Tools of the trade: Ligasure

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electrosurgical instrument

by Dr Senura De Silva, McIvor Road Veterinary Centre, Bendigo, VIC

I undertake a lot of surgery covering everything from orthopaedics to lump removals to large complex operations. Ligasure is a handy piece of equipment that offers electrocautery functions and effective blood vessel sealing. 

What’s good about it

The best thing about Ligasure is that it reduces the number of sutures needed while easily controlling bleeding. For procedures such as spleen removal or taking out a liver lobe, it’s particularly effective. It can be a real asset during emergency situations when minimal bleeding is highly desirable.

Ligasure is effective in sealing blood vessels from a couple of millimetres in size up to about one centimetre. Research has shown it doesn’t affect healing time. The big advantage is that the patient spends less time under anaesthetic. A splenectomy that takes about 40 minutes is completely done in half that time.

The voltage of the unit can be easily changed. If I’m dealing with a smaller, sensitive area, I can step it down to quite a low level of current. This makes working on abdominal musculature much faster.

Ligasure is one of those things I feel lucky to have and would recommend it to every vet. It’s a big help with even the most basic surgery. Reduced operation time improves patient care and reduces a lot of the risks of surgery.

What’s not so good

The only problem we’ve had is with the grounding plate. There seems to be a small weakness at the connection point and it tends to come off. We’ve modified it in a way that works for us. 

Where did you get it

Ligasure from General Vet Products. We also purchased a Valleylab Force Triad, which powers the Ligasure, from Biovet Australia.

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