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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 189;

Surgical Dynamometer to Simultaneously Measure the Tension Forces and the Distance between Wound Edges during the Closure of a Laparotomy

Department of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering. University of Lleida—Escola Politecnica Superior. C. Jaume II, 69, E-25001 Lleida, Spain
Surgical Department—Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital. Av. de l’Alcalde Rovira Roure, 80, E-25198 Lleida, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Force and Pressure Based Sensing Medical Application)
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The closure of the abdominal wall after making a laparotomy is a major challenge for surgeons, since a significant percentage of closures fail and incisional hernias rise. The suture has to withstand the forces required to close the incision, while not hindering the adequate wound healing progression. Currently, there is no surgical measuring device that could be used to determine the required closing forces, which can be very different depending on the patient. This paper presents a dynamometer to measure the tension forces to be applied while closing a surgical incision, and it simultaneously measures the distance between wound edges. It is a compass-like instrument. A mechanism between the two legs incorporates a load cell, whose signal is read by an electronic device that computes the values of the tension forces between wound edges. An angular position sensor at the pin joint between legs provides the distance between both sides of the incision. Measuring capabilities of the instrument prototype were verified at the laboratory. Thereafter, its functionality was demonstrated in experimental surgery tests. Therefore, the instrument could be very useful in clinical applications, assisting personalized surgical techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamometer; surgery; closing forces; laparotomy; incision separation dynamometer; surgery; closing forces; laparotomy; incision separation

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Roca, J.; Nogués, M.; Villalobos, R.; Mías, M.C.; Comellas, M.; Gas, C.; Olsina, J.J. Surgical Dynamometer to Simultaneously Measure the Tension Forces and the Distance between Wound Edges during the Closure of a Laparotomy. Sensors 2018, 18, 189.

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