Bipolar radiofrequency-induced thermofusion of intestinal anastomoses—feasibility of a new anastomosis technique in porcine and rat colon
Purpose In recent years, vessel sealing has become a well-established method in surgical practice for sealing and transecting vessels.
Since this technology depends on the fusion of collagen fibers abundantly present in the intestinal wall, it should also be
possible to create intestinal anastomoses by thermofusion. Bipolar radiofrequency-induced thermofusion of intestinal tissue
may replace traditionally used staples or sutures in the future. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of
fusing intestinal tissue ex vivo by bipolar radiofrequency-induced thermofusion.
Materials and methods An experimental setup for temperature-controlled bipolar radiofrequency-induced thermofusion of porcine (n = 30) and rat (n = 18) intestinal tissue was developed. Colon samples were harvested and then anastomosed, altering compressive pressure to
examine its influence on anastomotic bursting pressure during radiofrequency-induced anastomotic fusion. For comparison, mechanical
stapler anastomoses of porcine colonic samples and conventional suturing of rat colonic samples identical to those used for
fusion experiments were prepared, and burst pressure was measured.
Results All thermofused colonic anastomoses were primarily tight and leakage proof. For porcine colonic samples, an optimal interval
of compressive pressure (1,125 mN/mm2) with respect to a high amount of burst pressure (41 mmHg) was detected. The mean bursting pressure for mechanical stapler
anastomosis was 60.7 mmHg and did not differ from the thermofusion (p = 0.15). Furthermore, the mean bursting pressure for thermofusion of rat colonic samples was up to 69.5 mmHg for a compressive
pressure of 140 mN/mm2.
Conclusion These results confirm the feasibility to create experimental intestinal anastomoses using bipolar radiofrequency-induced thermofusion.
The stability of the induced thermofusion showed no differences when compared to that of conventional anastomoses. Bipolar
radiofrequency-induced thermofusion of intestinal tissue represents an innovative approach for achieving gastrointestinal