Several laparoscopic morcellators are commercially available, but commonly they present low extraction rates, may clog too often, and sometimes even perforate the tissue pouch. We have also developed a mechanical morcellator that may have faster and safer operation for the kidney.
The morcellator presents a tubular structure comprising a handle and a 16 mm diameter extension that enters the sac. The extension presents a funnel like foldable end, which expands to a diameter of 50 mm. The funnel uses a flexible umbrella structure made of nitinol wires. The funnel is used to protect the sac from the active elements located at the funnel neck. A small pneumatic motor located in the handle powers a slender blade revolving in the extension tube. This engages the kidney tissue and revolves it around a stationary tooted blade recessed into the funnel. A closed vacuum circuit is used for the extraction. An intake air path is opened to the tip of the morcellator to close the vacuum circuit. The revolving blade is completely dull and constructed of very flexible tempered steel thus eliminating the possibility of piercing the bag. An additional blade is incorporated into the handle at the exhaust port. The design presents a simple construction of only 6 components easy to disassemble and sterilize. The average extraction rate over 44 ex-vivo porcine kidney experiments was 32 g/s. None of the bags were damaged.