|Title of Invention||
AN ULTRASONIC SURGICAL DEVICE WITH INCREASED LENGTH
|Abstract||This invention relates to an ultrasonic surgical instrument having an altered cross sectional area and/or stiffness of ½ wave segments of a waveguide (20) and/or end effector. The waveguide is coupled to an ultrasonic transducer. The ½ wave segments of the waveguide or end effector comprise a number of geometries and function to extend or decrease the length of a waveguide and/or end effector without adding or removing wave segments. The present invention is intended to function with conventional ultrasonic transducers at conventional frequencies.|
Cross Reference to Related Applications
The present application claims the priority benefit of United States provisional
patent application, serial no. 60/413,120, filed on September 24, 2002, the
contents of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety herein.
Field of the invention
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic surgical instrument for cutting,
coagulating, grasping and blunt-dissecting tissue, and particularly relates to an
ultrasonic surgical instrument having longer working lengths. The present
invention is, in one embodiment, specifically adapted for endoscopic surgery,
although it has other surgical applications as well.
Background of the Invention
Ultrasonic instruments, including both hollow core and solid core instruments, are
used for the safe and effective treatment of many medical conditions. Ultrasonic
instruments, and particularly solid core ultrasonic instruments, are advantageous
because they may be used to cut and/or coagulate organic tissue using energy in
the form of mechanical vibrations transmitted to a surgical end-effector at
ultrasonic frequencies. Ultrasonic vibrations, when transmitted to organic tissue
at suitable energy levels and using a suitable end-effector, may be used to cut,
dissect, or cauterize tissue. Ultrasonic instruments utilizing solid core technology
are particularly advantageous because of the amount of ultrasonic energy that
may be transmitted from the ultrasonic transducer through the waveguide to the
surgical end-effector. Such instruments are particularly suited for use in
minimally invasive procedures, such as endoscopic or laparoscopic procedures,
wherein the end-effector is passed through a trocar to reach the surgical site.
Figure 1 illustrates an exemplary ultrasonic system 10 comprising an ultrasonic
signal generator 15 with ultrasonic transducer 82, hand piece housing 20, and
clamp coagulator 120 in accordance with the present invention. Clamp
coagulator 120 may be used for open or laparoscopic surgery. The ultrasonic
transducer 82, which is known as a "Langevin stack", generally includes a
transduction portion 90, a first resonator or end-bell 92, and a second resonator
or fore-bell 94, and ancillary components. The ultrasonic transducer 82 is
preferably an integral number of one-half system wavelengths (nA/2) in length as
will be described in more detail later. An acoustic assembly 80 includes the
ultrasonic transducer 82, mount 36, velocity transformer 64 and surface 95.
The distal end of end-bell 92 is connected to the proximal end of transduction
portion 90, and the proximal end of fore-bell 94 is connected to the distal end of
transduction portion 90. Fore-bell 94 and end-bell 92 have a length determined
by a number of variables, including the thickness of the transduction portion 90,
the density and modulus of elasticity of the material used to manufacture end-bell
92 and fore-bell 94, and the resonant frequency of the ultrasonic transducer 82.
The fore-bell 94 may be tapered inwardly from its proximal end to its distal end to
amplify the ultrasonic vibration amplitude as velocity transformer 64, or
alternately may have no amplification.
The piezoelectric elements 100 may be fabricated from any suitable material,
such as, for example, lead zirconate-titanate, lead meta-niobate, lead titanate, or
other piezoelectric crystal material. Each of the positive electrodes 96, negative
electrodes 98, and piezoelectric elements 100 has a bore extending through the
center. The positive and negative electrodes 96 and 98 are electrically coupled
to wires 102 and 104, respectively. Wires 102 and 104 are encased within cable
25 and electrically connectable to ultrasonic signal generator 15 of ultrasonic
Wires 102 and 104 transmit the electrical signal from the ultrasonic signal
generator 15 to positive electrodes 96 and negative electrodes 98. The
piezoelectric elements 100 are energized by an electrical signal supplied from
the ultrasonic signal generator 15 in response to a foot switch 118 to produce an
acoustic standing wave in the acoustic assembly 80. The electrical signal
causes disturbances in the piezoelectric elements 100 in the form of repeated
small displacements resulting in large compression forces within the material.
The repeated small displacements cause the piezoelectric elements 100 to
expand and contract in a continuous manner along the axis of the voltage
gradient, producing longitudinal waves of ultrasonic energy.
An ultrasonic transmission 80 is generally defined as a waveguide 179, an end
effector 88 and an ultrasonic transducer 82. Further, the ultrasonic waveguide
179 and end effector 88 are, in combination, referred to as a "blade". Ultrasonic
transducer 82 converts the electrical signal from ultrasonic signal generator 15
into mechanical energy that results in primarily longitudinal vibratory motion of
the ultrasonic transducer 82, waveguide 179 and end-effector 88 at ultrasonic
frequencies. Ultrasonic end effector 88 and ultrasonic transmission waveguide
179 are illustrated as a single unit construction from a material suitable for
transmission of ultrasonic energy such as, for example, Ti6AI4V (an alloy of
titanium including aluminum and vanadium), aluminum, stainless steel, or other
known materials. Alternately, end effector 88 may be separable (and of differing
composition) from waveguide 179, and coupled by, for example, a stud, welding,
gluing, or other known methods.
When the acoustic assembly 80 is energized, a vibratory motion standing wave is
generated through the acoustic assembly 80. The amplitude of the vibratory
motion at any point along the acoustic assembly 80 depends on the location
along the acoustic assembly 80 at which the vibratory motion is measured. A
minimum or zero crossing in the vibratory motion standing wave is generally
referred to as a node (i.e., where motion is usually minimal), and an absolute
value maximum or peak in the standing wave is generally referred to as an anti-
node. The distance between an anti-node and its nearest node is one-quarter
wavelength (λI 4).
In order for the acoustic assembly 80 to deliver energy to end-effector 180, all
components of acoustic assembly 80 must be acoustically coupled to the
ultrasonically active portions of clamp coagulator 120. The distal end of the
ultrasonic transducer 82 may be acoustically coupled at surface 95 to the
proximal end of an ultrasonic waveguide 179 by a threaded connection such as
The components of the acoustic assembly 80 are preferably acoustically tuned
such that the length of any assembly is an integral number of one-half
wavelengths (nλ /2), where the wavelength X is the wavelength of a pre-selected
or operating longitudinal vibration drive frequency fd of the acoustic assembly 80,
and where n is any positive integer. It is also contemplated that the acoustic
assembly 80 may incorporate any suitable arrangement of acoustic elements.
The clamp coagulator 120 may include an instrument housing 130, and an
elongated member 150. The elongated member 150 can be selectively rotated
with respect to the instrument housing 130. Located at the distal end of the outer
tube 160 is an clamp element 180, which comprises the end effector 88 and
clamp arm 300 for performing various tasks, such as, for example, grasping
tissue, cutting tissue and the like.
The ultrasonic waveguide 179 of the elongated member 150 extends through an
aperture of an inner tube. The ultrasonic waveguide 179 is preferably
substantially semi-flexible. It will be recognized that the ultrasonic waveguide
179 may be substantially rigid or may be a flexible wire. Ultrasonic vibrations are
transmitted along the ultrasonic waveguide 179 in a longitudinal direction to
vibrate the ultrasonic end effector 88.
The ultrasonic waveguide 179 may, for example, have a length substantially
equal to an integral number of one-half system wavelengths (nλ/2). The
ultrasonic waveguide 179 may be preferably fabricated from a solid core shaft
constructed out of material that propagates ultrasonic energy efficiently, such as
titanium alloy (i.e., Ti-6AI-4V) or an aluminum alloy. The ultrasonic waveguide
179 may also amplify the mechanical vibrations transmitted to the ultrasonic end
effector 88 as is well known in the art.
The ultrasonic end effector 88 may have a length substantially equal to an
integral multiple of one-half system wavelengths (nλ/2). The distal end of
ultrasonic end effector 88 may be disposed near an antinode in order to provide
the maximum longitudinal excursion of the distal end. When the transducer
assembly is energized, the distal end of the ultrasonic end effector 88 is
configured to move in the range of, for example, approximately 10 to 500 microns
peak-to-peak, and preferably in the range of about 30 to 150 microns at a
predetermined vibrational frequency.
Ultrasonic generators, such as the model number GEN01, from Ethicon Endo-
Surgery, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, can lock onto any longitudinal frequency between
51 and 57.5 kHz. Ultrasonic end effectors are designed to have only one
resonance in this range. Presently, ultrasonic blades are limited to a working
length of about 36cm, though a need has arisen for end effectors having a
working length of 40-45cm in order to perform applications requiring additional
length. The addition of Vz waves in an ultrasonic transmission assembly incurs
the penalty of having mode shape frequencies closer together. At some point,
the mode shape frequencies are so close together that two or more will be within
the lock range of a generator/transducer. Each half wave of Ti6A4V is currently
limited to about 1.7 inches long unless the cross section is modified. Presently,
the ultrasonic generators in use are not compatible with end effectors having
more than 9 (½ wave) sections, thereby limiting the working length of a titanium
end effector to 15.4 inches or 39cm.
The present invention addresses the deficiencies of the prior art.
Brief Summary of the Invention
The present invention provides the operator with an ultrasonic device having a
long working length for use in applications where this feature is desired, such as
in the field of bariatrics, without adding Vz wave segments and yet providing the
generator the same effective modes to lock onto. The present invention also
provides for a reduction in the overall length of an ultrasonic waveguide, which
may be beneficial for applications where a shorter waveguide is desirable. The
present invention provides for a blade having altered cross sectional areas
and/or stiffness of 1/2 wave segments of the waveguide and/or end effector.
The Vz wave segments of the waveguide or end effector comprise a number of
geometries and function to extend or decrease the length of a waveguide and/or
end effector without adding or removing Vz wave segments. The present
invention is intended to function with conventional ultrasonic transducers at
It would be advantageous to provide an ultrasonic surgical instrument with a
longer working length that does not require the addition of Vz wave segments. It
would be further advantageous to provide an end effector with a longer working
length that is simple to manufacture, thereby reducing both production and
patient costs. It would also be advantageous to provide an ultrasonic instrument
with an extended work length that is compatible with generators presently
available. It would be even further advantageous to provide a means of reducing
the overall length of a waveguide without having to remove Vz wave segments,
for applications where a shorter wavelength is desirable.
A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides serial
amplification/deamplification. If a series of extended ½ waves are joined, and the
nodes at resonance are biased to one side, each ½ wave will act as an amplifier
or deamplifier. As a portion of a end effector warms up, frequency and node bias
will change. This changes the serial amplification/deamplification, whereby
functioning to decrease net amplification and net heat and creating a feedback
loop. The feedback loop functions to maintain end effector temperature below a
designated point intrinsic in the design of the end effector.
A still further advantage of the present invention comprises multi-mode
resonance. Serial expanded ½ waves will maintain the same longitudinal
frequency N, but N-1 and N+1 will decrease. This is of no concern in regards to
N-1, but N+1 will converge on N, thereby initiating a multi-mode resonance.
However, most of the nodes for N and N+1 are close to each other. The one
exception is where N's node is N+1's anti-node surrounded by 2 nodes.
Furthermore, the expanded ½ waves up to that point act as deamplifiers and
afterwards as amplifiers. Therefore, the 90 degree out of phase anti-node tends
to have low amplitude, resulting in a end effector (or waveguide) that can run at
two frequencies with low impedence and low heat generation at the same time.
It is also possible to create a device with the two mode shapes running at the
The restriction is that the two mode shapes will be in phase at one end, and 180
degrees out of phase at the other end. If the two modes are at the same
frequency, in phase at one end, out of phase and with equal amplitude at the
other end, the canceled end can be extended by adding uniform diameter rods,
maintaining both modes out of phase, superimposed. As many ½ waves can be
added as desired.
Finally, if an equivalent system is joined to the one described above, it will
reconvert the canceling waves into reinforcing waves. The result is a very long,
thin, ultrasonic waveguide with zero motion over the bulk of the length. It may be
possible to use a thin, flexible wire over this null zone to effectively guide
ultrasonic energy from outside the body, through an uninsulated flexible catheter
to a working end effector.
The present invention is useful in for endoscopic and open surgical applications.
It is also useful for robotic-assisted surgery applications.
Brief Description of the Accompanying Figures
The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended
claims. The invention itself, however, both as to organization and methods of
operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be
understood by reference to the following description, taken in conjunction with
the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a partial cut-away elevation view of a representative ultrasonic
surgical instrument of the prior art;
FIGURE 2 is a partial elevation view of a waveguide having two different cross-
FIGURE 2a is a partial elevation view of an alternate embodiment of a
waveguide in Fig. 2 having at least two different cross-sectional areas;
- FIGURE 3 is a partial elevation view of an alternate embodiment of a waveguide
having two different cross-sectional areas; and
FIGURE 3a is a partial elevation view of an alternate embodiment of a
waveguide in Fig. 3 having at least two different cross-sectional areas.
Detailed Description of the Invention
Before explaining the present invention in detail, it should be noted that the
invention is not limited in its application or use to the details of construction and
arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings and description.
The illustrative embodiments of the invention may be implemented or
incorporated in other embodiments, variations and modifications, and may be
practiced or carried out in various ways. Furthermore, unless otherwise
indicated, the terms and expressions employed herein have been chosen for the
purpose of describing the illustrative embodiments of the present invention for
the convenience of the reader and are not for the purpose of limiting the
It is also understood that any one or more of the following-described
embodiments, expressions of embodiments, examples, methods, etc. can be
combined with any one or more of the other following-described embodiments,
expressions of embodiments, examples, methods, etc.
The present invention is useful in combination with an end effector only, an end
effector and a clamp, a shear configuration, or numerous other end-effectors.
Examples of ultrasonic surgical instruments are disclosed in United States Patent
nos. 5,322,055 and 5,954,736 and in combination with ultrasonic end effectors
and surgical instruments as, for example, disclosed in United States Patent nos.
6,309,400 B2, 6,283,981 B1, and 6,325,811 B1 all of which are incorporated in
their entirety by reference herein.
Fig. 2 of the present invention illustrates a ½ wave segment 20 having a proximal
reduced cross section segment 21, a central segment 22, and a distal reduced
cross section segment 23. ½ wave segment 20 is part of an ultrasonic
transmission assembly comprising a waveguide, an end effector, and an
ultrasonic transducer as previously described. Fig. 2 further illustrates a first anti-
node 24, a node 25, and a second anti-node 26, wherein at a standard
frequency, the proximal most portion of proximal reduced cross section segment
21 is substantially aligned with first anti-node 24, the central symmetry line of
central segment 22 is substantially aligned with node 25, and the distal most
portion of distal segment 23 is substantially aligned with second anti-node 26.
The segment distal to antinode 24 may have the same or different cross section
than segment 21. Additionally, the segment proximal to antinode 26 may have
the same or different cross section than segment 23.
Such cross section reductions may be applied on the distal portion of the Vz wave
20 or the proximal portion of the Vz wave 20 only, but the effect of lengthening Vz
wave 20 will be reduced by a corresponding amount. A cross section increase of
substantially short length in segment 21 or 23 will reduce the effect of
lengthening the Vz wave 20, but can still be incorporated without eliminating the
One representative embodiment of the present invention excited at a
conventional frequency of 55kHz comprises an overall ½ wave segment 20
length of 2.417", a central segment 22 diameter of 0.140", a proximal and distal
segment 21 and 23 having a length of .585", and a proximal and distal segment
21 and 23 having a diameter of .070". This design of Vz wave segment 20
extends the length of the ½ wave segment 20 to 2.417", as opposed to a Vz wave
having no cross sectional or stiffness variation, which is limited to about 1.7" at
that frequency when composed of the same material. The present invention
contemplates combining Vz wave segment 20 with other Vz wave segments that
are substantially the same as Vz wave segment 20, although other Vz wave
segments may proximally begia at an anti-node and end distally at a node.
Further, the present invention contemplates the use of a number of variations in
cross sectional dimension that may be used to extend the length of Vz wave
Stiffness and density may be used in place of cross-sectional variation to achieve
a similar lengthening effect as above, wherein stiffness is increased in the range
of central segment 22, and/or density is decreased in the range of proximal and
distal tapered segments 21 and 23. This could be accomplished through various
means including, but not limited to, increasing stiffness by local heat treatment,
adding high modulus ceramic particles such as boron carbide, or using another
alloy such as an iron or cobalt based alloy and decreasing density by using
another alloy such as aluminum or adding ceramic particles such as boron
The combination of ½ wave segment 20 with other Vz wave segments having
substantially the same features of ½ wave segment 20 functions to extend the
length of the waveguide and/or end effector resulting in greater overall working
length than that achieved by instruments having ½ wave segments with no cross-
sectional area variation or stiffness variation.
Referring to Fig. 2a, a plurality of such cross section reductions may be used,
with smaller cross sections preferentially from node 25a towards antinodes 26a
and 24a. In the extreme, this leads to a tapered shape from node 25a to nodes
26a and 24a. One representative embodiment of the present invention excited at
a conventional frequency of 55kHz comprises an overall ½ wave segment 20a
length of 2.214", having a diameter of 0.140" at node 25a and a diameter of
0.070" at antinodes 24a and 26a. This design of Vz wave segment 20a extends
the length of the ½ wave segment 20 to 2.214", as opposed to a ½ wave having
no cross sectional or stiffness variation, which is limited to about 1.7" at that
frequency when composed of the same material. The present invention
contemplates combining ½ wave segment 20a with other ½ wave segments that
are substantially the same as ½ wave segment 20a or 20, although other ½ wave
segments may proximally begin at an anti-node and end distally at a node.
Further, the present invention contemplates the use of a number of variations in
cross sectional dimension that may be used to extend the length of ½ wave
Fig. 3 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present invention comprising a
½ wave segment 30, wherein ½ wave segment 30 further comprises a first
segment 31, a central segment 32, and a second segment 33, wherein first
segment 31 is, at a normal operating frequency (55.5 kHz), substantially aligned
with first anti-node 35, central segment 32 is substantially aligned with node 36,
and second segment 33 is substantially aligned with second anti-node 37. First
segment 31 and second segment 33 comprise a larger cross sectional area than
central segment 32. The measurements of first segment 31, central segment 32,
and second segment 33, comprise a number of variations in order to facilitate a
reduction in the overall length of ½ wave segment 30.
In one embodiment of the present invention, the measurement parameters of ½
wave segment 30 are designed in such a way as to function with a conventional
ultrasonic transducer at a conventional frequency (55.5 kHz). Overall length of
of ½ wave segment 30 is 0.993", a central segment 32 diameter of 0.070" and
length 0.495", proximal and distal segments 31 and 33 having a length of 0.249"
and a diameter of 0.140". ½ wave segment 30 may be attached to a number of
other ½ wave segments having similar measurements substantially similar to ½
wave segment 30. The change in cross sectional area of ½ wave segment 30
functions to reduce the overall length of ½ wave segment 30, thereby reducing
the overall length of the waveguide. The shortened waveguide is useful for
procedures in which a shorter waveguide is beneficial. The segment distal to
antinode 35 may have the same or different cross section than segment 31.
Additionally, the segment proximal to antinode 37 may have the same or different
cross section than segment 33.
Such larger cross sections may be applied on the distal portion ½ wave 30 or the
proximal portion of the ½ wave 30 only, but the effect of shortening ½ wave 30
will be reduced by a corresponding amount. A cross section decrease of
substantially short length in segment 31 or 33 will reduce the effect of
lengthening the ½ wave 30, but can still be incorporated without eliminating the
Referring to Fig. 3a, a plurality of such cross section reductions may be used,
with smaller cross sections preferentially from antinodes 35a and 37a towards
node 36a. In the extreme, this leads to a tapered shape. One representative
embodiment of the present invention excited at a conventional frequency of
55kHz comprises an overall ½ wave segment 30a length of 1.273", having a
diameter of 0.070" at node 36a and a diameter of 0.140" at antinodes 35a and
While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and
described herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that such
embodiments are provided by way of example only. In addition, it should be
understood that every structure described above has a function and such
structure can be referred to as a means for performing that function. Numerous
variations, changes, and substitutions will now occur to those skilled in the art
without departing from the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention*
be limited only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. An ultrasonic surgical device (10) with increased length, the device
a) an ultrasonic blade (88, 179) having a first segment (179) and a
second segment (88), the first segment (179) having a first cross-
sectional area greater than a second cross-sectional area.
2. An ultrasonic surgical device with increased length, the device comprising:
a) a housing (130);
b) a tubular sheath (160) having a proximal end joined to the housing
(130), and a distal end;
c) an ultrasonic waveguide (179) positioned within the tubular sheath
(160) and having an end effector (88) extending distally of the
distal end of the tubular sheath (160); the waveguide (179)
comprising a first cross-sectional area greater than a second cross-
3. The ultrasonic surgical device as claimed in claim 2 comprising a clamp
arm (300) pivotally mounted on the distal end of the tubular sheath (160)
for pivotal movement with respect to the end effector (88) for clamping
tissue between the clamp arm (300) and the end effector (88).
This invention relates to an ultrasonic surgical instrument having an altered cross
sectional area and/or stiffness of ½ wave segments of a waveguide (20) and/or
end effector. The waveguide is coupled to an ultrasonic transducer. The ½ wave
segments of the waveguide or end effector comprise a number of geometries
and function to extend or decrease the length of a waveguide and/or end
effector without adding or removing wave segments. The present invention is
intended to function with conventional ultrasonic transducers at conventional
|Indian Patent Application Number||694/KOLNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||13/2011|
|Date of Filing||21-Apr-2005|
|Name of Patentee||ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY INC|
|Applicant Address||4545 CREEK ROAD, CINCINNATI, OH|
|PCT International Classification Number||A61B|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US2003/030601|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-09-24|