps when sufficient space is not available. Popular small clamps for laparoscopy are “bulldog” clamps which can be applied to a blood vessel with a thumb and forefinger or with another surgical instrument such as forceps. Generally, squeezing the handles of clamps together allows the jaws to be positioned on a blood vessel, constricting the blood flow. One problem with current bulldog clamps is that they are “all or none.” A surgeon places a bulldog clamp on a vessel but cannot ratchet/tension the clamp once in place. Consequently a clamp may apply too much force (and risk damaging the blood vessel) or too little force (and risk not adequately constricting the blood flow). Further, bulldog clamps do not apply force evenly to the blood vessel and greater force is required to fully constrict the blood flow. When bulldog clamps fail, a surgeon is required to skeletonize the vessel to remove fat and connective tissue and then reintroduce the clamp. Such skeletonization increases the time and risk of the surgery. Therefore, there is an unmet need for a device which can be attached to a blood vessel during surgery to apply a variable amount of force in order to optimize the reduction of blood flow.
Summary of the Invention
Partial nephrectomy is the surgical procedure wherein the blood supply to a kidney is temporarily interrupted to enhance visibility of operative field. Such visibility enables the surgeon to precisely remove the offending (e.g., malignant, large angiomyolipoma, etc.) portion of the kidney and, once the tumor is removed, to restore the blood flow. To meet these and other needs, and in view of its purposes, a tensionable surgical clamp has been designed at the Department of Surgical Oncology of Fox Chase Cancer Center. This improved surgical clamp can be used where the surgical space does not permit the use of large clamps and allows to dynamically adjust the tension applied to a blood vessel. Additionally, the skeletonization of vessels required for the use of bulldog clamps can be avoided due to the evenly applied pressure and the ability to tension the clamp. If desired, the clamp can be quickly released so as to reestablish the blood flow through the vessel. Thus, optimizing hemostasis allows patients to have better operations when it comes to organ preservation.
Patent Status: A patent application has been filed.
For Licensing/Partnering information, please contact:
Inna Khartchenko, MS, MBA
Director, Technology Transfer and New Ventures