A Safer Trocar?
British researchers have developed a trocar with a self-retracting needle that they hope will prevent accidental organ puncture at the start of laparoscopic surgery. Based on changes in pressure, the needle withdraws the moment it enters the abdominal cavity. Here's how. The pressure of the insertion inflates a diaphragm that activates its own withdrawal by the force of a tiny spring after it passes through the muscle and tissue, say researchers. Developed by Nottingham Trent University (amt.org.uk) and Olberon Medical Innovations, the design is a modified version of a self-retracting cannula by the same team, appropriated for keyhole surgery.
Although keyhole surgery complications are rare, bowel perforations or bile duct injuries can result in such life-threatening complications as circulatory collapse or septic shock. "This simple invention could be an important tool that prevents accidents and enables surgeons to carry out this routine procedure with increased confidence at a lower risk of injury to the patient," says Amin Al-Habaibeh, a professor of intelligent engineering systems at Nottingham Trent's School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.