Effect of Monopolar Cutting Mode against Bipolar Diathermy on Surgical Dissection of Microvessels

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An ideal vessel dissection will be to maximize bleeding control through coagulation while minimizing vessel damage. Among the diathermy methods, there has been no report comparing the effect on vessels. This study aims to verify the effect of bipolar diathermy against monopolar diathermy cutting mode for vessel dissection.


A total of 18 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups according to the method of pedicle dissection for 6 × 6 cm sized abdominal flap; (group 0) surgical scissors, (group 1) monopolar diathermy cutting mode and (group 2) bipolar diathermy. They were evaluated for the temperature of device tip and the radiating heat to the surrounding tissue, change in vessel diameter, flow velocity, and perfusion to the skin flap during dissection. Final flap survival rate and pathology of the vessels were also evaluated.


Significantly higher radiating heat was observed using bipolar diathermy (average: 37.5°C) compared with group using monopolar diathermy (average: 34.4°C) (p value 0.045). However, there were no differences in vessel diameter, skin flap perfusion, flow velocity, and flap survival rate among the groups.


Both monopolar diathermy cutting mode and bipolar diathermy are safe to use to dissect the pedicle vessels when used adequately. Although it has no significant difference in relations to flap survival, vessel spasm, and perfusion/velocity to the flap, the extent of histologic damage may be less in monopolar diathermy cutting mode. Using monopolar diathermy cutting mode may provide efficiency to achieve ligation in small vessels during pedicle dissection but requires finesse technique and a learning curve.

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