Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Giles Scuderi of Franklin Hospital and Dr. Fred Cushner of Southside Hospital discuss the joint replacement surgeries they recently performed as part of Operation Walk, a nonprofit volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatment for patients who have no access to life-improving care.
A generation of aging baby boomers means more knee replacement surgeries than ever, and a new device is helping orthopedic surgeons get the job done more safely.
The Aquamantys system works by transmitting a combination of radio frequency energy and saline to a wand-like device, which stops bleeding when pressed to soft tissue and bone during surgery. Dr. Giles Scuderi, an orthopedic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, has been performing total knee replacements for 25 years. In the past, he used tools to minimize blood loss that charred the surrounding tissue. But now with the Aquamantys system, he is able to
seal blood vessels while cooling the surrounding area, helping to lessen tissue damage and improve recovery.
"I am able to allow those patients to keep an elevated blood count, avoid transfusions, and then get through a more rapid recovery,” Scuderi said. “They have more energy when they work with their therapist the following day. We like to have them discharged from the hospital within two or three days."
More efficient blood control also decreases the risk for complications during surgery.
"I want to have very accurate bone cuts, very good balance. And I want to avoid injury to the other tissues throughout the knee. If I cannot see them well because of bleeding, I do run a risk of having a complication," he said.
This new device isn't just benefiting patients and doctors, Scuderi said it's helping hospitals keep costs down by avoiding the need for blood transfusions during surgery.
"We want to try and work in a bloodless field; we want to try and avoid bleeding after surgery, and Aquamantys provides that," he said.