Tools of the trade: ValleyLab Force Triad electrosurgical unit

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valleylab-force-triad-esu-electrosurgical-generator-5d726383985b0e291624996ea2f2c23d-2by Dr Chris Papantonio, Colyton Veterinary Clinic, NSW

We use this unit during surgery to cut tissue and simultaneously cauterise blood vessels. Instead of a scalpel blade, it utilises a pen and is suitable for orthopaedic wok as well as soft tissue surgery.

What’s good about it

It makes the job cleaner with much less bleeding. There’s also less post-operative swelling and inflammation. There are two distinct parts to the unit. The first part is for electrosurgical cutting where the blood vessels are no larger than one or two millimetres. If a larger vessel is cut and there’s excessive bleeding, then it needs to be individually cauterised.

The second part of the unit is LigaSure, which cauterises tissue with a scissor action and can deal with blood vessels up to seven millimetres in diameter. We use this for taking out organs, such as the spleen. It easily cuts through the omentum and the blood vessels, sealing them off as it goes.

The Valleylab Force Triad is a top-of-the-line unit but there are some entry-level cauteries that are less expensive. While our unit is designed to cut and ligasure, the simpler ones would require two different machines. It’s a good option if you don’t want to splurge too heavily but we use our unit so frequently, it made sense to buy the best machine available.

What’s not so good

You need to carefully choose the amount of electrical conductivity to put through the pen. If it’s too high, it can actually cause tissue damage. It’s important to get the right balance so the tissue is cut and cauterised without too much necrosis.

Where did you get it

General Vet Products

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