Carotid artery bursting pressure and seal time after multiple uses of a vessel sealing device

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To determine any loss of function of a single-use bipolar vessel sealing device after repeated sterilization and use on canine carotid arteries.

Study design:

Ex vivo; randomized block design (dog).

Sample population:

Carotid artery segments (n = 90) from 15 canine cadavers.


Six 10-mm LigaSure Atlas 20 cm devices (Covidien Inc, Minneapolis, Minnesota) were used to seal canine carotid artery segments in one cadaver, then resterilized using ethylene oxide and reused in a second cadaver, and so on, for a total of 15 uses/15 cadavers per LigaSure. Sealing times and bursting pressures of each carotid artery segment after each use were recorded. Charring and sticking at each seal location was qualitatively assessed.


Mean (SD) sealing time for all segments was 5.3 (1.4) seconds, ranging from 2.7 to 9.5 seconds. There was no significant change in sealing time for successive uses (P = .117). The mean (SD) bursting pressure for all segments was 1041.3 (316.7) mm Hg, ranging from 355 to 1555 mm Hg. There was no change in bursting pressure across uses (P = .57). Moderate sticking and charring occurred at each time point but was not subjectively different throughout the study.


The LigaSure Atlas vessel sealing device can be used and resterilized with ethylene oxide up to 15 times with no change in sealing time or bursting pressure of the seal.

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