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United States Patent [w]
US005891018A [ii] Patent Number:  Date of Patent:
 BALL JOINT RETRACTOR
 Inventor: B. Keith Wells, Marietta, Ga.
 Assignee: Genzyme Corporation, Framingham, Mass.
 Appl. No.: 934,626
 Filed: Sep. 19, 1997
 Int. CI. A61B 17/00
 U.S. CI 600/226; 600/201
 Field of Search 600/185, 187,
600/188, 197, 199, 201, 205, 226, 245, 194, 190, 210, 221, 220
 References Cited
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FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
2233561 1/1991 United Kingdom 600/234
Aesculap® General Surgical Catalogue (C-214730), Feb. 1983 (4 pages).
Primary Examiner—-Jeffrey A. Smith
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Needle & Rosenberg, PC.
A retractor comprising a longitudinally-extending blade having a top surface, a bottom surface, a distal end, and an opposed proximal end, a receptacle adapted to support a predetermined surgical instrument and disposed adjacent the bottom surface ol the blade, a handle fixedly attached to the blade and defining a bore extending therethrough, and a ball disposed within the bore ol the handle. A portion ol the ball is fixedly attached to a portion ol the receptacle and secured within the bore ol the handle so that the ball and attached receptacle are movable relative to the blade without separating therefrom to a selected one ol a plurality ol desired positions. The retractor also comprises a shaft complementarily received within the bore, the lower end ol the shaft is sized to complementarily and detachably engage a portion ol the ball. The shaft is adjustably positionable within the bore between an engaged position, in which the shaft detachably engages the ball to frictionally hold the ball, and a disengaged position, in which the shaft and the ball are spaced apart so that the ball is movable within the bore.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
BALL JOINT RETRACTOR
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of surgical instrumentation and, more particularly, to surgical retractors adapted for endoscopic use. Even more specifically, the present invention relates to a retractor having a ball joint movably connecting the retractor to a 10 receptacle which supports an endoscopic surgical device.
2. Background Art
Retractors are well suited for use with endoscopic surgical instruments used to perform examinations or surgical procedures within body cavities. An endoscopic camera is often 15 placed within the surgical site, in which the output of the camera is displayed on a video monitor. The surgeon monitors the organ or internal tissue subject to inspection, repair, dissection, or excision on the video monitor, instead of directly viewing the site as occurs in conventional surgery. 20 In conjunction, the surgeon guides other endoscopic instruments (such as a grasper, a hook, a spatula, forceps, a dissector, and the like for performing specific surgical functions) into and out of the operating site through respective surgical sheaths. When the distal tip of the instrument 25 appears on the video monitor, the surgeon guides the instrument into place and controls its action and movement while monitoring the video monitor. Use of endoscopic visualization to monitor of the body cavity in which the surgical procedure occurs minimizes scarring, allows a quicker 30 recovery, and reduces the risk to the patient.
Endoscopic visualization, however, can be difficult because of insufficient suitable working space due to impingement of surrounding tissues. This problem can be more pronounced in obese patients. Also, the surgeon some- 35 times must reposition the endoscope to continue viewing the operative site during the course of the surgical procedure. That is, the physical location where the surgical procedure occurs can shift during the operation and the endoscope must be moved accordingly. Prior art retractors that support 40 an endoscope are not equipped to move the endoscope without shifting the entire retractor, which can increase the trauma to the contacted tissue.
Therefore, a need exists in the art for a retractor that can „
be used in conjunction with an endoscope, in which the retractor allows movement of the endoscopic camera to numerous positions within the body cavity without moving the entire retractor. However, there is also a desire to have the endoscopic camera supported by the retractor, allowing 5Q the surgeons and assistants to attend to other matters instead of holding the camera. The prior art does not satisfy this need.
Another need in the art is for the surgeon to be able to lock quickly the endoscopic camera once it is at the desired 55 orientation relative to the retractor. It is preferred that the surgeon be able to lock the camera in the desired position by using one finger on the hand which is holding and moving the retractor. Thus, the surgeon would not also need to use his other hand in addition to the one already supporting the 60 retractor.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention satisfies the needs in the art. The present invention comprises a retractor that movably sup- 65 ports an endoscope or other surgical instrument. More specifically, the present invention comprises a retractor
having a longitudinally-extending blade, a receptacle adapted to support a predetermined surgical instrument (such as an endoscope), and a means for movably connecting the receptacle to the blade.
The receptacle and supported surgical instrument are moveable relative to the blade to a selected one of a plurality of desired positions without moving the blade.
The present invention also preferably further comprises a means for detachably locking the receptacle at the selected desired position, i.e., the position in which the endoscope is oriented at the desired location. The preferred embodiment of the connecting means comprises a ball and socket design, in which the shaft moves the socket either to lock or unlock the ball.
The preferred receptacle comprises a longitudinallyextending tube defining a passage therethrough. The passage is of a size to allow the preferred endoscopic instrument to be slidably received therein so that the distal end of the instrument protrudes from or is aligned with the distal end of the tube. It is contemplated that surgical instruments can be switched during the surgical procedure while stationarily maintaining the blade at the surgical site. Thus, the surgeon can switch the surgical instrument and then reposition the new instrument, while the blade remains stationary at the surgical site.
The surgeon can easily maneuver the endoscopic camera supported by the retractor and lock the camera into position at a desired location. This allows the surgeon or surgical assistants to attend to other matters instead of holding the camera.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a hand-held retractor that is adapted for endoscopic use at a predetermined area inside of a patient, which allows a surgeon access to and visualization of the predetermined area while protecting adjacent structures. More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a retractor that is adapted for endoscopic use which has a low-profile design to facilitate work in the body cavity.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a retractor that can be used in conjunction with an endoscope, in which endoscope is movable to numerous positions within the body cavity (i.e., up and down, side to side, and a combination thereof relative to the blade) without moving the blade itself.
Still another object of the invention is to allow the surgeon to lock the endoscopic camera into position quickly and easily.
The above recited objects of the invention are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. These and other objects of the invention will be apparent to the skilled artisan based upon the following disclosure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an exploded side cross-sectional view of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
The present invention is more particularly described in the following examples that are intended as illustrative only since numerous modifications and variations therein will be