Use of an ultrasonic scalpel as an alternative to electrocautery in patients with pacemakers

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Abstract

We report the safe and effective use of an ultrasonically activated scalpel as an alternative to unipolar electrocautery during surgical procedures in 4 patients with pacemakers. This scalpel provided adequate hemostasis without the adverse consequences of electromagnetic interference. As the scalpel was able to easily cut through the silicone connector sleeve of one generator, it is not recommended for routine generator replacement because it may damage existing pacing leads. However, its use during nonpacemaker operations in patients with pacemakers should be considered.

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Epstein, M. R., Mayer, J. E., & Duncan, B. W. (1998). Use of an ultrasonic scalpel as an alternative to electrocautery in patients with pacemakers. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 65(6), 1802–1804. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-4975(98)00105-2

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