by Dr Russell Dyer, Gisborne Veterinary Clinic, VIC
The SurgiStat is an electrosurgery unit that we find very useful in our clinic. It has single-use handpieces that are disposed after each patient. This helps infection control by keeping everything sterile.
What’s good about it
The SurgiStat has two functions—as a cutting instrument and as a cauteriser. The scalpel blade cuts very nicely and there’s no bleeding because it cauterises as it moves. When there is a bleeding blood vessel, the second function allows you to stop that bleeding immediately. One zap and it coagulates. The instrument has one button for cutting and one button for coagulation.
We don’t do much orthopaedic work and few high-end surgeries. The majority of the surgery we do at our clinic is soft-tissue work. When using a traditional scalpel, a lot of time was spent stopping little bleeders by either putting on a ligature or clamping them with a pair of forceps.
The SurgiStat is extremely useful when removing lumps or when undertaking exploratory laparotomy. It really saves a lot of time. At the end of each surgery, we just throw away the handpiece. The new handpiece comes ready-packed and simply plugs into the generator.
What’s not so good
The disposable handpieces are very high quality but we do find the odd one that’s faulty. It happens very occasionally and I just grab another unit. They are pretty inexpensive and we would more than save the cost of the handpiece with the time saved during surgery.