LigLAP: Encirclement and Ligation of Vessels in Laparoscopic Surgery

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Abstract

This article proposes a potential automatic ligation (LigLAP) method to occlude vessels and ducts in several laparoscopic surgical procedures. Currently, stapling devices are widely used for this purpose. However, there are some complications associated with stapling devices, including biliary leak and tissue damage. In this article, we examine the feasibility of an alternative method that uses a double-layer suture to encircle and occlude a vessel. A heating element melts the outer layer of the suture at the cross-point of the suture to create a seal. Several electromechanical mechanisms have been proposed to carry out this ligation process. In addition, some parts have been prototyped for experimental verification and visualization. Several double-layered sutures have been created, and their tensile strength and sealing capabilities have been measured. Moreover, a simple leakage experiment has been performed to verify experimentally the idea of using the double-layer suture. The results show that the new suture and the thermal sealing method provide the required strength to occlude balloons filled with water. Although the results suggest that the proposed method and the double-layer suture may be used in surgical ligation processes, much more rigorous testing of leakage is required.

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