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The Future of Bipolar Forceps in Surgery

As the medical field continues to evolve, so will the technology used in surgical procedures. Bipolar forceps have already evolved in numerous ways.

The shapes of forceps have evolved to where hundreds of different forceps are available for surgeons.

Forceps have been developed to reduce char by rapidly distributing heat away from the tips by coating the tips with various metals and engineering tips with heat-dispersing cores.

Generators have evolved over the ninety-six years since their first use to provide higher frequency and varying duty cycles. Recent efforts have focused on providing even higher frequency alternating current with mixed results.

The one remaining problem with bipolar forceps is the activation of its generator, typically via a foot pedal.

All other modalities of electrosurgery are hand-switched. Monopolar electrosurgical pencils, and all forms of endoscopic electrosurgery, bipolar and monopolar, are hand-switched.

The only form of electrosurgery that is not hand switched is the bipolar forceps.

Despite the claims of the most stoic surgeons, hand switching is problematic.

For various reasons, all surgeons must strongly favor using bipolar forceps over monopolar pencils to achieve hemostatic. Bipolar forceps limit current to the space between the forceps tips. The monopolar pencil involves the patient as a part of the electrosurgical circuit, with electrical current passing through the body in unpredictable and potentially devastating results.

Yet the foot pedal is such an impediment to using that surgeons use plain forceps and the monopolar pencil to achieve hemostasis - either deceived into thinking that the use of plane forceps in this manner somehow converts monopolar electrosurgery into bipolar electrosurgery. It does not.

Even surgeons claiming that the foot pedal is never a problem will "buzz" plane forceps to control bleeding adjacent to critical structures rather than using the appropriate instrument, the bipolar forceps. Why? Because they don't want to waste time searching for the bipolar forceps foot pedal.

"Buzzing" plane forceps is unacceptable today. It is inexcusable when it results in unnecessary damage to a patient.

BiPAD provides surgeons with hand-activation of bipolar forceps that makes these forceps as easy to use as the monopolar pencil.

BiPAD solves a 96-year-old problem, allowing surgeons to hand-switch almost every bipolar forceps using existing generators.

Now, there is no excuse. BiPAD hand switching makes bipolar forceps, the instrument of choice, as easy to use as the far more dangerous monopolar pencil for hemostasis.