A number of significant health hazards are associated with the use of ultrasonic surgical equipment such as harmonic scalpels. While ultrasonic surgery has been shown to improve outcomes in terms of recovery time, blood loss and burning, it produces a low-temperature aerosol plume – commonly referred to as smoke – that poses several risks to both patients and practitioners. For this reason, ultrasonic smoke evacuation systems are an essential precaution for many clinics as ultrasonic surgeries rise in popularity.
Understanding Ultrasonic Smoke
Understanding the risks associated with ultrasonic smoke plumes involves learning a little about how the technology works. Unlike laser and electrosurgical instruments, harmonic scalpels and other ultrasonic equipment do not operate at high temperatures and instead use high-frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to cut and coagulate tissue. While this minimizes the risk of burns to patients, it also means vapor produced by the procedure is more likely to include blood or serum containing viable pathogens.
Ultrasonic surgery produces cellular debris which is larger in size and quantity than that produced by electrocauterization. To prevent the spread of disease from the patient to hospital staff, proper smoke evac for ultrasonic procedures is required.
Surgimedics products represent an effective, inexpensive way of containing pathogenic vapors produced by ultrasonic smoke. Evacuation is accomplished with a high-powered capture device delivering flow rates between 5 and 65 CFM. An ultra-low penetration air (ULPA) filter captures particles as small as 0.1µ and contains a special carbon blend for increased odor removal. Because the unit features replaceable pre-filters in addition to the main filtration system, the cost of ownership is lower since the more expensive filter has a longer operational life.
Affordable Smoke Evac for Ultrasonic Procedures
If you work regularly with harmonic scalpels or similar devices, investing in a reliable ultrasonic smoke evacuation system for your surgery center is a must. Contact Surgimedics today for pricing information about our complete lineup of products.