ENT Equipment: Maintenance and safety measures while using them

This subject has expanded enormously in the last few decades and is not called as ‘ENT Head and Neck Surgery’. With this expansion, more of the area, thus more of conditions need to be covered. And hence, more of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Tools are needed. - Dr. M. N. Bhattacharyya

This discipline has the maximum number of tools within its domain. Some being very basic, others are very delicate and sophisticated. With the advancement of bio-medics and bio-technology, more and more high-end instruments are coming into the picture and they are helping in very precise and delicate approach to the management of patient.

Let us take three such instruments- Operating Microscope, Laser and finally, Coblation.

Operating Microscope:

This tool is used by us, even before the eye surgeons. It is used since the last several decades. Its main function is to magnify smaller body parts; thus, it becomes easier for us to diagnose and also perform surgeries.

It contains several parts, namely the Light Source, a Cable Conducting the Light (Fibre Optic Cable), Lens used for Magnification and Prisms for splitting of light.

The cost of this equipment varies depending on the quality of the above parts. Magnification can be from 4X to 40X.

A person, using it, must have a good knowledge of optics and must know how to take care of it.

Laser:

This abbreviation is for Light Assisted Stimulation of Emission of Radiation. Thus, it involves Nuclear Physics, where different elements are used to produce cathode particles from its atom and they are passed through a small area in the same direction, hence making them powerful and effective. This bunch of cathode ray (Laser) has the ability to cut precisely and arrest bleeding. Depending on the element from which Laser is produced, the depth of penetrance in different body tissues depends on the element. The machine becomes hot after use for specific period; thus, a continuous cooking process is needed.

This instrument is a powerful tool for our departmental surgeon. The surgeon needs to know the mechanics, area of use and its basic components before use.

Coblation:

A Coblator is a wonder machine which vaporises the tissues. It stands for “Controlled Ablation”. Here, radio frequency at a low temperature uses saline (Saline, here means Sodium Chloride); it uses Sodium Ion out of it. This highly energetic Sodium Ion to form a Plasma Field, which is strong enough to break organic molecular bonds, causing vaporisation of tissue, without producing heat.

This equipment is used safely and precisely to remove various tumors in our domain without causing bleeding during surgery or pain after surgery.

There are several of these wonderful, high-end instruments out of which, we have only discussed a few.



Dr. M. N. Bhattacharyya,
Consultant Department of ENT Head and Neck Surgery,
Fortis Hospital Anandapur