J-Plasma: Potentially, A Revolutionary Surgical Tool
Bovie Medical Corporation is introducing a potentially revolutionary surgical tool that combines multiple functions in a single device. Along the lines of the “Swiss Army Knife,” the J-Plasma Surgical Tool provides the ability to cut like a standard scalpel, cut with an enhanced plasma-based electrosurgical effect, and seal or provide hemostasis using the cold plasma beam, all in a single hand piece. Cold plasma discharges also appear to have an antimicrobial effect, but much more testing will need to be done in this area before we can make any claims.
How It Works:
The cold plasma effect is highly localized, minimizing collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissue, and does not require a return pad, both of which differentiates it from standard electrosurgical devices.
The plasma beam is formed by simply passing an inert gas, such as helium, over a sharp conductive point which is electrically energized at high voltage and high frequency, producing a luminous discharge beam. In an advanced version, the sharp conductive point is actually a retractable surgical blade. The blade can be extended and used as a standard scalpel for incisions, biopsies, and so on. The extended blade can also be energized while helium is flowing to provide an enhanced plasma-based electrosurgical effect which speeds the cutting action, but produces virtually no eschar, once again unlike standard electrosurgical devices. When the blade is retracted, it serves as the sharp conductive point to produce the plasma beam which can then be used to seal, affect hemostasis, desiccation, and so on.
Bovie Medical Corporation currently has four patents granted that are related to the J-Plasma technology:
#5,909,086 “Plasma Generator for Unipolar Plasma” by Kim, et al., awarded June 1, 1999
#6,099,523 “Cold Plasma Coagulator” by Kim, et al., awarded August 8, 2000
#7,316,682 “Electrosurgical Device to Generate a Plasma Stream” by Konesky, awarded January 8, 2008
#8,057,468 “Method to Generate a Plasma Stream for Performing Electrosurgery” by Konesky, awarded November 15, 2011.
There are also three patent applications pending:
#61/411,174 “Electrosurgical Apparatus with Retractable Blade” by Rencher, filed November 8, 2010
#61/244,911 “Electrosurgical Apparatus to Generate a Pulsed Plasma Stream and Method Thereof” by Konesky, filed September 23, 2010
#61/298,982 “Electrosurgical Apparatus to Generate a Dual Plasma Stream and Method Thereof” by Konesky, filed January 28, 2011.
Bovie has also received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for utilization in open and laparoscopic procedures on soft tissue for both the basic plasma technology and the advanced retractable blade plasma applicator.
While J-Plasma is currently only cleared for soft tissue coagulation, a very wide range of potential applications is anticipated. These are very exciting times at Bovie Medical Corporation.
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