Clip appliers are reusable surgical instruments widely used to ligate tubular structures such as blood vessels. They are available in many lengths and diameters and for use with various sized clips.
Over its lifetime, the instrument is subjected to many degradation such as:
- Biological contamination (dried residues, biofilm)
- Jaws damage during reprocessing (become misaligned)
- Loss of jaws openning adjutment
- Flaking of the colored finger rings
The current construction of a clip applier (and surgical clamps) comprises:
- A male body and a female body hinged together by a boxlock, each body having jaws at the distal part
- A leaf spring attached to one arm and pressing onto the other arm for reopening of the jaws
This spring is manually adjusted to set the distance bewteen the two jaws to the specified clearance
- A plastic color coating that corresponds to clip cartridges.
The proposed innovation aims at eliminating the above issues and ultimately improving the patient safety.
The foregoing issues are addressed by the new mechanical architecture as described below.
In accordance with the invention, the new mechanical architecture comprises :
- A male and female bodies preferably made of titanium
- A unique boxlock design including a setting screw to allow precise setting of a maximum open width of the jaws
- Separated jaws that can be easily installed and removed from the body of the clip applier
- A simple mechanical design and assembly of male and female bodies, allowing cost reduction of the manufacturing process. Superior raw material such as titanium can then be selected. Almost infinite lifetime can be expected thanks to the removal of the weakest portion of the male and female bodies (i.e. prealably the jaws in the existing design)
- Titanium is fracture-proof, non-rusting and completely resistant to organic and industrial chemicals, allowing for greater longevity
- The oxide titanium layer has antimicrobial effect
- Anodized titanium can advantageously replace plastic coating
- Removal of spring and fixation means to the male/female bodies : elimination of critical oxydation areas such as holes, pins or rivets.
- The boxlock is designed with a cavity for instertion of the removable jaws. This hollow boxlock can be more efficiently cleaned compared to the existing boxlock design (male/female bodies must be wide opened for cleaning)
- Removable jaws are designed with spring effect, making them shock resistant and long lasting. They are preferably made of titanium.
- "single use jaws " could also be proposed and packaged separately in sterile pack
Overall, the present invention provides a surgical clip applier with enhanced safety through consitent precision and biocompatibility performances over repeated uses from patient to patient.