In 2003, Leigh C. McGill, MD, FACS, FAAP began using Starion's Tissue Welding technology as a safe alternative for cutting and sealing during pediatric laparoscopic surgery. By using Starion's TLS3 Thermal Ligating Shears and Universal Power Supply (UPS), McGill has minimized the risk of thermal injury and reduced equipment costs.

For over 25 years, Leigh C. McGill, MD, FACS, FAAP has been dedicated to advancing pediatric care. He served as chairman of the Department of Surgery at Phoenix Children's Hospital, clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Arizona and instructor in surgery for the Mayo Clinic Arizona.

As a member of the Pediatric Surgeons of Phoenix practice group, McGill performs a broad range of pediatric surgeries, including numerous laparoscopic procedures. In 2003, he was performing a nissen fundoplication when he observed inadvertent collateral tissue damage. Concerned about the safety of the device that he had been using at the time, McGill sought out a safer solution.

"It was a powerful stimulus to do something different," said McGill.

McGill attended a pediatric laparoscopy course at the University of California where he learned about Starion Instruments' Thermal Ligating Shears. Unlike conventional products employing monopolar, bipolar or ultrasonic energy, Starion's devices feature the company's patented Tissue Welding technology, which uses direct heat and pressure to simultaneously seal and divide soft tissue and vessels.

"There were several instruments on display including Starion's Thermal Ligating Shears," said McGill. "I viewed some surgical photos that showed the thermal pattern for the Starion device and could see that there was less heat spread compared with the other instruments, so I decided to give Starion a try."

In 2003, McGill began using Starion's Second Generation Thermal Ligating Shears (TLS2) and then transitioned to the company's Third Generation Thermal Ligating Shears (TLS3) when the product was launched in early 2008.

"Starion's technology seemed to be a great alternative so I switched over and I've had no reason to switch back," said McGill. "From a safety perspective, the advantage of the Starion device is that it doesn't get extremely hot. As a result, I haven't burned anything that I haven't wanted to burn."

Thanks to the simplicity of Starion's devices, they are also easy to use. The TLS3 features enhanced sealing and dissecting capabilities, an ergonomic handle design, longer more tapered jaws, and two-speed finger control for unparalleled performance in open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. These features provide McGill and his team a distinct advantage when performing complex cases.

"The hand trigger mechanism is a huge benefit," said McGill. "With appendectomies, we frequently encounter peritoneal bands that are folded in funny ways and the TLS3 works very well as a dissector."

Starion's technology has provided a significant cost savings as well. All of Starion's devices are compatible with the company's Universal Power Supply (UPS). This compact, three-pound, reusable power source can be suspended from an IV pole or placed on any flat surface, making it portable and easy to store.

"The power source for the alternate device that I had been using sells for around $25,000 while the Starion UPS is just a fraction of that so there's a huge cost advantage with Starion," said McGill.

Today, McGill uses the Starion TLS3 for a wide range of pediatric laparoscopic procedures, including appendectomies, omentectomies, nissen fundoplications, and transanal pull-through surgery for Hirschsprung's disease.

For more information on Dr. McGill's practice, visit www.surgery4children.com.