Surgery has changed so much since I first set foot in an operating room as an 18 year old private in the National Guard. I remember a small room that seemed crammed with people and “stuff”. That was many years ago. Now the operating room has become a technological marvel, resembling mission control at a space port. Flat screen monitors, C-Arms, navigation enabled microscopes and of course robots.These innovations have led to better outcomes and new procedures to cure disease, alleviate pain and increase overall quality of life.
As technology advances, we are sometimes plagued by low tech problems. One such issue is visibility with laparoscopes. While these cameras offer the surgeon enhanced vision, be they hand-held laparoscopes or robotically controlled lenses, simple smudges, fog or plume can cloud the vision of the surgeon. To safely perform the operation they must stop to clean the lens. From my years as a scrub nurse, I have used many things to try to alleviate the problem of scope fogging and smudging. In a typical scenario, a surgeon must remove the scope from the abdomen, wipe with a wet sponge, dry it, then apply defog solution, put the lens back into the cannula, and the lens gets smudged from debris in the cannula It becomes a vicious cycle. This takes time away from the procedure and becomes frustrating to the entire surgical team.
AN optimal solution would be one product that has everything needed to keep the lens clean. Today, cost effective, all-inclusive kits are available providing a way to warm the lens to prevent fogging, a surfactant to help keep the lens clear, a way to wipe off excess debris and a swab designed to clean the surgical cannula to prevent material left behind from getting onto the cleaned lens. Some kits have added features like a scope cradle that help protect the scope during the warming process, or two ports that allows a second warmed scope to be ready at all times.
Using a simple, all-in-one, ergonomically designed, visibility solution helps the scrub nurse/tech maintain a clean lens for the surgeon, saves time, and allows one product to replace multiple products on the sterile field.
Rob Scroggins is the Clinical Programs Manager for Buffalo Filter. He is a registered nurse with 25 years of operating room experience prior to joining Buffalo Filter and has a wide variety of experience in multiple specialties including orthopaedics, general surgery, vascular surgery, neurosurgery and others. He had a 21-year career in the National Guard and Army Reserve beginning as a medic at the rank of private and rising through the ranks eventually retiring as a Captain, Army Nurse Corps.