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Last Updated: January 26, 2022

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Claims for Patent: 4,936,301

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Summary for Patent: 4,936,301
Title: Electrosurgical method using an electrically conductive fluid
Abstract:An electrolyte fluid purging electrosurgical device for use with an electrode holder connected to an electrical power source and to a source of a non-electrically conductive fluid and a method of use are disclosed. The fluid purging electrosurgical device enables electrosurgery at a surgical site where an area proximate the surgical site is surrounded by an electrically conductive fluid such as saline irrigation fluids, body fluids, certain injectables and the like. The fluid purging electrosurgical device comprises an electrode shaft with an electrode shaft connector electrically connecting a first end of the electrode shaft to an electrode holder. An insulating material provides electrical insulation between a second end of the electrode shaft and the electrode holder. The insulating material is positioned on the electrode shaft to expose a portion of the second end of the electrode shaft to define an electrode tip to provide electrical current to the surgical site. A duct means is connected to the source of the non-electrically conductive fluid and extends along the electrode shaft to deliver the non-electrically conductive fluid to a region immediately proximate the electrode tip to displace the electrically conductive fluid at the position of the electrode tip in the surgical site to enable electrosurgical treatment thereat.
Inventor(s): Rexroth; Frederick W. (Dunedin, FL), Bays; F. Barry (Seminole, FL)
Assignee: Concept, Inc. (Clearwater, FL)
Application Number:07/065,823
Patent Claims:1. A method of performing electrosurgery on a patient in need of electrosurgery with a surgical site surrounded by an electrically conductive fluid, comprising the steps of:

providing an electrosurgical apparatus having an electrode tip for performing electrosurgery;

preparing the patient and the intended surgical site for electrosurgery surgery;

preparing the electrosurgical apparatus for electrosurgery at the surgical site on the patient;

initiating and maintaining an electrically conductive physiological irrigation fluid in an area greater than, and including, the area of the intended electrosurgical site;

delivering an electrically non-conductive fluid under pressure proximate the surgical site to continuously purge only the immediate proximate surgical site of any electrically conductive fluid during the performance of electrosurgery; and

initiating contact of the surgical site with the electrode tip while purging of the surgical site such that the electrode tip is within the electrolyte purged area proximate the surgical site;

activating the electrode tip while purging the surgical site to enable the performance of the desired electrosurgical procedure at the surgical site during the purging of the electrically conductive fluid from the area immediately proximate the surgical site without interference by the electrically conductive fluid flow being maintained while performing the desired electrosurgical procedure.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the non-electrical conducting fluid is selected from the group consisting of: sterile distilled water, substantially electrolyte free sterile water, carbon dioxide, glycine, sorbitol and air.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the non-electrical conducting fluid is sterile distilled water.

4. An improved method of performing an arthroscopic subcutaneous lateral release utilizing an electrosurgical cautery on a patient in needed of an arthroscopic subcutaneous lateral release where the surgical site is surrounded by an electrically conductive fluid comprising the steps of:

providing an electrosurgical apparatus for performing electrosurgery;

preparing the patient and the intended surgical site for arthroscopic surgery;

preparing the electrosurgical apparatus for electrosurgery at the surgical site on the patient;

establishing an electrically conductive physiological salt solution flow to irrigate an area greater than, and including, the area of the intended subcutaneous lateral release site;

converting the electrically conductive physiological salt solution flow to an electrically non-conductive sterile water flow to irrigate the area greater than and including the area of the intended subcutaneous lateral release site to enable the performance of electrosurgery without interference from the electrically conductive fluid; and

performing arthroscopic electrosurgery at the intended surgical site wherein the improvement comprises the steps of:

initiating and maintaining an electrically conductive physiological irrigation fluid in an area greater than, and including, the area of the intended subcutaneous lateral release site;

delivering an electrically non-conductive fluid under pressure proximate the surgical site to continually purge only an area immediately proximate the surgical site of any electrically conductive during the performance of electrosurgery; and

initiating contact of the surgical site with an activated electrosurgical electrode such that an electrode tip of the activated electrode is within the electrolyte purged area immediately proximate the surgical site to enable the performance of the desired electrosurgical procedure at the surgical site during the purging of the electrically conductive fluid from the area immediately proximate the surgical site without interference by the electrically conductive fluid flow being maintained while performing the desired electrosurgical procedure of the subcutaneous lateral release.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the non-electrical conducting fluid is sterile distilled water.

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