FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ

ELECTROCAUTERY BASICS

What is electrocautery?


Electrocautery is the process of passing electrical current through body tissues during surgery in order to control hemorrhage.
Electrocautery is essential for all types of surgery.
Electrocautery is the most commonly used surgical technique for controlling hemorrhage during surgery.
It can result in thermal injuries that lead to morbidity and mortality.




What is monopolar vs bipolar electrocautery?


Download monopolar versus bipolar infographic here.




Why is bipolar electrocautery important?


Bipolar electrocautery is vitally important in all open surgeries (ie., non-endoscopic surgeries) because it provides a means of controlling hemorrhage without damaging surrounding tissues.




What type of surgery requires forceps electrocautery?


Surgeries that utilize bipolar forceps electrocautery: Almost all open surgeries require bipolar electrocautery. These are surgeries in which an incision is made to provide exposure. Most surgeries are open.
Surgeries that do not utilize bipolar forceps electrocautery: Laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures may not use bipolar forceps electrocautery.




What are the current challenges of bipolar electrocautery?


Current systems rely on a foot pedal for activation of the generator. This presents a number of challenges that may create safety issues:
Finding the foot pedal can delay an activation which may lead to blood loss.
Misplacement of the foot pedal often requires operating room staff to crawl on the floor under the operating table to relocate the foot pedal. The area under the operating table is unsterile and dirty and exposes staff to pathogens. This also delays activation and distracts the surgeon.
Surgeons may activate the wrong foot pedal in search of the bipolar electrocautery foot pedal.
Prolonged surgeries and foot pedal distractions contribute to physician fatigue. Bipolar forceps electrocautery is generally accepted as the most accurate form of electrocautery.





BiPAD® HAND SWITCH

What is the BiPAD® Hand Switch?


BiPAD® (BiPolar Activation Device) is a medical device consisting of a sterile cord that connects your bipolar forceps to the existing electrocautery generator while providing a hand switch that can replace or supplement the foot pedal.
BiPAD® provides surgeons with the first and only practical hand-activated switch for bipolar electrocautery thereby liberating them from the foot pedal.




Do I need a special electrocautery generator to use the BiPAD hand switching cord?


No. BiPAD® works with most existing generators that employ the Valleylab composite bipolar plug, including Ethicon and Bovie bipolar generators. It also works with most Codman Malis generators.
You will need to use a BIPAD® “Y” connecter for use with Codman/Malis bipolar electrosurgical units.
Contact us to determine if your generators are compatible.




Do I need special forceps?


No. The Hand Activated Disposable Bipolar Electrocautery Cord is an electrosurgical accessory designed to be universal when used with standard “two-pronged” bipolar non-irrigating two-prong connector forceps.




Can I still use the foot pedal?


Yes. BiPAD® is designed to accommodate surgeon preference and can be used with or without the foot pedal. Our expectation is that the bipolar foot pedal will go the way of the monopolar foot pedal and be eliminated.




Is the BiPAD® Hand Switch adjustable for size of hand?


Yes. The arm length of the actuator arm can be adjusted by pushing/pulling the arm through the actuator housing.




Is the BiPAD® Hand Switch adjustable for size / style of forceps?


Yes. The arm length of the actuator arm can be adjusted by pushing/pulling the arm through the actuator housing.




Is the BiPAD® Hand Switch adjustable to accommodate a range of surgeon preferences?


Yes. The ergonomically designed actuator arm can be fitted to the inner curve of the surgeon’s finger, fingertip, or third digit tip, allowing the surgeon to hold the forceps in their usual, preferred manner.




Does the BiPAD® Hand Switch accommodate left or right-handed surgeons?


Yes. The forceps can be attached in either direction to accommodate either right or left-handed use.




What are the indications fo use of the BiPAD® Hand Switch?


BIPAD® Hand Activated, Disposable Electrocautery Cords are intended to connect an electrosurgical device to an electrosurgical generator. They are indicated for use with bipolar forceps during general surgical procedures. Federal (USA) law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.




What are the contraindications of the BiPAD® Hand Switch?


The Hand Activated Bipolar Electrocautery Cord should not be used for laparoscopic procedures. Any use of this device for tasks other than for which it is indicated may result in damage and or injury.




Will BiPAD® produce an irrigating version?


Yes.




Are there any other hand-switched bipolar forceps electrocautery devices?


The ConMed device that incorporates a proximity switch that activates electrocautery current whenever the tines of the forceps are approximated. There are several problems with this type of forceps:
This interferes with the normal use of bipolar forceps which are also used to pick up and move objects to and from the surgical site and dissection. Inadvertent activation could be dangerous.
The ConMed design incorporates the switch into the forceps requiring the surgeon to use only the forceps provided by ConMed. Surgeons often have their favorite forceps that they are comfortable and proficient with.
The ConMed system is compatible with only a handful of electrosurgical generators. The ConMed system requires the use of a special cable which must be purchased separately.
⦁ Some models of Valleylab generators incorporate an impedance testing circuit which can automatically activate bipolar forceps when the impedance is below a predefined value. Problems with this are similar to the ConMed device described above.




How easy is conversion to the BiPAD® Hand Switch?


Converting is as simple as replacing your existing disposable cord with the BIPAD® cord.