In medicine, precision and accuracy are the keys to a successful outcome. Gastroenterologists at Saint Francis Medical Center are using a new tool called the ENDO CUT® I that increases safety and decreases recovery time by making a precise, individualized cut.
Doctors use the tool during endoscopic papillotomy procedures. During an endoscopic papillotomy, a doctor makes an incision in the papilla – the area where the bile duct and pancreatic duct empty – and inserts a scope with a camera on its end to remove a gallstone, repair a bile leak or fix an abdominal issue.
The doctor makes the incision using an electrical current. Traditionally, doctors have used a cutting wire that administers a fixed current with every patient. “The challenge is, if the tissue is weak, we can damage it with an electrical current that is too strong,” says Wilson P. Pais, MD, MBA, FACP, FRCP, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis. “The tissue weakness varies from patient to patient. An 80-year-old patient may not have the same tissue strength as a 20-year-old, and an 80-pound patient may not have the same tissue strength as a 180-pound patient.”
The new technology uses a variable energy based on each individual. “Every millisecond during the procedure, the ENDO CUT I measures the amount of energy it needs and adjusts its output accordingly,” says Pais. “This prevents tissue damage.”
The ENDO CUT I also makes a much more precise cut than the previous technology. “During a papillotomy, if the cut is too big, the patient will experience a hole or tear and will have a longer hospital stay,” says Pais. “If the cut is too small, the patient will not have the desired result and will have to come back for a second procedure. So by using the ENDO CUT I, we ensure patient safety and can also perform the procedure without worrying about causing harm to the patient.”
Most patients undergoing endoscopic papillotomies are able to go home the same day as the procedure. If there are complications, the patient may need to stay a day or two in the hospital, but using the ENDO CUT I decreases the likelihood of complications. “Our outcomes are better, our patients are happier and they go home sooner,” says Pais.