Comparison of Tissue Effects in Rabbit Muscle of Surgical Dissection Devices


Authors: Christian A. Bowers, Greg Burns, Karen L. Salzman, Lawrence D. McGill, Joel D. MacDonaldN, BSN

First Published: March, 2014


While some energy-based surgical dissection and coagulation modalities may offer excellent cutting and coagulation abilities, the impact on healing may differ among devices. We compared the tissue effects of three of these modalities with those of the standard surgical scalpel in rabbit muscle at 24 h and 14 days after surgery by evaluating radiographic and histological data. Linear incisions were made with each device in the dorsal lumbar musculature of rabbits using monopolar electrocautery in cut mode (MPE-Cut) and coagulation mode (MPE-Coag), a ferromagnetic induction loop (FMI), and a traditional scalpel. Magnetic resonance imaging scans and histological sampling were done at 24 h and 14 days. Subjective cutting and coagulation characteristics for each device were also recorded during surgery. The scalpel and FMI appeared to cause the least tissue damage adjacent to the incisions in rabbit dorsal lumbar musculature. The scalpel showed the best healing, while the FMI and MPE-Cut demonstrated good healing. The MPE-Coag showed the worst tissue healing. The scalpel, FMI, and MPE-Cut all exhibited favorable subjective characteristics during surgery. It appears that the FMI may be a better choice for surgical dissection and coagulation in muscle tissue than the MPE coagulation mode because it shows less tissue damage and offers better tissue healing.