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Development and Application of a No-Clog Surgical Suction Tip Using 3D Printing Technology

Jianji Wang, Long Yang, Minxian Ma, Guangdi Li, Shunen Xu, Qingjun Li, Zhe Xu, Jun Liu, Chuan Ye

Department of Orthopedics, The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6765-6773

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909900

Available online:

Published: 2018-09-25

BACKGROUND: Clogging of the suction tip frequently occurs during orthopedic surgery. We developed a novel anti-clog suction tip using 3D printing technology to improve orthopedic surgery efficiency.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We studied the root causes of obstructions in suction tips currently employed in orthopedic surgery during actual surgical cases. CAD software and 3D printer was used to design, modify, and print the novel suction tip. The frequency of clogging, the frequency of replacement of the suction tip, the time lost in replacing suction tips or connecting tubes, surgical duration, intraoperative surgical blood loss, and the satisfaction scores for the suction tips as rated by the surgeons were compared between the novel suction tip and the conventional suction tip. Comparisons were made first in laboratory experiments using a simulant liquid and then during total hip replacement surgeries.
RESULTS: In the simulant liquid experiments, the novel suction tips showed significantly reduced frequency of complete clogging and decreased time spent removing all fluid in comparison to the conventional suction tips (p<0.05). In the clinical trials, the novel suction tips exhibited significantly reduced frequency of complete clogging, shorter surgical duration, and reduced intraoperative surgical blood loss compared to the conventional suction tips (p<0.05). Surgeon satisfaction scores were higher for the novel tips than for the conventional tips (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our surgeon-designed and -produced surgical suction tip utilizing 3D desktop printing technology was highly effective in resolving the problem of clogged suction tips during orthopedic surgery and yielded high surgeon satisfaction.

Keywords: Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Computer-Aided Design, Orthopedic Equipment, Vacuum Curettage