In early 2008, Robert V. McKeen, M.D., FACS began using Starion's TLS3 Thermal Ligating Shears to dissect tissue and vessels during bariatric procedures. Dr. McKeen found that by using the TLS3 in place of a bipolar laparoscopic sealing device, he could minimize collateral tissue damage, improve the precision of his dissections and maximize efficiency in the OR.

With obesity rates on the rise across the U.S., the demand for bariatric surgery is greater than ever before. To meet this growing demand, bariatric surgeon Robert V. McKeen, M.D., FACS expanded his practice to include two facilities: Forest Surgery Center and Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California. Dr. McKeen performs two of the most advanced bariatric procedures: laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery and the LAP-BAND® procedure.

Dr. McKeen had been using a bipolar laparoscopic sealing device during these procedures but was concerned that the heat generated by the device would damage surrounding tissue and vessels. "We are dissecting very close to fragile tissue areas so it's crucial that we prevent any kind of inadvertent injury," said Dr. McKeen. "Other devices that were good for sealing larger vessels were not good for fine dissection."

In 2008, Dr. McKeen found a solution when he began using Starion's TLS3 Thermal Ligating Shears. Unlike conventional products that use monopolar, bipolar or ultrasonic energy as modes of operation, the TLS3 features Starion's proprietary Tissue Welding technology, which focuses thermal energy to simultaneously seal and divide soft tissue.

"The TLS3 has a clear patient safety benefit," said Dr. McKeen. "I can perform a clean dissection without a lot of heat transfer up around the esophageal gastric junction and along the stomach area where there are both fine and larger blood vessels. This minimizes bleeding in the surgical field, allowing me to dissect very close to the tissue surface."

The TLS3 delivers the safety and precision Dr. McKeen needs to perform the most advanced bariatric procedures.

"It can be quite challenging to perform a clean dissection of the esophageal gastric fat pad for a LAP-BAND® procedure, but the TLS3 does the trick because of its precision, said Dr. McKeen. "As a result, I'm more comfortable and confident in the procedure itself."

In addition, the simplicity of the technology has improved efficiency in the OR.

"The TLS3 is easy to use, so the learning curve was minimal," said Dr. McKeen. "My OR staff loves it because it's simple to set up and there's not a lot of clutter. It has saved all of us a great deal of time and effort."