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Bipolar forceps are specialized surgical instruments commonly used in various medical procedures, including those performed by surgeons and other healthcare professionals. They are an essential part of bipolar electrosurgery, a technique used for cutting, coagulating (stopping bleeding), and dissecting tissues during surgery.
Here's an overview of bipolar forceps and how they work:
Structure: Bipolar forceps typically consist of two tips that are electrically conductive. These tips are usually made of stainless steel and are insulated from each other, except at the very tips. The handles of the forceps are non-conductive and provide a means for the surgeon to grip and control the instrument during the procedure.
Mechanism: Unlike monopolar electrosurgery, where current passes through the patient's body to an external electrode, bipolar electrosurgery only requires the current to flow between the two tips of the forceps. The electrical circuit is completed locally at the tips of the forceps, minimizing the risk of electrical current passing through unintended areas of the patient's body.
Working Principle: When the surgeon activates the bipolar electrosurgical unit, an electric current passes through the tissue held between the forceps' tips. The current generates heat, which effectively cuts or coagulates the tissue, depending on the mode selected on the electrosurgical unit. The ability to coagulate tissue helps control bleeding during the procedure.
Advantages: Bipolar electrosurgery has several advantages over traditional monopolar electrosurgery. Since the current is confined to the tips of the forceps, there is less risk of electrical damage to surrounding tissues. This makes it particularly suitable for delicate surgeries and procedures in sensitive areas like the brain, eyes, and certain areas of the head and neck. Additionally, it eliminates the need for a grounding pad, reducing the risk of burns and complications.
Common Applications: Bipolar forceps find application in various surgical specialties, including but not limited to general surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat), and plastic surgery. They are often used for tasks like cutting blood vessels, coagulating tissue, and precise dissection.