Campbell-Walsh Urology, 11th Edition

PART II

Basics of Urologic Surgery

11

Basic Energy Modalities in Urologic Surgery

Manoj Monga; Shubha De; Bodo E. Knudsen

Questions

  1. What is the mechanism electrosurgery uses to affect tissues?
  2. Current is delivered to the tip of the instrument, causing it to heat and affect the tissue.
  3. Current is delivered to the tissue directly, causing it to heat.
  4. Current is conducted through a fluid medium to affect the tissue.
  5. Electrons are excited, creating increased light energy, which directly affects the tissue.
  6. What is the mechanism electrocautery uses to affect tissues?
  7. Current is delivered to the tip of the instrument, causing it to heat and affect the tissue.
  8. Current is delivered to the tissue directly, causing it to heat.
  9. Current is conducted through a fluid medium to affect the tissue.
  10. Electrons are excited, creating increased light energy, which directly affects the tissue.
  11. When cautery is set to "pure cut," the current is:
  12. interrupted, but mainly on.
  13. interrupted, but mainly off.
  14. continuous.
  15. continuous, but oscillates between high and low voltage.
  16. variable in both intermittency and voltage.
  17. An argon beam coagulator:
  18. works by igniting a column of argon gas.
  19. uses an argon laser to diffusely coagulate tissues.
  20. should be used in direct contact with the tissue's surface.
  21. should be used in a dry environment.
  22. uses a column of argon gas that passes over an electrode.
  23. Bipolar and monopolar cautery differ in that:
  24. monopolar does not require a dispersive electrode.
  25. monopolar can be used at much higher voltages.
  26. bipolar does not require a dispersive electrode.
  27. bipolar can be used at much higher voltages.
  28. there are no differences.
  29. The LigaSure and Gyrus PK both show benefits over the Thunderbeat and Ultrashears in that they:
  30. are able to produce less smoke and keep a clear visual field.
  31. seal vessels faster, and with higher burst pressures.
  32. function more reliably in wet environments.
  33. are cheaper and reusable.
  34. show no benefits and are inferior products.
  35. The wavelength for the holmium:YAG (Ho:YAG) laser is:
  36. 488 nm—blue; 514 nm—green.
  37. 1064 nm.
  38. 1318 nm.
  39. 2140 nm.
  40. 2640 nm.
  41. Stone fragmentation via Ho:YAG lasers occurs by:
  42. cavitation bubble collapse and resulting shock waves.
  43. fluid jets created by rapid heating of the surrounding fluid.
  44. pneumatic activity of the laser tip against the stone.
  45. direct energy absorption.
  46. ultrasonic thermal ablation of the stone surface.
  47. The major downside of pneumatic lithotripsy in the ureter is:
  48. cost.
  49. ureteral injury.
  50. poor visualization.
  51. stone retropulsion.
  52. all of the above.
  53. Which instruments can be used through flexible ureteroscopy?
  54. Electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL), pneumatic, ultrasonic
  55. Laser, ultrasonic, combination (pneumatic and ultrasonic)
  56. Ultrasonic, laser, EHL
  57. Combination (pneumatic and ultrasound), laser, EHL
  58. All modalities

Answers

  1. b. Current is delivered to the tissue directly, causing it to heat. Electrosurgery uses radiofrequency current in the range of 400,000 to 600,000 Hz to pass through tissue and create the desired effects.The generators deliver more than 100 W of power to the tissue at voltages ranging from 100 to 5000 V. While the current is delivered to the tissue, the tissue is heated and the effect occurs. This is in contrast to electrocautery, in which the instrument itself is heated and then applied to the tissue.
  2. a. Current is delivered to the tip of the instrument, causing it to heat and affect the tissue.In contrast to electrosurgery, where radiofrequency current in the range of 400,000 to 600,000 Hz passes through tissue and create the desired effects, with electrocautery the tip of the instrument is heated and then applied to the tissue to create the desired effect.
  3. c. Continuous. Pure cut uses continuous delivery, whereas coagulation uses interrupted delivery.Generators will also usually provided "blended" modes that modify the degree of interruption to gain the desired effect.
  4. e. Uses a column of argon gas that passes over an electrode. The argon beam coagulator works by adding a column of argon gas that passes over the electrode; electrosurgical energy ionizes the argon gas and helps to displace the blood in the surgical field. Because argon is a noble gas, the current from the electrode is effectively transmitted to the underlying tissue.
  5. c. Bipolar does not require a dispersive electrode.Unlike monopolar systems in which a circuit is created by delivering the energy via an electrode and then removed from the patient using a dispersive electrode (grounding pad), bipolar delivery does not require a dispersive electrode. Rather, the active and return electrodes are integrated in the delivery hand piece. The tissue contained between the electrodes is the target tissue.
  6. b. Seal vessels faster, and with higher burst pressures.A comparison study comparing the vessel sealing times and thermal spread of two bipolar vessel sealing systems (LigaSure and Gyrus PK) as well as an ultrasonic devise (Ethicon Harmonic Scalpel) was performed. This demonstrated that the two bipolar systems had faster vessel sealing times with higher burst pressures compared to the ultrasonic device. However, the ultrasonic device had less thermal spread and smoke production (Lamberton et al, 2008).*
  7. d. 2140 nm.Ho:YAG laser is a 2140-nm pulsed laser that is used for both soft tissue and lithotripsy applications in urology. The 2140-nm wavelength is strongly absorbed in water, traveling only approximately 0.5 mm in the fluid medium, making it ideal for the urologic environment. Both the argon (488 nm—blue; 514 nm—green) and Nd:YAG (1064 nm, 1318 nm) lasers use two different wavelengths.
  8. d. Direct energy absorption.Previous laser technologies (Ruby, Nd:YAG) used photoacoustic or photomechanical processes, where light energy created shock waves that fragmented stones. In contrast, the Ho:YAG laser uses photothermal lithotripsy, which involves direct light energy absorption (“photo”) by stone surfaces, causing rapid temperature (“thermal”) increases, before significant heat diffusion can occur. A “Moses effect” occurs by the rapid vaporization of fluid creating a vapor channel between the fiber tip and stone's surface, allowing for more direct energy transfer. Interstitial water may also become vaporized, leading to fragment ejection; however, these forces are not great enough to directly lead to stone fracture.
  9. d. Stone retropulsion. Pneumatic lithotripsy uses ballistic forces to transfer kinetic energy from a handheld probe to the stone surface. Repetitive strikes (12 Hz LithoClast, 15 to 30 Hz Electrokinetic lithotripter) from the probe tip act as a jackhammer, fragmenting stones at the point of contact.Stone migration is a significant disadvantage when treating ureteric stones because the probe's ballistic effect can propel stones in capacious ureters into the kidney. Retropulsion has been reported in as much as 10% of distal and 40% of proximal stones treated with pneumatic lithotripsy. In a four-way comparison of intracorporeal lithotripters on iatrogenic urothelial trauma, pneumatic probes were found to be the least traumatic (compared to laser, ultrasonic, and electrohydraulic lithotripsy). Pneumatic lithotripters are currently one of the most cost effective because of their durability and use of reusable probes.
  10. c. Ultrasonic, laser, EHL.Because of their mechanisms of action, EHL probes and laser fibers can fragment stones while being flexed. 200-μm laser fibers can be readily flexed 270 degrees in flexible ureteroscopes, whereas thin EHL probes (1.9 Fr) are flexible enough to reach the lower pole while conducting electrical pulses for spark discharge. Thin ultrasonic probes can be moderately deflected using flexible scopes; however, these wirelike probes lack a lumen for suction and suffer from significant dampening and reduced efficiency with flexion. Any amount of torque applied to pneumatic lithotrites significantly reduces the jackhammer-like movements and reduces fragmentation potential. Similarly, combination lithotrites cannot be flexed, nor are they available in sizes compatible with ureteroscopy.

Chapter review

  1. When alternating current is employed, the term for resistance is impedance; impedance increases when charring occurs.
  2. Lasers with shorter wavelengths have a much greater amount of scatter than those with longer wavelengths.
  3. The depth of tissue penetration for Nd:YAG is 10 mm, KTP 1 to 2 mm, Ho:YAG 0.4 mm, and CO2no significant penetration.
  4. The electrohydraulic probe produces a spark that creates a shock wave; one should place the probe 1 mm away from the stone.
  5. Stone composition and surface characteristics affect the efficiency of EHL, with uric acid stones taking the most time to fragment.
  6. The pneumatic device is the only modality that does not cut through wire, such as a safety guidewire or stone basket.
  7. The ultrasonic probe results in vibration at the end of the probe that is transferred to the stone, causing it to fracture.
  8. Ho:YAG laser stone fragmentation is primarily due to a photothermal effect.
  9. Laser lithotripsy produces the smallest fragments and is useful for all stone compositions.
  10. The argon beam coagulator works by adding a column of argon gas that passes over the electrode, and then electrosurgical energy ionizes the argon gas and helps to displace the blood in the surgical field. Because argon is a noble gas, the current from the electrode is effectively transmitted to the underlying tissue.
  11. Bipolar delivery does not require a dispersive electrode (grounding pad). The active and return electrodes are integrated in the delivery hand piece.
  12. The bipolar systems for sealing tissue have faster vessel sealing times with higher burst pressures compared to the ultrasonic device. However, the ultrasonic device has less thermal spread and smoke production.
  13. Pneumatic probes are the least traumatic to ureteral tissue compared to laser, ultrasonic, and electrohydraulic lithotripsy.

* Sources referenced can be found in Campbell-Walsh Urology, 11th Edition, on the Expert Consult website.