Harmonic Scalpel

The HARMONIC SCALPEL uses ultrasonic technology, the unique energy form that allows both cutting and coagulation of hemorrhoidal tissue at the precise point of application, resulting in minimal lateral thermal tissue damage. Because the HARMONIC SCALPEL uses ultrasound, there is less smoke than is generated by both lasers and electrosurgical instruments. The HARMONIC SCALPEL cuts and coagulates by using lower temperatures than those used by electrosurgery or lasers. HARMONIC SCALPEL technology controls bleeding by coaptive coagulation at low temperatures ranging from 50ºC to 100ºC: vessels are coapted (tamponaded) and sealed by a protein coagulum.

Coagulation occurs by means of protein denaturation when the blade, vibrating at 55,500 Hz, couples with protein, denaturing it to form a coagulum that seals small coapted vessels. When the effect is prolonged, secondary heat is produced that seals larger vessels. Because ultrasound is the basis for HARMONIC SCALPEL technology, no electrical energy is conducted to the patient. By contrast, electrosurgery coagulates by burning (obliterative coagulation) at temperatures higher than 150ºC. Blood and tissue are desiccated and oxidized (charred), forming eschar that covers and seals the bleeding area. The reduced postoperative pain after HARMONIC SCALPEL hemorrhoidectomy compared with electrocautery controls, likely results from the avoidance of lateral thermal injury.

Harmonic Scalpel for Treatment of Hemorrhoids
The protein coagulum caused by the application of the HARMONIC SCALPEL is superior at sealing off large bleeding vessels during surgery. It has been my experience that this method is useful on large hemorrhoids that may bleed during surgery, thus minimizing prednisone blood loss and reducing the time needed for surgery.