This study compared functional and physical collateral damage to a nerve when operating a Codman MALIS Bipolar Electrosurgical System CMC-III or a CO2 laser coupled to a laser, with correlation to an in vitro model of heating profiles created by the devices in thermochromic ink agarose. Functional damage of the rat sciatic nerve after operating the MALIS or CO2 laser at various power settings and proximities to the nerve was measured by electrically evoked nerve action potentials, and histology of the nerve was used to assess physical damage. Thermochromic ink dissolved in agarose was used to model the spatial and temporal profile of the collateral heating zone of the electrosurgical system and the laser ablation cone. We found that this laser can be operated at 2 W directly above the nerve with minimal damage, while power settings of 5 W and 10 W resulted in acute functional and physical nerve damage, correlating with the maximal heating cone in the thermochromic ink model. MALIS settings up to 40 (11 W) did not result in major functional or physical nerve damage until the nerve was between the forceps tips, correlating with the hottest zone, localized discretely between the tips.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)